Catskill Rail Trail Funding 2013 NYS Budget

Governor Cuomo's Executive 2013 Budget includes a $2 million budget item to support the Catskill Mountain Rail Trail (CMRT). The Assembly supports the allocation, but the State Senate has removed it. We urge the Senate to restore this proposed funding. Time is of the essence as final budget negotiations are now in progress.
Issue Updates : 

March 14, 2013: State Senate balks at funding Catskill Rail Trail. Urge your senator to join Gov. Cuomo and the Assembly in budgeting $2 million for this economically important trails project. Act Now!

Talking points: 

Dear Senator Click here to find your State Senator and contact info:

I am writing to ask that you please act now to replace the funding for the Catskill Mountain Rail Trail that was originally allocated in Governor Cuomo's Executive 2013 Budget, in the form of a $2 million dollar budget item.

I have learned that this item was recently removed from the senate version of the budget bill. I understand that time is of the essence and are asking your help to ensure this item is preserved in the budgeting process and the final budget.

As you know, the CMRT is a key component of both the County's visionary county-wide rail trail network, regional economic development  and tourism plans. This network of linear greenways will eventually extend from the Walkway to the Catskills, linking communities, businesses and recreation areas – from Highland, Gardiner & New Paltz on to Rosendale (& The Trestle!) to Kingston. And from there well beyond Marbletown, and deep into the Catskill Park. 

It will provide recreational tourism opportunities for many thousands of visitors, and business opportunities for communities and residents – all while helping to create a fitter, healthier, happier and more sustainable Ulster County.

I know you also understand all the significant economic, community and recreational benefits the Catskill Mountain Rail Trail will provide to residents and visitors alike - in the City of Kingston and critically in the six communities in the gateway Route 28 corridor. The high usage and long-term economic impacts of rail trails in Ulster County and the trails in the Catskill Park, are becoming increasingly well known facts.

The CMRT will also provide expanded indeed unprecedented, enhanced public access and linkages to NYC & NYS lands in the Catskill Preserve - access long sought after by local residents and communities. These include previously permit-only sections along the Ashokan with its spectacular views, long stretches along the upper Esopus Creek, as well as along the corridor between Big Indian and Belleayre Ski Center.

Please help us ensure that our part of the county and region, with its incredible natural resources, historical and recreational destinations, doesn't fall behind the many other areas, regions and states that are actively developing their linear greenways and becoming magnets for visitors, businesses and families.