This site contains news, issue information and articles of concern to the members of Lake Shore Environmental Action. We are a small group of Wayne County (upstate NY) residents seeking to promote and celebrate sustainable living and sound environmental policies. Some issues of particular concern are
the widescale rapid release of genetically modified organisms into the environment via agriculture
Global Climate Change as induced by human activity
preservation of habitat and reduction of pollution through "smart growth" policies
the use of renewable "zero emissions" energy for electric power production
Eliot Spitzer State Capital Albany NY 12224 1 518 474 8390
please act now- as I write this more trees are being felled...
update January 15 see below
On behalf of the concerned
citizens of Wayne, Monroe, Cayuga, Onondaga, and other upstate
counties, we of Lake Shore Environmental Action request a moratorium
on logging on all state owned wildlife Management areas
citizens not involved in the logging industry have their interests
equally considered through public
There is widespread and growing dissatisfaction
with the economic and environmental consequences of the present
policies of land and timber management being applied to those public
lands along the lake shore between Fair Haven and Sodus Bay.
These are important recreational areas used by both hunters and by “non consumptive” users who hike, birdwatch, camp, or canoe by or through these areas. There is ample reason to suspend logging and clear cutting on these sensitive areas of steep slopes adjacent to high quality large wetland areas especially at this time of abundant rainfall and high erosion potential until policies can be evaluated and goals re-assessed. We further believe that the present policy goals and objectives of management of these lands are inappropriate to this time and should be revised with public input and oversight. We request that logging and clear cutting on the former Girl Scout Camp Whistle Wood and of all other stands of similar mature mixed hardwood stands should cease immediately until the public has had ample opportunity to comment on and assess the management goals of these areas. The public has had little opportunity to consider the wisdom of clear cuts and use of herbicides adjacent to important large embayments like Sodus Bay or Fair Haven Bay.
The public should have some say as to whether we should manage these areas, purchased with taxpayer funds solely for game animal production and timber production at a time of increasing deforestation of lake shore areas due to residential home construction, declining population of hunters and ample abundance in deer as evidenced by crop damage and deer-vehicle accidents.
We there for call for a stop to all further logging until that policy re-examination takes place.
Ruts as seen in this photo below not only increase erosion but also damage roots of smaller trees and can cause weakening or death of same- this type of damage is avoidable by using different equipment or logging at different times of the year If “MY” forest ( yes I do pay NY taxes too) must be logged, which I remain to be convinced of, I want it to be done with the best possible logging practices!!
a good deal of the type of damage seen below was observed at Camp Whistle Wood Red Creek and elsewhere on state lands. In many cases trees damaged like this will not thrive and if they do live won't be real high quality lumber trees. This damage is avoidable. See note above.
January 15 update to whom it may concern;
I am writing on behalf of a number of concerned citizens in the Wayne-Cayuga- Monroe county area to request a moratorium on all logging on the lake shore state owned wildlife management areas (WMA's) along the coast. There is widespread and growing dissatisfaction with the economic and environmental consequences of the present policy and execution of same being applied to the public lands along the Lake Ontario shore between Fair Haven and Sodus Bays.
Until policy and practice can be re-evaluated and goals re-assessed, all clear cutting and logging on these sensitive areas of steep slopes adjacent to large class one wetlands should cease particularly at a time of unfrozen land, heavy rainfall and high erosion and nutrient loading rates.
The policies and objectives of management of these lands, originally formulated twenty to thirty years ago are outdated and in need of revision.
To date over 400 acres has been logged and clear cut. About 340 acres remain to be bid out for logging. There has been an inadequate oversight of the timber harvest by DEC and numerous instances of poor logging practice have occurred. Long term damage to public forest lands has resulted along with nutrient loading and siltation of adjacent waters ( see photos attached or go to www.silverwaters.com/lea.htm)
The bidding process now used to select contractors for timber harvest has aggravated the problem by favoring large out of state buyers who hire low cost logging crews who “work quick and dirty”. They have no vested interest in ever returning to the area and can't stop and start up again easily as conditions dictate. There are reports of fines levied for water pollution and performance bond forfeits by these contractors who reportedly find it cheaper to log and leave with their out of state crews and leave their bond money behind rather than to suspend operations and return when conditions are more favorable. Unfortunately DEC for whatever reason has not adequately policed these contractors while they are on site.
