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Posted by: Doug K
« on: October 14, 2021, 08:42:22 am »

As stated previously, just another radical group on Facebook with a questionable message, and lot's of conspiracy theories on why canal embankments are being cleared.

Though some of their "clan" does understand and hear the State's Public Safety Message.

Most in the STCC just won't accept that message, or believe it, and think that "flood control measures" should NOT be taken along the Erie Canal, in spite of what the caretakers of the property are stating about how unsafe their Canal has become.

Posted by: Doug K
« on: October 13, 2021, 04:10:50 pm »

And once again it's those nasty little details that mess up everything... like the word clear-cut.

Seems there are a few definitions that come into play, and that may be what has this crew on Facebook all up in arms once again. You see clear-cut can be a noun, a verb, or even an adjective. It's all available, just have to read.

And as you see if clear-cut is used as a Noun or Verb it would also depends on what would constitutes a "forest"... right?

So I guess technically the canal embankments could be considered "forests" but it really doesn't fit well.

Most times the tract of land called a forest, is well defined and continuous. Canal Embankments covered with invasive vegetation are not.

In most cases the optimum word in clear-cutting is trees. Trees are taken and sold, end of story. No filling of rodent holes, no stumps removed, and earthen dams repaired. No plan to manage, maintain, inspect or mow grass after trees are cleared... just hit and run. No need to reach out to the community, no plan for barrier planting, that is why the Canal Corporation chose NOT to 'clear-cut" definition.

And if the Erie Canal was considered a "forest" then why didn't the Federal Government say so when they named the area in 2000.

That's when the Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor came into being...

Why didn't they chose National Heritage Forest? Maybe be cause it was about the history, not the trees. Maybe it was about the unique methods of travel, not blackberry bushes and knotweed. It's not like there wasn't a precedence... there are 154 National Forests already, including on in NY State.

So why didn't the US Federal Government recognize this Canal System as a forest? Maybe because it's not really a forest, it's not even a well managed system of earthen embankment dams. But it's getting there slowly, and nothing this Facebook group can say will change that.

How can I make this statement, you ask?

Because of the simple fact that the Canal Corporation has used the ADJECTIVE form of "clear-cut" throughout their entire effort to help save the Erie Canal, and make it safe once again.

Posted by: Doug K
« on: October 13, 2021, 11:06:16 am »

And if you type the keyword "CLEAR" into a search within these three NYS Canal Corporation documents, you will ONLY find them placed together with the words cut or cutting in one of these documents from the Embankment Integrity Program, the SEQR document where they state that NONE of what they are doing constitutes "clear-cutting".

Basically they are refuting the claims of yet another Facebook group, that has been trying to spread misinformation across the internet, using social media.

All of these documents, and complete information can be found at the APPROVED website for NYS Canal Embankment Integrity

SEQR Environmental Statement -

EEIP Embankment Maintenance Manual -

Embankment Best Management Practices -

Go ahead, try the keyword search --> clear

You may just be surprised by what you find in these 325 pages.

Posted by: Doug K
« on: October 13, 2021, 10:44:37 am »

It was just a matter of time (and bit of continued pressure with informative data from the NYS Canal Corporation) that led to today...

So now this Facebook group appears to be asking themselves if they even picked the "right name" for their group? Are they trying to "redefine" the term "clear-cutting" now? And please note... once again Ms Maier thinks "this sounds like" clear-cutting, in her estimation.

And once again, the members of this group quote NYS Canal Corporation documents, that they may now be understanding only serve to prove them wrong, once again, about the differences between Embankment Dam MAINTENANCE vs. the clear-cutting a section of land, to harvest trees.

The "Good Plan" that they are requesting, is the same EEIP Maintenance Plan and SEQR Environmental Statement that this group, and Mr. Maier, don't seem to approve of...

So once again, it's NOT just about what comes off the dams but also what goes back into them to make them SAFE afterwards. You see the NYS Canal Corporation just released their Earthen Embankment Integrity Program Overview Presentation, explaining all this EEIP Dam Maintenance activity. It's more of the TRUTH regarding the Erie Canal, it's unsafe earthen dams and how NY State intends to fix this public safety PROBLEM.

But you won't hear the Facebook group talk about anything but "the environment"... LOL.

You can read the new Canal Corporation EEIP Overview here:

And the Earthen Embankment Integrity Program State Environmental Quality Review states CLEARLY that they did consider the use of "clear-cutting" as a possible solution for Canal Embankments, but  abandoned that idea along with 3 others they considered. Final versions of all EEIP documents will be out very soon, reflecting changes and input received from the ECNA.

Here's the pages and paragraphs that might be troubling this Facebook Group today.

