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News from Otsego 2000: Gas Drilling, 20 Years of Buying Locally, Part-Time Job Opening

May 11, 2011
Otsego 2000
January 2011
Preserving What We Have
History t Agriculture t Views t Environment
In This Issue
The Market’s Turning 20! Become a Friend of the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market
Town-by-Town Surveys Show Majority Against Drilling
Get Informed – Get Involved: Home Rule Bills in NY Legislature
Three Farms, May 14: Final Film in the Food and Farms Film Series
Otsego 2000 Job Opening: Part-Time Assistant
Our Mission
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Levon
Cooperstown Farmers' Market
Cooperstown Farmers’ Market
Support Otsego 2000’s efforts to preserve our history, agriculture, views, and environment.

Make a donation today at www.otsego2000.org!

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Middlefield Road

Spring has finally sprung, and the bright greens of the fields and pastures, as well as the unfrozen lakes and streams, remind us of the singular assets of the region we are committed to protecting and preserving.

Celebrate the arrival of spring and support the efforts of the Citizens’ Coalition Against Unsafe Drilling to protect the region from heavy industrialization by coming to Brewery Ommegang’s Anti-Fracking Concert on Friday, May 13th, featuring Levon Helm and Arlo Guthrie. Details and more can be found here and in the sidebar to the left.

Read on for news on our programs. As always, we are grateful for your continued support and involvement in our work and look forward to working with you all in the year ahead.

Ellen Pope
Executive Director

CarrotsHelp us celebrate the Market’s 20th Birthday

by Becoming a Friend of

The Cooperstown Farmers’ Market.

The Cooperstown Farmers’ Market has grown over the past twenty years from a small, summers-only once-a week market to a bustling nearly year-round venture, with twice weekly summer markets to meet demand!

Your annual donation of $25 will help sustain the Market and increase its outreach in the community. All donors will be listed on our new Friends wall (to the left as you enter the Market), and will receive a dark green oval Friend of the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market bumper sticker to display proudly. Click here or donate via our website.

Friend of CFM

No Drill No Spill

Town Surveys Show Majority Against Drilling

Volunteers in several towns have been conducting petition drives and opinion surveys in an effort to determine if a majority of registered voters are for or against drilling for natural gas. Some towns have conducted phone surveys; others have gone door-to-door with petitions, while still others have done systematic mailings with postage paid return postcards to registered voter households.

The effort, spearheaded by Middlefield Neighbors last fall, has spread to the towns of Otsego, Springfield, Milford, New Lisbon, Roseboom, Laurens, Maryland, Westford, Morris, Butternuts, Oneonta, and the City of Oneonta. While the numbers are still being tallied, preliminary results show strong opposition to drilling in every town conducting a survey or petition drive.

In Middlefield, with 73.8% of voters responding, 83% are opposed to drilling; In Roseboom, of 72% of voters responding, 95% are opposed. In Springfield, 43% of voters responded, with 96% opposed. In New Lisbon, more than half of households responded, and of those, 72% are opposed. And in Westford, 58% of the town’s voters signed a petition against drilling that was presented to the town board on May 7th.

These numbers are the results of much hard work and long hours by volunteers from many neighborhood groups in each of the towns. If you are interested in joining their efforts, please contact Ellen Pope at director to get in touch with volunteers in your town.

NY SealGet Informed

Get Involved

Home Rule Bills

in NY State Legislature

If you are concerned about the impact that natural gas drilling could have on your community, your property values, your environment, or your water, be sure to get informed and make your voice heard. The New York State Assembly and Senate are currently considering two companion Home Rule Bills which will clarify the Environmental Conservation Law to assure that Town Master Plans and Land Use Laws can specify where gas drilling and related activities are permitted or not permitted.

