Eco-bulletin headlines this issue:
NAT WITHDRAWS EDIC TO FRASER TRANSMISSION LINE PROPOSAL
DEADLINE FOR CAMPERSHIP ESSAY CONTEST IS MONDAY
NEXT WEEKEND’S WINTER FEST OFFERS OUTDOOR FAMILY FUN
DID YOU KNOW YOU CAN RECYCLE FILM PLASTICS?
OCCA SPONSORS MUD LAKE SHOWSHOE HIKE ON FEBRUARY 6
OTSEGO COUNTY OFFERS RECYCLING GUIDANCE, NEW BOOK PROGRAM
DID YOU HIKE WITH OCCA IN 2015? TELL US HOW WE DID
FIND OUT WHAT’S NEW IN THE SUNY COBLESKILL ENERGY WORLD
MEMBERS, SUPPORT SOUGHT IN OCCA YEAR-END APPEAL
SAVE THE DATES: OCCA GARAGE SALE, EARTH FESTIVAL
NAT WITHDRAWS EDIC TO FRASER TRANSMISSION LINE PROPOSAL: North America Transmission has officially withdrawn all proposed Edic to Fraser transmission line routes and alternatives from further consideration during a competitive upgrade process that began more than four years ago. If selected, Edic to Fraser would have traversed four counties and 16 municipalities, traveling approximately 40 miles through Otsego County parallel to the existing Marcy South power line right of way. In an order issued onDecember 17, the New York State Public Service Commission requested that NAT withdraw Edic to Fraser from the proceeding, thereby upholding an earlier recommendation by PSC Trial Staff. Trial Staff concluded in September after a lengthy comparative evaluation that all five of NAT’s proposed line segments and route alternatives inclusive of Edic to Fraser “should be eliminated from consideration. These projects, in comparison to the remaining scenarios, have the potential for greater environmental impacts.” NAT complied and, on January 15, formally withdrew Edic to Fraser. “We are very pleased with the Trial Staff’s assessment and with PSC’s decision,” said Otsego County Conservation Association President Vicky M. Lentz. “While Edic to Fraser did not gain traction in the local media as a high-profile issue, it would have had significant negative impacts to Otsego County that could not be ignored.” To read Joe Mahoney’s recent news article in “The Daily Star” on Edic to Fraser, see http://www.thedailystar.com/news/local_news/energy-firm-pulls-plug-on-power-line-proposal/article_cc20107a-d1a2-5b98-9c95-862dcf8b388e.html.
DEADLINE FOR CAMPERSHIP ESSAY CONTEST IS MONDAY: The Otsego County Conservation Association has announced that it will send school students to DEC Environmental Education Camp in summer 2016 through its annual competitive essay contest. Otsego County students ages 11-14 are invited to compete for camperships via the essay contest (campers must be minimum age byDecember 1, 2016). In 750 words or less, they are asked, “Imagine yourself in 50 years: What would you say to your younger self about the value Otsego County’s beautiful land, lakes, and streams?” OCCA will reward nine winning essayists with a week-long stay at New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Summer Camp, where campers spend their week immersed in the natural environment and enjoy a balance of environmental education, sportsman education, and outdoor fun. Winning essays will be chosen from participating Otsego County schools and Otsego County applicants at large. The deadline for essay submissions is Monday, January 25, 2016, and winning essays will be chosen by February 1. Winners of OCCA-sponsored DEC camperships will be notified immediately, and will receive the code from OCCA by which to register for DEC camp. There will be small cash prizes for the best essay written by a student not applying to camp and for alternates. Complete contest rules and requirements, and the parental consent form, are available at http://occainfo.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Quick-Details-and-Press-Release-2016.docx. Teachers who plan to assign the essay to their students are asked to contact OCCA in order to be recognized as a participating school. OCCA is a private, non-profit environmental membership organization dedicated to promoting the appreciation and sustainable use of Otsego County’s natural resources through education, advocacy, resource management, research, and planning. For more information on OCCA, or to support programming, call (607) 547-4488 or visit www.occainfo.org.
NEXT WEEKEND’S WINTER FEST OFFERS OUTDOOR FAMILY FUN: Whether it’s snow volleyball, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, a roaring fire in the lodge, animal track identification, nature adventure hikes, sledding, drinks and snacks, or outdoor arts and crafts for kids, Five Star Subaru’s Cabin Fever Winter Fest is sure to have something every member of the family will enjoy! Join Five Star Subaru, the Otsego County Conservation Association, Susquehanna Chapter ADK, the SUNY Oneonta Outdoor Adventure Club and others on January 30 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Gilbert Lake State Park in Laurens. Bring your gear, enjoy the view of the lake, stay warm by the fire and have a fun-filled day! Free outdoor activities for the whole family will include: a beginners’ snowshoe hike around the lake with OCCA Program Director Jeff O’Handley at 11:30 a.m. For complete details, visit http://www.fivestarcars.com/cabin-fever-winter-fest.htm.
