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Posted by: Doug K
« on: October 25, 2019, 10:18:51 am »

Most of you were hoping to find a whole ECNA post dedicated to finding ways to avoid taking down all of the trees lining Erie Canal Embankment Dams... sorry to let you down. There are none, at least any "viable" alternatives to removing the Danger & Hazard trees that have created unsafe conditions on both the waterway & the canal trail.

People need to understand that the real issue isn't about clearing unsafe Erie Canal embankments, it's about safety of the public using the Erie Canal, the safety of neighbors living below it's waterline and the safety of EMPLOYEES tasked with keeping the Canal System running smoothly.

Hey who made those rules up? 

Well it's State and Federal guidelines that dictate OSHA Working Conditions as well as the Responsibility of NY Property Owners regarding tree danger... it's called The Law.

If you haven't already read these two ECNA Posts about the Law & NYS Legal Responsibility around Danger Trees do so now.

Now you might think that this is a NY State only issue... Danger Trees. Well it's not, ours just happen to be residing along the Erie Canal... the Nation's FIRST highway. Here's what the state of Connecticut is dealing with... does it look familiar?

Here's the webpage for the full story -

New York & Connecticut are not alone when it comes to fighting Danger Trees, everyone from OSHA to the Federal Government has recognized the issues of mis-managed vegetation, especially when it comes to trees.

Here's the LEGAL side of the problem -

Here's what defines a Danger Tree & Hazard Tree... from different perspectives

And here's what NYS says about Danger Trees, first hand knowledge from people in the state

In the end it's really about SAFETY, both for the general public using Canal Corporation lands and for the NY State Canal workers who are entitled to a "safe" working environment on a daily basis...according to Occupational Health & Safety Agencies. NY State cannot, will not allow any unsafe condition as part of their responsibility to all New York State taxpayers to maintain our state's resources, the Erie Canal qualifies as a state resource...of course.

So CLEARING all of the Canal Embankments is not a question of "IF" it is only a question of WHEN it will happen... but here's a thought: 

There are ONLY two possibilities that insures that NY State isn't held liable for a Worker's Comp Case should a tree fall on a NY Canal Corp employee... it also insures that the general public is protected from the NYS Canal System (as OWNER) for being negligent in NOT clearing their overhanging trees along a popular waterway & hiking trail like so many are asking for around Rochester. It's not hard, pick one that works.

1) Shutdown the Erie Canal Waterway &  Hiking/Biking Trail System in ALL places where the Danger Tree issues have not already been resolved. Keep those unsafe areas closed to all of the public use until the Danger & Hazard Trees issues are resolved.

Until further notice ALL NY Canal Corporation employees will be required to wear Hard Hats & PPE at ALL TIMES in these OSHA certified Hazardous Work Locations when performing any canal system Work or Inspections.

2) Let the NY State Canal Corporation, owners of Danger Trees problem, FIX the issues without getting in their way, without suggesting ways to reinvent the Danger Tree Remediation Process and support them with whatever is needed.

That support should INCLUDE voluntarily avoiding areas of the NYS Canal System that are under "active" Danger Tree removal as part of the NY Canal Corporation's Earthen Embankment Integrity Program. Just like the local DOT highway construction saying of "Give em a Brake"..the same hold true for the Canal Work... "Give em some Space"

Which one makes more sense to you?  Which would be better for both Public & NY Canal Corporation Employee Safety?

Which one should all of us be choosing?