Stream Management Plan

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The following is a response from Nan Stolzenburg, Planner:

Fox Creek near Foxenkill Lodge
Photo by Jeremy Rue

I certainly support the idea of a watershed study. But there are other options as well. Many county Soil and Water Conservation Services are doing stream management plans. Most of the ones that have been done are in the Catskills and funded by the NY City Department of Environmental Protection. Those Stream Management Plans are oriented to stream water quality and reduction of turbidity, enhancement of public use, etc. even though they do look at the whole watershed. They are not really oriented to drinking water supplies and are often more ecological and biological than hydrological in nature.

A watershed study often take the geology/hydrology approach and discuss water recharge areas, areas susceptible to pollution from land uses, and areas where the soils are limited for septic systems. The watershed study was what Rensselaerville had done – it was not really a biological/ecological approach. If you want to go to my website at Community Planning & Environmental Associates and go to Cairo on the client pages, you will see what that type of watershed study is and how it is oriented to drinking water.

The Comprehensive Plan committee may want to discuss the difference between the two types of studies before making a recommendation. I think that they are two different approaches and Berne should decide what the critical need for a study is (drinking water vs stream water quality).

Not to throw a damp towel on the situation, but it is probably not realistic to think that finding the funding for a stream management plan is going to happen within the time line of the comprehensive plan. It may be more feasible to do a watershed study more akin to the geology/hyrdrology done by the NYRWA in that time frame. So – the recommendation on of doing this study as part of the Plan, as important as it is, may not be feasible now. In that case, the Plan can set the stage for that to happen by including in one of its priority actions/strategies for the Town to do such a study and outline the why’s and what’s in the plan. Then the study could come after adoption of the plan.