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Sterling Forest Resort Casino Opposition Talking Points
Please send letters to the NYS Gaming Commission, with copies to state officials, by September 30, 2014 (addresses below). Suggested talking points include:
- The Palisades Interstate Park Commission, with the support of a strong and vibrant bi-state public private partnership, created Sterling Forest State Park and now it is the time for the Commission to act clearly and firmly to ensure its protection.
- A plan for a 1,000 room hotel and casino with 7,000 parking spaces and an estimated 7 million visitors annually is entirely inappropriate for Sterling Forest.
- The projected 7 million visitors a year will be coming from all directions. From the east, the scenic, winding Rt. 106 through Harriman State Park will be clogged with casino traffic especially during weekends and vacation times –coinciding with park user attendance. The heavy traffic will pose a serious threat to park visitors, including children from park camps, hikers, bicyclists, picnickers and other recreational users. From west, casino employees and visitors coming from the direction of Greenwood Lake and Warwick will turn pastoral winding Rt. 17A over Sterling Ridge into a dangerous commute.
- There will be secondary impacts from a Thruway Exit 15 B on CR 106 and 17A and on parkland. Once a casino resort in Sterling Forest is a “done deal,” it won’t take many years before these two-lane roads will have to be widened and straightened for the “safety and welfare” of the people. This will destroy the essence of Harriman State Park and the beauty and habitat on Sterling Mountain. It will require a taking of Parklands for widening - and all at a huge cost to taxpayers.
- All of this traffic plus outdoor concert space and hordes of visitors will have a negative impact on air quality, viewshed integrity, sound levels and noise and light pollution.
- 95% of Sterling Forest State Park is designated as a Park Preserve and as a Bird Conservation Area due to important concentrations of migratory birds, diverse species and species at risk. It contains wildlife, flora, scenic, historical and archeological sites that are unique and rare in New York State. These designations are intended to assure the protection of this heritage for future generations and must be honored by PIPC the NYS Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation.
- It would be shameful for NYS to consider this casino proposal, as well as a flagrant misuse of federal and state taxpayer monies and private donations.
The Sterling Forest casino plan must not be tolerated. No promises of future “gifts” and no rhetoric of environmental compliance will protect this invaluable landscape. Two governors, Congressional leaders and thousands of citizens worked relentlessly to protect this landscape—and they did not do so to provide an amenity for Genting’s casino resort. This plan is a disgrace.
Send Letters to:
New York State Gaming Commission
Facility Location Selection Committee
c/o Gail P. Thorpe
P.O. Box 7500
Schenectady, NY 12301-7500
Or via email to: [email protected]
Palisades Interstate Park Commission
P.O. Box 147
Bear Mountain, NY 10911 [email protected]:
The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor, State of New York
NY State Capital Building
Albany, NY 12224
Rose Harvey, Commissioner
NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
Albany NY, 12238
Joseph Martens, Commissioner
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
Albany, NY 12233-1010