The NY Court of Appeals case law interprets provisions of the ECL to conclude that a town’s zoning law does not ‘relate to regulation’ of the gas industry. The Home Rule Bills S3472-2011 in the Senate, and A3235 in the Assembly, codifies case law by clarifying that local zoning laws will dictate where oil, gas, and solution mining is a permitted use, even with the existence of a regulatory program at the state level.

In a nutshell, the Home Rule Bills allow towns that favor gas drilling to proceed, while allowing Towns that have their doubts to wait and see. That is what home rule is all about.

If you are concerned about home rule, contact your senator and assemblyman to voice your support of Home Rule Bills S3472-2011 (Senate) and A3245 (Assembly).

Otsego 2000 has also developed a handy calendar of 2011 board meetings organized by town, village, city (and including the county). Click here to download the schedule, find your town and clip for a wallet-size schedule of your local board meetings. And don’t forget to attend and speak up!

Three FarmsFilm Series

Food and Farms

Saturday, May 14

Fenimore Art Museum

Cooperstown, NY

Free and open to the public.

doors open at 6:30 pm

Screening at 7:00 pm

Discussion with filmmakers following the film.

The final film in the Food and Farms Film Series sponsored by Otsego 2000 and the Farmers’ Museum is Three Farms, which highlights 3 farms that have successfully implemented a new (to the Adirondacks) farming activity using their creativity and entrepreneurship. Sam and Denise Hendren of Clover Mead Farm are making certified organic cheese from Jersey cows. Mike Davis of the Willsboro Research Farm and the Northern New York Agricultural Development Project shows how they have been growing certified organic wheat, soybeans and corn for 10 years. Sam Sherman of Champlain Valley Milling Inc, shows how those grains are made into flour. Rob Hastings of Rivermede Farm demonstrates organic production of vegetables and flowers using a variety of season extension techniques. The filmmakers are working on a follow-up documentary, Small Farm Rising, and will be showing clips from that effort as well. Their goal is to encourage innovative farms to come to the Adirondacks and start farming with them.

Celebrate Otsego’s Treasures!

Otsego Pasture

May is National Historic Preservation Month, and this year’s theme is ‘Celebrating America’s Treasures,’ or, in our case, Celebrating Otsego’s Treasures. Thank you to all who submitted nominations for the National Preservation Awards — the nominations are currently under review, and awards will be announced in June. In the meantime, we urge you to itake some time this month to celebrate our treasures — take a drive to Richfield Springs for its 150th anniversary; wander down the Route 20 Scenic Byway; visit Hyde Hall, or paddle a canoe in the Glimmerglass Historic District; have a drink on the Otesaga Hotel porch, where you can take in a lakeview unchanged for centuries; or pitch in for Brookwood Garden’s spring clean-up this coming Saturday.

If you are contemplating renovations of an old home or barn, please take time to visit our website for useful information and resources on historic preservation. And stay tuned for more information on the 2011 Historic Preservation Awards for Otsego and Schoharie Counties.

Job Announcement:

Part-Time Administrative and Program Assistant

Otsego 2000 seeks an energetic, well-organized, detail-oriented individual to assist the executive director with office operations and Otsego 2000’s programs. Strong computer skills — MS Word, Excel, Quickbooks, Powerpoint — and ability to juggle multiple tasks required. This is a part-time 20 hours’ week position, based in Otsego 2000’s offices at 101 Main Street in Cooperstown. Interested individuals should send cover letter and resume by email to director. Position available immediately.

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What We Believe Otsego 2000 believes that the Otsego Lake region is a masterpiece of nature, and that its surrounding landscapes, valleys, villages, and farms constitute a unique confluence of historic, environmental, cultural, agricultural, rural, and scenic resources. We believe that the long-term economic well-being of the region and the quality of life for its residents derives from these resources and their stewardship.
What We Do
We seek to protect these attributes for the benefit of present and future generations. As no place is an island, we extend our concern and programs to the region’s larger setting in Central New York. We advance our mission through informed advocacy, public education, innovative projects, economic alternatives, and strategic campaigns.

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