Mission Statement

Who We Are:

The Coalition to Save Catskills Preserve is a newly formed network composed of a growing number of citizens and community groups dedicated to protecting The Catskill Preserve. We are united by our devotion to the environment, wildlife, recreation, and cultural heritage that’s  unique to this region, and by our mission to protect the ecology and history of Catskills State Park from misguided and inappropriate exploitation of our natural resources.

Our Immediate Goal:

Our immediate goal is the denial of a preliminary permit application by Premium Energy Holdings, LLC to study the feasibility of building a hydroelectric stored power plant on the Ashokan Reservoir and surrounding watershed. 

Premium Energy’s Ashokan Pumped Storage Project would necessitate the construction of a new reservoir, a massive concrete dam, many miles of high-voltage power lines, and the drilling of huge underground tunnels running below homes, streams, and mountains.

The flawed application should be denied for multiple reasons, including:

  • The project would disrupt the environment of the Catskill Forest Preserve, 700,000 acres of critical habitat in an increasingly fragmented world. Any feasible site in the Catskills would impinge on USGS-designated Status 2 land. Federal policy directs that Status 1 and 2 land areas are highly protected and must be avoided for development.
  • The proposed project will severely disrupt streams within the Ashokan watershed, and increase turbidity in the Ashokan Reservoir itself—which serves as a primary source of unfiltered drinking water for 9 million New York residents.
  • The flawed application misrepresents its project as a “closed loop” design. In truth, it is an “add-on” design, which means it has worse environmental impacts than closed-loop hydroelectric projects.
  • The project raises numerous legal issues regarding States’ rights and land preservation.
  • The proposed site is home to protected species of wildlife and flora/fauna, as well as historical and cultural artifacts and sites.

Long Term Stewardship

We plan to maintain this site as a clearinghouse for information about this project—if it ends up going forward—and any others like it. Get on our mailing list to get action alerts about threats to the “Forever Wild” Catskill Forest Preserve.