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OCCA ECO-BULLETIN: including ‘GASLAND SHOWING IS TOMORROW NIGHT”

June 15, 2010

ECO-BULLETIN FROM OTSEGO COUNTY CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION

June 15, 2010: Vol. 3, No. 16

Eco-bulletin headlines this issue:

FREE ‘GASLAND’ SHOWING IS TOMORROW NIGHT

TWO OCCA-SPONSORED NATURE WALKS SCHEDULED THIS WEEKEND

‘AGRICULTURAL RESOURCE PROTECTION AT GAS WELL DRILLING SITES’ DISCUSSION OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

DENNIS SAVOIE TO LEAD BICYCLING EDUCATION COURSE

OTSEGO LAKE ASSOCIATION HOSTS ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING THIS SATURDAY

BIKE TO WORK DAY FIGURES MORE THAN DOUBLE IN 2010

LAKES FESTIVAL COMMITTEE CLOSE TO REACHING FUNDRAIDING GOAL

FREE ‘GASLAND’ SHOWING IS TOMORROW NIGHT: On Wednesday, June 16 at 7 p.m., the documentary “Gasland” will be shown in the Cooperstown High School Sterling Auditorium on Linden Avenue. “Gasland” tells the story of the effects of the largest domestic natural gas drilling boom in history that has swept across the United States and is poised to enter upstate New York. The Halliburton-developed drilling technology of “fracking” or hydraulic fracturing promises to unlock a “Saudi Arabia of natural gas.” But is fracking safe? When filmmaker Josh Fox is asked to lease his land for drilling, he embarks on a cross-country odyssey uncovering a trail of secrets, lies and contamination. The film raises awareness about the negative impact of natural gas drilling on public health and the environment. The recent gulf spill reminds us that this kind of technology – now proposed for our area – can be catastrophic. Fox, Sundance Festival winning director, will comment on the film and take questions afterward. The showing is open to the public; donations will be accepted. This event is hosted by Otsego 2000 and Sustainable Otsego. Otsego County Conservation Association is among the co-sponsoring organizations, which also include Advocates for Springfield, Concerned Citizens of the Butternut Valley and the Butternut Valley Alliance. Please visit http://www.gaslandthemovie.com <http://www.gaslandthemovie.com/> for details about the tour. Cooperstown is one of 20 communities in Pennsylvania and New York State chosen to host an evening of awareness and action against unsafe gas drilling as part of a runup to the June 21 HBO premiere of “Gasland,” winner of this year’s Sundance Special Jury Prize.

TWO OCCA-SPONSORED NATURE WALKS SCHEDULED THIS WEEKEND: Otsego County Conservation Association has organized two nature walks this weekend, beginning Saturday morning in the Town of Hartwick and moving Sunday evening to the Robert V. Riddell State Park. Botanist Connie Tedesco will kick off the Otsego County Conservation Association’s 2010 nature walk series on Saturday, June 19 at 10 a.m. with a “Waterfall to Waterfall Walk” in the Town of Hartwick. This walk was originally scheduled for June 12, but was cancelled due to inclement weather. Tedesco will lead hikers to the top of Rainbow Falls and across field and forest to East Hill Falls, enjoying and identifying wildflowers along the way. The mildly strenuous excursion will take approximately 2 hours. Participants should meet at 9 a.m. at Horace and Hazel Tabor Drive, across from John Bush Used Cars on County Route 11. On Sunday, June 20 at 7 p.m., Patricia Riddell Kent and Steve Kent will lead a Father’s Day Evening Walk of the 200-acre field and creek portion of the Robert V. Riddell State Park. This is a fairly easy walk, mostly flat terrain. The walk should take about 1 to 1.5 hours. The Kents, donors of the state park land, will meet participants at the park’s entrance at the Robert V. Riddell Rd. (located off State Hwy. 28, to the right, just after taking I-88 Exit 17 or, if heading south on State Hwy. 28, the park entrance is on the left of State Rte. 28, just past the DOT gravel lot and tourist area at Lifgren Rd., located on the right). Walkers will see the old homestead and beautiful scenic vistas. For more information on either walk, contact OCCA at admin or 547-4488. For details on the complete 2010 OCCA Nature Walk series, including start times and directions, visit http://occainfo.org/documents/NatureWalksposter2010_000.pdf.

