Yvonne Taylor has a BA in English and a Minor in Public Relations from SUNY Geneseo ,a BA in Speech and Language from Elmira College, and a Masters Degree in Reading from SUNY Cortland. She lives on the East side of Seneca Lake on land that has been in her family for generations. Yvonne is a Speech-Language Therapist who works with at-risk adolescents, with an early work history in the Finger Lakes agri-tourism industry in wineries, restaurants, bed and breakfasts, and on sailing charters on Seneca Lake (and as the Pace Car Driver for Watkins Glen International.) Through her work experience and family love of Seneca Lake, she sees the Finger Lakes as a bucolic haven for people from all over the world. To protect the Finger Lakes, she fought to keep drilling for gas out of the Hector National Forest and worked to help ban fracking in NY. WhenTexas-based Crestwood purchased US Salt for the sole purpose of storing and transporting fracked gas in 2011, she helped found and became Vice President of Gas Free Seneca.
Over the past 7 years, she hashelped form the Gas Free Seneca Business Coalition comprised of nearly 500 regional businesses, planned, organized, and presented at educational forums throughout the region, created alliances between various groups dedicated to preserving the region, networked with statewide and national groups to garner support for the Finger Lakes, worked to obtain pro bono legal representation from internationally renowned environmental law firm Earthjustice, worked to connect Seneca Lake Communities with one another to create a united front and obtain pro bono legal representation from NRDC, assisted businesses and residents in speaking out against Crestwood’s plans through letter writing campaigns and Public Relations outreach, mounted tremendous pressure on Governor Cuomo to deny permits for gas storage, coordinated Press Conferences and meetings with top governmental officials, and managed social media communications to reach thousands of concerned citizens.
Her leadership has led to Crestwood’s decision to eliminate expanded natural gas storage and butane from their proposal along the shores of Seneca Lake, along with the removal of substantial above ground industrial infrastructure that would threaten the vital agri-tourism industry in the Finger Lakes.
Yvonne has been elemental in utilizing this momentum to help found Seneca Lake Guardian, a Waterkeeper Affilliate, a group designed to continue to protect and preserve the Finger Lakes for generations to come.