DID YOU KNOW YOU CAN RECYCLE FILM PLASTICS? Following a change in the New York State Plastic Bag Reduction, Reuse and Recycling Law adopted in March of 2015, stores that provide customers with plastic carryout bags (and which meet certain size conditions) must accept bags and other film plastics for recycling. Film plastic includes newspaper and dry cleaning bags; shrink wrap; sandwich, produce, cereal, and frozen food bags; and the plastic packaging for toilet paper, napkins, and paper towels.OCCA Program Director Jeff O’Handley explains: http://www.coopercrier.com/opinion/occa-notes-by-jeff-o-handley-recycling-is-in-the/article_886a2f9a-f593-59d0-8c32-b7e065333b18.html
OCCA SPONSORS MUD LAKE SNOWSHOE HIKE ON FEBRUARY 6: Join Steve Kent on a snowshoe hike to Mud Lake in Robert V. Riddell State Park on Saturday, February 6 at noon. Steve and his wife, Patricia Riddell Kent, donated the land for the park. Climb South Hill, view a scenic ravine and waterfall, and visit Mud Lake – a sphagnum bog at the top of the hill – then return to the starting point. Along the way, Steve will share interesting tales of the life of the land before it became a state park in 2005. Meet at noon on the east side of Gersoni Road, just south of I-88, Exit 17 (watch for a small green sign that reads “State Park Lands”). Parking is available on the wide shoulder of Gersoni Road. Participants need to supply their own snowshoes and should also bring water, a snack, and weather-appropriate clothing. The five-mile round trip hike includes moderately steep grades and should take approximately 3-1/2 hours to complete. Snowshoes are optional if the snow is not too deep and participants are comfortable walking. This is part of OCCA’s annual Nature Walk Series. For more information or to register, contact OCCA Program Director Jeff O’Handley at firstname.lastname@example.org or (607) 547-4488, or use the online registration form: http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/. This program is free and open to the public.
OTSEGO COUNTY OFFERS RECYCLING GUIDANCE, NEW BOOK PROGRAM: Earlier this week, the Otsego County Solid Waste Department released “How Do I Get Rid Of …? The Best Way to Dispose of Things You No Longer Want or Need.” This newly updated online guidance document provides tips for recycling batteries, finding a new home for clothing and appliances, getting rid of broken light bulbs or glass, disposing of asbestos, and much more! Visit http://www.otsegocounty.com/depts/sw/. Otsego County also now offers collection bins at both the Northern and Southern transfer stations for hard- and soft-cover books. Learn more at:http://www.otsegocounty.com/depts/sw/documents/BookRecyclingNewsRelease.pdf.
DID YOU HIKE WITH OCCA IN 2015? TELL US HOW WE DID: Whether you learned about vernal pools from Donna Vogler, bird life at Mohican Farm with Becky Gretton or one of the other many topics featured in OCCA’s 2015 Nature Walk Series, we welcome your input. Please fill out our quick survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2P8D97D and tell us how we did as the schedule for 2016 begins to take shape.
FIND OUT WHAT’S NEW IN THE SUNY COBLESKILL ENERGY WORLD: On Wednesday, February 3, Dave Waage and Dr. Paul Amodeo from SUNY Cobleskill’s Center for Environmental Science and Technology will provide the campus and community with an update on research and developments for the waste gasification project (utilizing agricultural and cafeteria wastes for the production of electrical power through the conversion of wastes to clean fuel gas). This presentation – set for 8 p.m. in the Bouck Auditorium – is free and open to the public, and is part of the 7th Generation Centennial Lecture Series. Future talks include: March 3, 7 p.m., “Native Pollinator Conservation” by Dr. Carmen Greenwood; March 10, 7 p.m., “PlantPure Nation,” a documentary followed by discussion; and,March 31, 7 p.m., “Feeding the World: Challenges and Solutions” by Dr. Robert L. Thompson. For more information, visithttp://www.cobleskill.edu/sustainability/.
MEMBERS, SUPPORT SOUGHT IN OCCA YEAR-END APPEAL: 2015 was a banner year for OCCA! And the positive results of our annual membership appeal show that people are appreciative of OCCA’s work. More great things lie ahead for OCCA and Otsego County in 2016. If you have not already done so, please help set the stage for another successful year by donating now. To learn more about OCCA’s accomplishments over the last 12 months, see OCCA’s “Year in Review” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXz71oK0zC4. And remember, our work would not be possible without our members, donors and volunteers!
SAVE THE DATES: OCCA’s annual “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” Garage Sale will take place Saturday, April 30 and Sunday, May 1 in the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market space. Donations of merchandise will be accepted April 25-28. Earth Festival 2016 is set for Saturday, April 9 at Milford Central School. See OCCA’s EnviroEvents calendar at http://occainfo.org/calendar/.
OCCA RELIES ON YOUR SUPPORT. Got a minute? Visit our website and look at everything OCCA is doing – and please consider an online donation whenever you can. Click on www.occainfo.org and look for the Network for Good logo on the home page to make a donation today.
TAKE THE PLEDGE TO CLEAN, DRAIN AND DRY, AT http://occainfo.org/take-the-pledge-ais-campaign/. Signatures equal leverage for grants, funding support and legislation!
Darla M. Youngs, Executive Director
Otsego County Conservation Association, Inc.
Secretary, Otsego County Water Quality Coordinating Committee
7207 State Highway 80, PO Box 931
Cooperstown, NY 13326
(607) 547-4488; (607) 282-4087
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