Several scientific studies over the last ten years fail to support the state's present policy of responding to ice storm damage through salvage logging. These policies must be re-examined. The lack of DEC oversight resulting in long term damage to the public 's land must also be addressed. The bidding process should be examined closely and possibly revised. And the outdated EIS for management of these lands must be re-written with meaningful public participation and with hearings held in the most affected areas ( townships of Huron and Wolcott).
Consideration should be given to instituting a FSC or other credible certification program for the State forests and WMA's that the state would be required to follow. Smaller locally based logging contractors familiar with the area should be assisted in becoming certified if they so desire and given special consideration in the bidding process. Such a program could make our state's timber harvest a model for both other state programs and for private land owners' wood lot mangement practices as well.
The proposed subdivision law appears when compared to that of Sterling to be weak and inadequate when it comes to protecting our town’s most valuable and irreplaceable resources- natural beauty, clean water, undisturbed wetlands vital to aquifer recharge and other important scenic features. A few coments below.
If you care about your town’s future, please attend the public hearing on the proposed subdivision law and tell your town board you do not want to pay for Land First’s development upgrades and that you do not want them to tell us what our lake shore and public lands will be like in five years. Call the town hall for public hearing date 594 9431 .
March 16, 2005
Subdivision Law comments some SPECIFIC concerns from North Wolcott neighbors
After reviewing the proposed subdivision law for Wolcott and comparing it to that of Sterling, a similar rural community with lake front shoreline the following thoughts come to mind;
1 Subdivision law should address subdivision water supply and who pays for it. See copy of Sterling law “It shall be the responsibility of the subdivider to demonstrate that water of a quantity and pressure sufficient to meet domestic needs and a quality that meets minimum health standards is available for every lot.
(Without adequate water subdivision may require town to put in a water district. This will have a substantial impact on the existing character of the neighborhood, assessments and property taxes and the town budget.
2 ROADS Current plan calls for private roads with possible public roads for over 30 houses.
Current proposed Scotts Bluff subdivision now stands at 20 lots, but large lot sizes of up to 25 acres suggest possibility of additional houses in future. What if we reach 30 home level. Who pays for road up grade to public road if required? This should be spelled out.
3 Significant Natural Features
provision should be made as per Sterling law
“When a significant natural feature is identified such shall be shown on the plat and the plat shall clearly indicate that such an area is not to be built upon so as to preserve the feature.” Page 9
Sterling law “page 19 “The means to control drainage shall be designed to provide the greatest community benefit while achieving the primary objective of storm drainage control Such measure may include protecting open space, increasing recreational opportunities enhancing landscaping or similar amenities.
This should be spelled out specifically. There is no specific reference to drainage in Wolcott law
Wolcott law states under section 440 page 7 wetlands shall be left unaltered unless such alteration would serve to enhance the utility and quality of the subdivision. Duh no brainer. Let’s alter ‘em.
Also see page 18 of Sterling law |Where a lot includes a flood prone or wetland area or storm water or drainage easement the approved plat shall clearly identify such portions of the lot as unbuildable.
We should include this specific provision to avoid future ffilling, water flow alteration and headaches for everyone.
5 Also one not in Sterling law
As per Sea Grant and Coastal Zone management good practices
no lake front property located on high clay and glacial till bluffs shall have a leach bed between the house and the lake. See various Sea Grant publications for an explanation of how leach beds enhance erosion rates in such areas.
6 Last But Not least
There is no provision in the Wolcott Law for periodic monitoring and inspection during the subdivision construction phase. This should be spelled out and it should be done at the developer’s cost. Sterling states this shall be by the Enforcement Officer.
Insert in Wolcott law a provision for inspection by the Enforcement Officer or an engineer appointed by the town and paid for by the developer.
letter to the editor Dec 2000 re NRC and dry cask storage letter to editor Palladium Times
press release Jan 6
press release from Lake Shore Environmental Action Dec 10,1999 contact susan gateley email@example.com
Just Say No Pleads Area Activist
On December 9 the Oswego County legislature's committee on Government voted to hire a consultant to educate and advise them about the NYPA's plan to begin using dry cask storage at the Fitzpatrick plant. The man they voted to hire, Dr. Andrew Kadak, a 21 year veteran of the nuclear industry was recently elected president of an industry trade and lobby group the American Nuclear Society.
Several concerned citizens attended the meeting and expressed concern that this consultant would not produce a balanced and objective report on the safety of dry cask storage. They contend this long time worker in private industry would favor that industry's viewpoint that dry cask storage is a cheap, safe and effective way to store high level rad waste.
