The New York City Department of Environmental Protection has a new program to help boost tourism in the Catskills.
The DEP program, for the first time, will allow New York state certified outdoor guides to use New York City-owned land and reservoirs in the Catskills. DEP officials say it is a balance between low-impact recreation on watershed land while boosting the tourism economy. Guides who want to be involved in the program must be certified by the state Department of Environmental Conservation, and be certified in first aid, CPR, and water safety. Guides must also pass a state exam. The DEP in recent years has established other recreational/tourism programs, such as recreational boating at its four reservoirs and opening thousands of acres of land for low-impact recreation.