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Posted by: Doug K
« on: March 17, 2022, 12:21:35 pm »

Well, now it appears that it's more tears from Ms. Agte, for trees that were removed from some backyard in Fairport.

All this brought on by another "devastated" member of the Facebook group, who somehow believes that the people who bought her home in Fairport should NOT be allowed to do what they please to their new home & property.

Ms. Agte makes a point to say it's OK for these folks to do some "wallpapering" but has to draw the line at "yard clearing".

And true to form, other members of this group have a way of not listening to their own words.

It appears that the Stop the Canal Clear-cut group is now saying that the Canal Corporation is "purposely neglecting" what they call Routine Maintenance of Trees along the Erie Canal Trail. It's due to a tree down in Perinton, that split, fell on the ECT, and is blocking 1/2 the trail.

So when the Canal Corporation came to Perinton, saying they had to remove canal trees for PUBLIC SAFETY in 2018, Ms. Agte and her group "proudly" stood in their way... saying they alone knew "what was right" for the Erie Canal

And now, there are members of this group saying that the SAME trees aren't being removed as some "NYS Conspiracy" to make all these dead, and falling trees along the Erie Canal "look like" more of a danger? That they are neglecting their Canal Maintenance in the "hopes" of creating a danger to the public?


It couldn't be that the TREES have ALWAYS been a "danger" along the Canal and now, after this Facebook group has been in DENIAL for 4 years, the truth is finally sinking in?

It couldn't be that the NY Canal Corporation & New York Power Authority have been right all along, and this Facebook group's denial has only served to place the PUBLIC in even MORE DANGER than it has been these past four years?

It's really quite amazing that not one member of this group will speak up for the truth, when so many of it's other members say the most stupid things possible on their Facebook page to simply deny that truth... No Trees on Earthen Dams

Just a reminder... this is what the NYS Canal Corporation told Ms. Agte and the REST OF PERINTON... about Canal Safety in their town

And here was the message about overall Erie Canal Embankment Integrity & Public Safety

Make your voice heard
Posted by: Michael Caswell
« on: March 17, 2022, 10:14:34 am »

Spotted this on the S Carolina site

Did you know trees are detrimental to the structural integrity of a dam? During significant or even moderate wind events, trees can topple over and leave holes and voids in the dam that can lead to an uncontrolled release of impounded water.
Roots can extend significant distances into the dam, allowing water to travel along their path; this situation is called piping, and it can occur without inclement weather events whether the roots are healthy or not. Diseased or dead roots become a larger problem as they decompose. Toppling of trees can create a catastrophic failure. Piping generally starts slow and increases with time, but the voids left by fallen trees increase the rate at which water is able to escape. These situations can potentially cause the dam to fail and impact homes, roads, and other property downstream.

Trees can also create shade on a dam, which hinders the ability to have sustained grass cover. Bare areas are vulnerable to erosion during rain events and are especially dangerous if the dam over tops. It is recommended that trees and brush be removed from the entire dam, including both slopes, the crest, 15 feet or half the height of the dam (whichever is greater) past the toe, and the emergency/auxiliary spillway. Spillways should be kept clear at all times to prevent restrictions on the flow of water.

DHEC recommends removing tree saplings as soon as they appear; a permit is not required to remove trees less than 4 inches in diameter. Generally, trees larger than 4 inches in diameter also require removal of the stump and roots. Because stump removal can affect the structural integrity of the dam, a permit to remove the trees and stumps through a tree management plan created by a South Carolina licensed professional engineer is needed.

If you have any questions regarding the need for a permit, please call John McCain at 803-898-8178 or email us at
Posted by: Michael Caswell
« on: March 17, 2022, 02:35:57 am »

"I know who I will be pointing my finger at... a group that makes it's home on Facebook"

YEP!  Me too!

Make your voice heard
Posted by: Doug K
« on: March 16, 2022, 01:33:30 pm »

Keeping with the South Carolina theme, here's more on that EMBANKMENT DAM COLLAPSE from 1977 in South Carolina, that was found to be a result of seeps, piping and the eventual outboard slope failure that killed many, and created millions of dollars in damage.

After this Flood hit the NEWS, the US Government, under Jimmy Carter, got heavily involved with Dam Safety in our Country, as there were no set rules in states, and no unified group to address Dam Safety with the thousands of Dam Owners in America.

As stated before, this flood resulted in the creation of the Association of State Dam Safety Officials, the ASDSO.

Here is the ASDSO Analysis of this Dam Breach:

And there was a extensive post-mortem of the Georgia/South Carolina flood done by the USGS... their findings show that improper vegetation, old tree roots, and lack of proper inspections led to the overall deterioration of the earthen structure. There was an issue with seepage, caused by piping, just before the breach, and the STEEP EMBANKMENT SLOPES added to the factors that resulted in the collapse of the dam

Look at those last pictures carefully... can you see all the tangling tree roots?