Right from the EEIP SEQR Statement this Facebook group requested...


And you see below, there was an entire page dedicated to why "clear-cutting", as a remedy for invasive vegetation, would satisfy all NYS Regulations, but NOT the long term goals of proper canal embankment inspection and maintaining safe, scenic embankments for the public, that NYPA and the NYCC wanted to insure.

The Canal Corporation chose not to pursue clear-cutting trees as a solution. Nor did they chose to pour hundreds of miles of cement walls along the trail dam, or a membrane lining the entire canal as a remedy for unsafe earth dams. They didn't chose to pursue the "drain & abandon" idea, and just leave the water out of it and let it fall into natural decay. like so many other NY State Canals of the past.

They chose to follow State Regulations, and use Federal Guidelines, to create a "managed approach" to Canal Embankment Clearing, and future maintenance/inspection.

Because as you will see in all of the EEIP Documentation there is a BIG emphasis on NYS Laws and NYS Public Safety, as it should be. After all the State of NY has an UNSAFE EMBANKMENT DAM problem on 125 miles of their property. And they is being addressed by one of the state largest dam owners, NYS Power Authority... they talk about Risk... first.

You see unlike a certain social media group, the owners of the Canal "problem" can't just dismiss public safety with the simple words " in my humble opinion" as that Facebook group leadership, so often states. They have to answer claims that the Canal System has become unsafe & unstable.

Of course you won't ever hear this Facebook Group mention the public safety issues, the danger of unsafe embankments along 100 miles of the Erie Canal, or the fact that they have "chosen" to simply "ignore" all those WARNING as "hype, fear-mongering, and unwarranted".

Of course the majority of the members in this group only walk along the top of the unsafe dams, they don't live below the danger.

And they want you, the general public & canal neighbors, to ignore the truth of Erie Canal Safety too...

We have said it before, the Stop the Canal Clear-Cut Group on Facebook, just another bunch of people, with a questionable message, lots of conspiracy theories and leadership that wants to promote another big lie... go read about it.
Posted by: Michael Caswell
« on: October 13, 2021, 07:52:47 am »

Posted today by Maier, on the STCC Facebook page.

Virginia Borden Maier shared her thoughts -

This grassroots movement is not misinformed about whether this embankment management plan amounts to a clear cut. It is right in their maintenance manual: “All woody, non-compatible vegetation should be removed in Zones 1, 2A, 4 and 5 of the embankment … In Zones 2B and 3, other than turf grass, only woody, non-compatible vegetation approved by the NYPA Regional Manager – Canals or designee to remain.” What is non-compatible vegetation? “This category includes most brush, bushes and trees.”
I mean, we are just humble volunteers who read documentation, not highly compensated public relations staffers at NYPA, but removing “most brush, bushes, and trees” on the majority of the embankment sounds an awful lot like a clear cut to us. And whether any trees AT ALL remain on part of the embankment is purely up to the regional manager in most areas of the Canal; the only time the public will be consulted will be in very specific circumstances that are currently not met in many communities, including Perinton.
We read the manual. If NYPA wants to improve their public communication process, maybe they should start with reading the same documents we are communicating with them about.

And Agte followed up-- This is a real chuckle -

Why? Does their “engagement officer” continue to say, as if it makes a bit of difference, that this plan will not be implemented for at least a year! Yeah, but in a year, the trees and vegetation will still be gone. And all that understory they want to remove? Because they have not consulted plant biologists, or even some of us citizen scientists, they do not realize their importance. Plants like wild black raspberry grow fast, and with thorns, prevent grazing by deer, and create a cover from sweltering sun. Allowing tree saplings to establish, it’s a perfect tree nursery. Once they grow and penetrate the cover of the black raspberries, the raspberries die back for lack of sun, and the trees are ready to fend for themselves. I lived this, so I know. Do the NYPA engineers at their desks , doing “modeling” know this?

Well, NYPA Engineers!  Did you know this?

These comments are bordering on the 'ramblings' of someone slightly unhinged. Maybe foraging for wild mushrooms isn't such a good idea? We're back to getting plant biologists involved here. Wait! Does that mean Virginia Maier? Well, maybe the NYPA have heard enough of her 'ramblings', or after Lizzies tirade here, perhaps we should call it 'bramblings'?

It's worth mentioning that nowhere do they provide evidence that the embankments can be restored to a SAFE condition according to all the engineers like Rizzo, ASDSA, FEMA and USACE. The slope gradient should should be 3:1, but it's only 1:1. They can't regrade the badly designed slope without removing the trees.

What on earth is a citizen scientist? This is ridiculous in the extreme, and I think its a good sign these two are beginning to realise they are losing their battle.