OCCA, in partnership with local stakeholders, the Otsego County Soil and Water Conservation District, the Butternut Valley Alliance, and the Otsego Land Trust is carrying out the first stakeholder based watershed management plan in Otsego County.
Butternut Creek Watershed
The watershed is 83,328 acres, mostly privately owned, with agriculture and forests dominating land-use. It is classified as a NYDEC trout stream, including sections classified for spawning and as a drinking water source. It also supports populations of two DEC Species of Greatest Conservation Need (Eastern Hellbender and Yellow lampmussell). A recent water quality analysis found that the upper watershed has improved in water quality over the past 15 years while the lower has declined. Large parts of the watershed remain undeveloped, but impacts from mills and deforestation still impact water quality. Current resource concerns in the watershed include but are not limited to: agricultural impacts, inadequate culverts, and invasive species.
Stakeholder Based Planning
Stakeholder based planning is a bottom up approach to planning where local citizens, municipalities, businesses, and other interested parties actively participate in the planning process. Planning priorities are set by consensus building through facilitated meetings of stakeholders.
Nine Element Watershed Management Plan
Nine Element Watershed plans are used by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation – Division of Water to help identify sources of pollution and create a road map to prioritize and implement best management practices to help abate the identified sources. The Nine Element Plan will also be consistent with the targets set by the Phase III Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan, that governs the Upper Susquehanna Watershed, of which the Butternut Creek is a part.
OCCA and its partners are currently seeking stakeholders to be a part of the Butternut Watershed planning process. If you are interested in being a part of the planning process, please contact Danny Lapin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 607-547-4488.
Interested in attending our kick-off meeting? See the flyer below.