All of the eight possible candidates for the consulting position were drawn from a list provided by a law firm employed by Oswego County that also has ties to Niagara Mohawk and other electric utilities. No candidates suggested by the independent citizen's group CARE were considered or contacted. Among these was Dr. Marvin Resnikoff who prepared a report evaluating the type of cask proposed for use on the shores of Lake Ontario by NYPA, the Holtec HiStar 100. As a result of his study, the State of Utah concluded this storage cask was unsafe and unacceptable, concluding in its report that "safety considerations are too important for the NRC to expedite the approval process."
Dry cask storage is a controversial method of dealing with deadly highly radioactive nuclear waste. Intensely radioactive spent fuel rods are placed in large steel containers which in turn are stored on cement pads. Each cask is ventilated and each gives off radioactive gases. Dangerous radioactive particles can also be released into the atmosphere if the rods are damaged or deteriorated. Casks have suffered in the past from weld failures, cracking of steel and from inadequate cement bases.
Despite these and other safety issues, pressure is increasing to use dry cask storage as a "temporary"solution to the ever growing problem of radioactive waste. The proposed Hi Star cask has not yet been certified by the NRC another concern for safety. CARE's Cindy Gagne a resident of Oswego County, asserts that the Holtec casks are being proposed because the New York Power Authority owns part of Holtec, not because they are the safest or best suited for the job. She pleaded with the legislators to contact the state of Utah to find out why they decided the storage method proposed for Fitzpatrick's fuel rods was considered unacceptable and unsafe. She also asked the legislators "Why are you saying we have to do this? The state of Vermont said no" (to proposed dry cask storage at Vermont Yankee.)
Activists criticize NRC's deregulation effort at Oswego Meeting Jan. 6 As part of an effort to reach the public the NRC held a meeting in Oswego seeking comments on its proposed changes in its regulation of nuclear plants. Several skeptics raised questions about the proposed new program. Tim Judd of the Syracuse Peace Council and Steve Penn both pointed out that the process of rating plant performance now suffers from data manipulation and a number of highly subjective decisions by NRC management as to what violations and safety concerns merit action or a penalty. There are, for example, large numbers of "non cited violations" now taking place and Judd says these don't show up in the plant's published grade of how well it's doing. A violation is a violation whether its official or not was his position.
A second problem with the effort to cut the regulatory burden on nuclear power plants is that of public access to information. Several people remarked on the difficulty of getting reports on safety and plant performance from the NRC website. The NRC data base uses its own search engine which older computers have insufficient "horsepower" to operate. But as one activist pointed out, many area residents and public libraries located in the rural areas where most nuclear plants are, have either older computers or no access to the internet at all. Deregulation of the public utility industry was also cited as a concern. Several doubtful citizens thought that during this time of changing management, cuts in staff, and increased cost pressures, the NRC should increase its surveillance of nuclear plants. Citing staffing cuts at the Niagara Mohawk plants of 50 % in recent years with more likely in the future, Judd called for the NRC to establish minimum staffing standards for nukes.
Deregulation has also caused a looming shortage of skilled technical contract workers including those who perform safety inspections at plants. Cindy Gagne cited recent budget cuts at the NRC that had resulted in decisions by several of those contract companies to get out of the business of inspecting commercial nukes. With an average 15 to 20 years experience and years of technical training, these skilled workers are essential to safe operation of these plants. Once they are gone how long will it take for the NRC to build up in- house expertise to replace them? asked Gagne (assuming in today's tight market for skilled workers the NRC is even able to hire new entry level technicians.) The NRC moderator's response was that this problem was under study. Gagne also charged that the tight labor market has already caused the NRC to hire non engineering majors for its on site inspector program.
Tim Judd would like the NRC to "raise the bar" on safety. He cited recent releases of radiation at the Cooper plant in Nebraska after an accident of a type that hadn't happened in nearly 20 years. This is a basic design [flaw] issue he explained. If the NRC believes it can reduce regulation because the industry is now smarter and more experienced than 20 years ago, how do we stop this sort of thing from happening? And adding to the problem is the growing pressure to cut costs in a competitive deregulated market place.
Several activists criticized changes in NRC record keeping as part of its deregulatory effort. This they said makes it much harder to look for trends or to compare plant performance over time.
here for more writings on the environment by Susan Gateley at
the Silver Waters bookstore
call us at 315 594 1906 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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