Friends of Bramley Mountain Fire Tower Inc. was formed in January 2020 to restore the tower, maintain it going forward and to provide access and information about the tower and its history to the public. It is comprised of members of the Catskill Mountain Club and active and enthusiastic members of the surrounding community. Friends of Bramley Mountain Fire Tower Inc. is a 501(c)(3) Tax Exempt organization.
Among those making up the Friends’ board of directors are Ann Roberti, who will serve as president. Ann shepherded the project through the approval stages with Rick Roberts, who will serve as Vice-President. They are joined by Amy Beveridge, David DeForest, Wendell George, Jillienne LaFever, Laurie Rankin, John Sandman, Jeff Senterman and Doug Sluiter. Ryan Naatz joined the board in 2023.
Catskill Mountain Club, founded in 2004, is a volunteer not-for-profit organization formed to promote sustainable and safe outdoor recreation within the Catskill Park and on public lands throughout the Catskill Mountain Region. The CMC strives to increase public awareness and appreciation of the Catskill region, including its natural resources, public lands, and recreational opportunities by leading responsible and sustainable non-motorized outdoor recreational activities, free of charge to the public. The CMC promotes volunteer stewardship through the building of new trails and the maintenance of existing trails; supporting the preservation of public recreational access and facilities; supporting the protection of natural resources and the environment; participating in partnerships that seek to achieve these goals. The CMC also offers informational programs that highlight the natural and human histories of the Catskills; issues affecting the health and preservation of the environment; and skills needed to safely enjoy outdoor recreational opportunities.
A significant part of the CMC’s work is to improve regional and local economies through the enhancement and promotion of public outdoor recreational opportunities and facilities. The CMC began building hiking trails in Delaware County in 2012, concentrating on family friendly trails near towns. The Catskills are fortunate to have many trails to wonderful mountains but many of these are not usable by a significant percentage of the community. Focusing on easier trails allows people who cannot climb a hike peak to enjoy the beauty and forest experience safely.
The CMC has built and maintains six trails and is working with the DEP on a seventh trail near the soon to be Water Discovery Center in Arkville. The CMC’s trails have been a huge success, used frequently by local residents and drawing hikers from afar. The CMC designed, constructed and maintains trails on Bramley Mountain that lead to the summit and the future Fire Tower site.
In 2014 the CMC was presented with the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Central Catskill Chamber of Commerce for service to the Catskill community. “We are pleased to award The Catskill Mountain Club this special recognition award for its remarkable leadership in expanding opportunities for the public to learn about the beauty of the Catskill Park and the pristine streams and reservoirs now available for pubic enjoyment of outdoor recreational activities. This volunteer driven organization has had a tangible influence on getting people to enjoy the out-of-doors in the Catskill Mountains and to expand tourism travel and grow our economy,” said CCCC Executive Director Carol O’Beirne. Pursuant to the above award, the CMC was recognized in a Resolution of the New York State Legislature for its public service achievements.
In 2016 the CMC received the prestigious Alf Evers Award for Excellence from the Catskill Center. The award was presented “in recognition of their (CMC) leadership in creating and expanding opportunities for the public to enjoy and understand the unique beauty and remarkable nature of our Catskill region”, according to Catskill Center Executive Director Jeff Senterman.
Clark Family currently own the tower and will be leasing it to the Town of Delhi for $1 for 100 years. They are excited at the prospect of the tower being restored to Bramley Mountain. In the event the Tower has to be taken down for some reason, the tower will be returned to the Clark Family.
The Clark Family have operated a dairy farm in Delhi for 5 generations and have recently opened their own creamery. Read more about this Delaware County treasure here.
Delaware County – Delaware County will be the lessee of the tower and will be providing insurance coverage for the tower under county policies. FOBMFT has been the recipient of two Delaware County Tourism Promotion grants and we are so grateful to the county for their continuing support. The Department of Economic Development is working with the Friends to guide the project through to completion.
NYC DEP owns the property the tower will be reconstructed on, as well as the parcels of land the hiking trail to the tower travels through. The DEP is planning to allow the tower to be returned to Bramley Mountain as a historical structure that will benefit the community.
- Forest Fire Lookout Association
- Delaware County Chamber of Commerce
- Delaware County Historical Association
- Delaware County Department of Economic Development
- Greater Delhi Area Chamber of Commerce
- Central Catskills Chamber of Commerce
- Martin Podskoch, author of Firetowers of the Catskills and Firetowers of the Adirondacks
- Alan Via, author of numerous hiking books and articles
- Catskill Center for Conservation and Development
- Delaware County Planning Department