‘Agricultural Resource Protection at Gas Well Drilling Sites’ DISCUSSION OPEN TO THE PUBLIC: Matthew Brower, an agricultural resource specialist with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, will be the guest speaker at the next Otsego County Water Quality Coordinating Committee meeting on Wednesday, June 30. In his presentation, titled “Agricultural Resource Protection at Gas Well Drilling Sites,” Brower will discuss the locating of access roads, wells and gas pipelines to minimize agricultural resource impacts. He will also talk about correct construction and restoration measures to minimize the potential damage to agricultural resources. The meeting, which begins at 1 p.m., will be hosted by the Otsego County Planning Department at 140 County Hwy. 33, Cooperstown. This event is free and open to the public, particularly farmers, municipal officials and natural resource entities; pre-registration is required by Friday, June 25. Those interested in attending should e-mail hmt5 or call (607) 547-2536, extension 226. This event is made possible thanks to the Otsego County WQCC which, in order to better satisfy the educational component of its mission, has restructured its monthly meetings to include public information sessions. The OCWQCC was established in 1992 as a sub-committee of the Otsego County Soil and Water Conservation District. It is comprised of a diverse group of people representing state and local government agencies, non-profit organizations, academic institutions, and lake associations. These members have technical expertise and knowledge and are committed to working to improve and maintain the quality of water in Otsego County through the reduction of nonpoint source pollution within its boundaries. For more information on the WQCC, visit www.otsegosoilandwater.com/waterqualitycc.html. OCCA is a WQCC member organization.

DENNIS SAVOIE TO LEAD BICYCLING EDUCATION COURSE: Otsego Regional Cycling Advocates, a committee of the Otsego County Conservation Association, encourages cycling enthusiasts to sign up for the upcoming Traffic Skills 101 bicycling education course, organized and taught by Dennis Savoie for the League of American Bicyclists. The first two-session course will be held on Friday and Saturday, July 16 and 17. The same two-session course will be repeated on Friday and Saturday, August 13 and 14. Both will be held in Cooperstown at the Bassett Hall Chapel on Beaver Street. Traffic Skills 101 is an intensive nine-hour course designed to give cyclists the confidence they need to drive their bicycle safely and legally in traffic. Part one of each course, on Friday from 6-9 p.m., is a classroom session. Part two, on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., begins in the classroom, proceeds to the parking lot for safety drills and crash avoidance techniques, and then concludes with a group bike ride in traffic. A take home, open-book test will be administered at the end of the course. The registration cost of $40 includes a student manual. A properly tuned bicycle and a properly fitting helmet are required. Pre-registration is required by calling Dennis Savoie at 607-547-5334 or by e-mailing densav. For more information, visit http://www.bikeleague.org/cogs/resources/findit/?courses=1&state=NY&submit.x=22&submit.y=12. To learn more about ORCA, see www.occainfo.org/ORCA.htm

OTSEGO LAKE ASSOCIATION HOSTS ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING THIS SATURDAY: OCCA Executive Director Erik Miller will participate in a panel discussion at the upcoming Otsego Lake Association Annual Membership Meeting this Saturday, June 19. The special program, titled “Steep Slope Development Around Otsego Lake – Different Perspectives,” will feature speakers Paul Lord (Town of Otsego Planning Board), Jon McManus (McManus Engineering Group), Ronald Higgins (Clark Estates forester) and Matt Albright (SUNY-Oneonta Biological Field Station). Miller will join representatives from Advocates for Springfield, Otsego Land Trust, Otsego County Soil and Water Conservation District, and Otsego 2000 in the discussion and question and answer period following the program. Both OLA members and non-members are welcome to attend this meeting, which will begin with coffee and donuts at 8:30 a.m. at the Town of Springfield Community Center on County Route 29A in Springfield Center (just east of the fire station). For more information, contact OLA President Wayne Bunn at (518) 542-6630 or via e-mail at otsegolakeassoc

