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Posted by: Doug K
« on: June 23, 2018, 12:57:48 pm »

Maybe the issue is their "expert" has simply already been named and debunked as having NO relevant information that adds value to this project, which at it's core is about Remediation of Unsafe Embankment Dams. We know the name of their current "expert", Dr Donald Gray.

I've done some searching into Dr. Donald Gray and his work on Levees & Dams, namely Embankment type Dams.

First, Dr Gray became involved to try and solve a particular problem in the STATE of California. The issue was DEC, USACE, and FEMA guidelines has been applied there to Levees & Dams there, like all other states, and had ALSO been tied to Federal Funding for California Farmers who use these streams and rivers for irrigation. California has a very large number of levees that did NOT meet standards set, those same standards that NY State & the Erie Canal Corp have to follow. A symposium was called, and experts from around the country tried to find a better solution for bringing these levees back into compliance.

Here's a link to that work ->

Some experts at that symposium stated that due to the nature of the water cycles in California and the fact that levees were NOT WATERED most of the time, changing the rules as a trial was a HUGE cost savings to these farmers, as well as enable them to keep receiving their Federal support money. The jury is STILL out on whether this new practice works on ALL levees as it depends on many aspects such as soil type, live vs dead trees, and other factors that were centered on Safety & Inspection of Levees, as well long term maintenance costs.

Here's some links to California Levee Facts, just so the reader can understand that due diligence HAS been done to insure the ECNA provide FACT over Fiction

In the end this may be a good balance between costly Levee Maintenance and allowing some vegetation on them. If you search Dr Gray you will ONLY find references like the one below, always about Levees, and usually centered on California

With All that said the REAL FACTS are simple:
1) Erie Canal Outboard slopes do NOT qualify as Levees, they are not bordering a natural waterway, they are Earthen Embankment Dams.
2) EC Embankments are wet REGULARLY based on a seasonal cycle, not a result of severe weather or Spring run-off, like Levees experience
3) Dr. Gray himself has already stated his views on Levees & Dams that SUPPORTS the NY Canal Corp plan to FIX the woody vegetation issue
4) This is NOT California, it is NY State, the experiment on Levees in California can't be applied without a repeat of the Symposium here.

The only thing going on here with the STCC Groups Rhetoric, mis-information & untruths are being spread almost unchecked by the NYCC, sad. The truth remains the truth, our Erie Canal has a 122 miles of Earthen Embankment Dams, sometime completely full, sometimes half empty but STILL hovering above homeowner, neighbors and our community 365 days of the year, 24 hours per day, and now have an UNSAFE rating.

Nothing in the Stop the Clear Cut Groups agenda, rhetoric or online presence even attempts to address that issue with a plan of action.
Posted by: Michael Caswell
« on: June 22, 2018, 07:29:50 pm »

Recently, Ms Maier posted the following on the page.

Thank you for sharing, Kerri. We have been asking all along that the CC work with the public. We've been asking that the engineers, who are using generic guidelines that have little scientific basis, sit down scientists who have done the research and collected data on the actual effects of woody vegetation on dams and levees.
We all want a solution that preserves safety -- we also want a fair and open-minded discussion of the actual risks and benefits that trees have on these embankments.
That the engineers continue to assert to you that "trees do not belong on the canal embankments" concerns me.
If the CC engineers talked to the PhD scientist and expert on levee vegetation who is employed by the Army Corps of Engineers and who I have spoken at length with, they would know that such a blanket statement is not supported by the scientific evidence. She is more than willing to come to NY and share her expertise with them.

We have been consistent with what we are asking for -- a management plan for the embankments that, as much as is feasible for safety, preserves the natural woody vegetation there.

We will continue to ask the CC to consult science and scientists to help them come up with this plan.

Ms Maier is asking that an expert on Levee vegetation discuss the problems she has with the remediation process.
Unfortunately, she simply has not grasped the fact that even her own expert witness Dr Donald H Gray, the same man who they persuaded to give testimony, has stated the following -

I don’t know of any earth dams where woody vegetation was purposely planted or allowed to grow on a face of the dam.  Such is not the case with earthen levees where vegetation can often be found growing on both the landward and water sides.

This STCC group has been given good advice, from their own chosen expert, but they refuse to accept his findings.

By calling in a Levee expert from USACE, she is talking to the wrong people! We are discussing Earthen Embankment Dams - not levees!

Dr Gray has stated the differences between Levees and Earthen Embankment dams and approves of trees on Levees. 

She is trying to twist her argument, once more, to suit her own purpose!

I note she’s not prepared to disclose the name of this ‘Expert in Levees’.  Calling an embankment dam a levee simply deflects the argument.