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.
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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.
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.