Bike to Work Day Figures More than Double in 2010: Results from the second annual Bike to Work Day have been reported from 23 check-in points around the county, and the total number of participants is more than double that of 2009. “Last year we counted 145, and we included those who walked from the Bassett parking lot by the Clark Sports Center. Those walkers were not included in the count this year and still we reached 334!” said Martha Clarvoe, Bike to Work Day coordinator. Otsego Regional Cycling Advocates, a committee of the Otsego County Conservation Association, hosted Bike to Work Day on Friday, June 4. The aim of this annual event is to encourage people to choose an alternative “green” mode of transportation – biking, walking or even skateboarding – to get to work or school, to run errands, or just for fun, on Bike to Work Day in particular and as a lifestyle choice in general. Clarvoe extended her thanks to the 23 businesses and organizations that served as check-in points this year: A.O. Fox Hospital & Fox Care Center, Bugbee Hall, Clark Sports Center, Cooperstown Central School, Bassett Medical Center, Edmeston Central School, Hartwick College, Hartwick Seminary Specialty Services, Kim Muller Plaza, Laurens Central School, Milford Central School, NYSHA, Opportunities for Otsego, Oneonta Middle School, Pathfinder Village, Prolifiq, Richfield Springs Central School, Springbrook Campus and Hub Site, SUNY-Oneonta, and Valley View Elementary School. Additional sponsors of Bike to Work Day 2010 were SportsSignup of Saratoga Springs (on-line sports registration) and Barnyard Swing, Sport Tech of Oneonta, Inc., and Latté Lounge (coupons). For more information on ORCA or Bike to Work Day, visit www.occainfo.org/ORCA.htm.

LAKES FESTIVAL COMMITTEE CLOSE TO REACHING NECESSARY FUNDING GOAL: After four successful years, drawing approximately 1,000 attendees annually, the Otsego Lake Festival has become a tradition. Organized under the umbrella of Otsego County’s Water Quality Coordinating Committee, this event offers all the components of a festive occasion – music, art, children’s activities, good food and camaraderie – while providing valuable educational opportunities about lake protection and regional water quality programs from those who work to protect these resources. Personnel from WQCC member organizations are on hand both to distribute literature and to discuss water quality issues one-on-one with interested parties. In 2009, due to a lack of funding, a more limited Lake Appreciation Day event was hosted by OCCA at Glimmerglass State Park. This year, as the festival returns to Cooperstown’s Lake Front Park on Saturday, July 10, the WQCC is pleased to offer an expanded educational program for the 2010 festival, including a children’s tent and watershed stewardship workshops on a variety of topics – rain gardens, lawn and garden maintenance, shore-line restoration, water conservation strategies and more. The event will also honor Dr. Ted Peters for his long-time dedication to water quality issues, as he has recently stepped down from the WQCC. A dedication by the Lake and Valley Garden Club of the Buffer Strip Garden in Lake Front Park is also planned. And, the focus has been broadened in 2010 to all Otsego County waterbodies in what will now be known as the Otsego LAKES Festival. The Planning Committee’s necessary goal of $4,000 to host this year’s festival is well within reach. Every donation counts – please help keep this event alive. To receive a tax-deduction for contributions, checks should be made payable to the Otsego County Conservation Association with “OLF 2010” entered on the check’s memo line.For more information, call (607) 547-4488 or e-mail admin

OCCA needs your help to keep fighting the threats to our natural resources. Got a minute? Visit our website and look at everything else OCCA is doing – and please consider an online donation whenever you can. Click on www.occainfo.org and look for the Network for Good logo at the top right of the home page.

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