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Posted by: Doug K
« on: July 10, 2018, 07:46:35 am »

Can a dozen goats gobble up a hundred foot tall cottonwood, repair the dozens of gully washouts on the Embankments that are ready to start leaking?

In this case the people claiming to think "out of the box" should simply climb back into those boxes, close the lids, and stay quiet until those with REAL answers on how to address these Unsafe Embankments and complete this SAFETY project to make the Erie Canal safe for ALL of us in & around Rochester.
Posted by: Michael Caswell
« on: July 08, 2018, 04:32:33 pm »

The STCC webpage has recently posted a suggestion by a subscriber, to use GOATS to clear the vegetation from the embankment dams.

It reads "One of my friends posted this on her page from the Harrisburg area. I wonder if this could be an option to clear out the underbrush and weeds along the canal path. Amazing what happens when you think outside the box."

Let's do that, shall we! Think outside the box. Imagine the problems containing the goats! Who would supervise this?  Would you tether them, or fence them in? I can imagine goats running around on canal property, and getting through a hole in a fence, or breaking free from a tether. I certainly would not want them on my property, munching all my flowers and shrubs, and pooping everywhere! To keep the amount of vegetation down, you'd need hundreds of goats, munching all summer long. And all the goats I ever came across, stank to high heaven.

With all the variety of plants growing on the embankments, it would be almost impossible to guarantee the safety of goats on these overgrown slopes.

Many landscaping plants are poisonous, and a few are so deadly that even a few leaves can make a ruminant like a goat extremely sick. Donít believe the old wivesí tale that goats always know which plants are poisonous. If goats can get their heads through a fence to the neighborís yard, make sure that poisonous plants arenít growing within reach there. Who knows what is growing in the undergrowth. No one has been in there for at least 50 years. How many goats would be needed and how long would it take to munch through all that stuff? Probably two or three summers. We simply don't have that amount of time. The situation is dire and these people still don't seem to understand that peoples lives and property are at risk.

When you see ideas like using goats to remove vegetation on the STCC Facebook page, you have to wonder how they ever got taken seriously in the first place.
Posted by: Doug K
« on: July 08, 2018, 11:04:43 am »

I read this post as well, and it's very interesting that the word PARK was used by this writer. This is a National Heritage Site, it is not called a "park" anywhere in any ECNHC or NYCC website that I've seen. I even asked NY Parks & Recreation leadership about that term and they also say it is not "technically" a park. Once again these STCC folks tend to take "liberties" with their use of incorrect words & definitions.

The statement made about it being "OUR" park is somewhat strange as well. If that's the case than WE didn't do a very good JOB keeping the Embankments in a SAFE state all these years. In fact a recent SAFETY inspection revealed that as Embankment Dam Caretakers, we suck! So now we are faced with the SAME issue other Dam Owners faced a few years ago, the DEC is going to send us all letters just like the one below telling us we need to FIX our UNSAFE embankments ASAP.

I don't want to own and maintain 122 miles of Earthen Embankment Dams, or the LIABILITY INSURANCE needed to let people walk on the top of it, do any of you want that? The NY Canal Corp is entrusted with keeping this public asset in safe, operating condition. It is responsible for insuring this National Treasure is going to outlast any of us alive now and be here for generations to come. Seems like if the STCC doesn't want to acknowledge the problems, or even offer a way to make these embankments SAFER, they should at least have the understanding they should NOT stand in the way of those that do have the answers.

What is said about those who aren't "Part of the Solution"?

These folks writing these statements about "our park" are only interested in their personal use of "The Park" and most likely will NOT help keep "The Park" in compliance with FEMA & DEC Embankment standards. After all they are FIGHTING that very thing right before our eyes, they are working to STOP the work needed to reduce the probability of a catastrophe. It's all right there, if we want to see it honestly. 

I'd really like someone from the STCC to explain why they simply refuse to discuss SAFETY reports on the Erie Canal or the fact that this is a Public Safety Project at it's core?

We ALL have had a fair dose of Safety Warnings in our community these past few years. You may not recognize those safety warnings but AUTO RECALLS are very similar to an UNSAFE Erie Canal. Who hasn't been affected by recalls like Takata Air Bags, Toyota Ignitions, even the most recent Ford Explorer Carbon Monoxide Leaks. I bet each of us has a story to tell there. The fact is sometimes things go wrong and PUBLIC safety is put at risk so these auto manufacturers are responsible to correct's called Liability, go look it up.

So when an auto maker tells the Country about a problem with their product that needs to be fixed how many of us stand up and say " It hasn't happened on MY car, if it isn't broke DON'T fix it".? How many of us would ignore a letter from your car manufacturer or dealer saying you need to bring your car in for a recall that may result in BODILY HARM? How many of us would put our FAMILY or friends in danger driving them around in a car that was unsafe? Once someone uses the word UNSAFE in the Auto Industry we all agree, but with NYCC we don't?

Why is it "OK" for some in our community to think that keeping an UNSAFE ERIE CANAL in our neighbor's backyards is "Just Fine"?

There are 327 Homeowners who are living directly adjacent to UNSAFE EMBANKMENTS right now. 199 of those people live between Middleport and Spencerport. These folks are seeing their Erie Canal Embankments transform to a SAFER version. There are also 128 homeowners in the Towns of Brighton, Pittsford, & Perinton including the Village of Fairport who are now seeing these "slopes" for what they are, aging, unsafe, Embankment Dams. They are hoping that the Erie Canal doesn't come rushing through their kitchens and wash their lives away. Their UNSAFE Embankments bordering their property CAN'T be worked on due to a Work Stop Order initiated by this STCC group

Beyond ALL of these people are many THOUSANDS living in the Hazard Creep Zones BELOW some very large & long Embankment Dams that are also considered "Unsafe" by most experts in Flood Control. They will ALSO remain is DANGER right along with those living adjacent to these Dams, unable to see an end to this Safety Stalemate brought on and fostered by a few folks that do not live under any threat at all.

And that group of people rallying under the banner of Stop the Clear Cut, being led around by a Leadership Trio, they still REFUSE to talk about SAFETY at all. In fact their new motto is "If it Isn't Broke Don't fix it, it's our Park, go Away NYCC!"

How truly sad for the rest of us who understand just how risky it is if they are wrong, and don't be fooled Rochester, the STCC is wrong on so many levels. It's time to see this for what it is... a small group putting a much larger community in danger under the guise of "helping nature"
Posted by: Michael Caswell
« on: July 08, 2018, 07:46:36 am »

 Elizabeth R. Agte posted in STOP the CANAL CLEAR CUT. FACEBOOK  July 7 at 8:22 PM

As you all know the Erie Canal is a national landmark. From the website of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor...
She copies ----  "The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor...preserves our extraordinary canal heritage, promotes the Corridor as a world-class tourism destination, and fosters vibrant communities connected by more they 500 miles of waterway. etc, etc"

The federal government does not own or manage national heritage area lands as it does with traditional national parks. Because the Erie Canalway consists of both public and private lands, it is up to all of us to ensure that canals, towpaths, structures, and other historical and natural features remain preserved and accessible to everyone.  etc. etc."

I find it quite ironic that Ms Agte wants all these structures etc. preserved, yet has completely ground to a halt all maintenance work to ensure the safety and integrity of the canal.  Where is safety mentioned here? No mention of the huge increase in the discovery of leaks since residents are now looking at their 'patch' of canal embankment. Where is any mention of the awfully dilapidated state of critical structures like spillways and culverts? Where is any mention of the dense undergrowth hampering inspections? Where is any mention of the recent huge blowdown of trees on Blandford Avenue?