Just more proof that "tree roots do NOT stabilize the earth", as some people on Facebook have been saying. And the breach analysis study confirms what New York State and South Carolina are saying about what is proper vegetation for safe, sound earthen embankments.

NO TREES on Earthen Embankments... EVER!

Or just maybe New York State Residents, living along the Erie Canal, will have to "learn the hard way" about Dam Safety and what happens when it's ignored, or worse yet, denied by a group on Facebook.

We can always learn by watching history repeat itself... sadly as these folks did.

And then we can watch and listen as Rochester residents start to complain about it afterwards, and point fingers at those we feel "let us down" when it comes to Canal Embankment Integrity.

I know who I will be pointing my finger at... a group that makes it's home on Facebook
Posted by: Doug K
« on: March 16, 2022, 11:49:30 am »

Is the leader of this Facebook group trying to say that South Carolina has it right when it comes to TREES and New York State does not?

I'm not clear what point Ms. Agte is trying to make here... this famous Angel Oak tree, in South Carolina, is NOT located on an unsafe, earthen, canal it?

Elizabeth R. Agte - March 15, 2022 (12 hrs)
It’s a law in South Carolina that you cannot randomly cut down a live oak. There is a reverence here for trees, I feel is often missing at home. And that was so abundantly apparent at Angel Oak outside of Charleston.

This 400 year old tree is totally inconvenient to get to. I almost bought the postcard at the Charleston visitor center and moved on. But once we arrived, I was awestruck by her majesty, and the multitudes that had come to see her, I actually thought we would be alone. I was so wrong. 

At first I was sad that I wouldn’t have an opportunity for a pristine picture. But then, I realized the value… of all these people who had come out of their way…. To John’s Island, to pay homage TO A TREE. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about so many things… newspaper articles about how we need to have a sense of wonder in our lives, why, when I touched her I cried, about the women from the Adirondack’s I talked to, who couldn’t imagine why NYPA thought cutting down trees on the canal was a good idea...

Old trees give us a sense of permanence. They anchor us to our place on earth. They feel sturdy and sheltering. They feel entirely different than the trees planted on artificial mounds at the front of mall parking lots. What NYPA wants to give us is a tree/nature adjacent experience…like a theme park. “Here’s a real tree on our left, we’re walking, we’re walking….”

And note the words Ms. Agte uses: "randomly cut down a live OAK".

Because there are MANY reasons why the State of South Carolina WOULD cut down a live Oak Tree. One of those is if that tree was growing on an earthen embankment dam, very much the same as in our own State of NY. That is because the State of South Carolina has Rules & Regulations that align EXACTLY with the Association of State Dam Safety Officials, also known as the ASDSO.

If you didn't know it... a South Carolina FLOOD, almost 50 years ago, was actually the catalyst for the creation of the ASDSO group.

While the State of SC may have a "reverence" for old trees, they also have the INTELLIGENCE to recognize the need for Dam Safety in their state. And the state has adopted the EXACT SAME RULES as New York, when it comes to the simple idea of "no trees on earthen dams".

This is from the South Carolina Dam Safety Website

And here are the Guidelines in South Carolina for what constitutes the proper vegetation for embankment dams, including the roles of trees, grass, and weeds.

If the Erie Canal had been built in South Carolina, way back when, the picture shown above is what it would look like today... because that's South Carolina Law.

And that picture is exactly the same as what the New York Power Authority & State Canal Corporation have been saying all along about Erie Canal Integrity:

Erie Canal Embankments must be cleared, grass-covered, and maintained as earthen dams.

So, once again, Ms. AGTE seems to still be pushing her social media campaign of disinformation and distraction..."Look at my visit to an Oak Tree in South Carolina, NY should learn something from this"

Maybe something we can ALL learn here...

How desperate some people might become, just trying to convince a social media group that is following them, that they know what they are talking about, when it comes to "trees" along the Erie Canal.

Posted by: Michael Caswell
« on: March 16, 2022, 05:53:00 am »

And - I'll bet Ms. Agte never mentioned to her Adirondack contacts anything about WHY the NYPA wanted to remove trees.

I'll bet she never touched on all the expert witnesses who have told her - time and time again - why trees should never be 'purposely planted, or allowed to grow' on an earthen embankment dam.

Those words uttered from Professor Donald Gray, the very man she persuaded to testify at the SEQR court case several years ago.

If he hadn't been misled into thinking the STCC were talking of natural wooded slopes, instead of a dangerous dam, we wouldn't be having this discussion today.
Posted by: Michael Caswell
« on: March 16, 2022, 05:02:24 am »

She's at it again!  Trying so hard to justify her very wrong perspective of why trees are OK on a dangerous earthen embankment dam.

Before you read this slop, just bear in mind that the reason the NYPA want these trees off their dams is very simple; many engineers, scientists and politicians (yes even them) have realized and publicly stated, that trees have NO PLACE on a man made structure like an earthen dam that, if it failed, would cause death, mayhem and destruction of many lives and much property.