The session examined eight of the fifteen focus areas, mostly wetlands in the northeast of the county. All of the areas in Dryden, except for The Forest Lands in the southeast of town, were included:
Airport Ponds and Wetlands (344KB PDF)
Wetlands Upland Forest (491KB PDF)
Owasco Inlet (534KB PDF)
The Fens (741KB PDF)
Fall Creek (741KB PDF)
Cascadilla Creek (560KB PDF)
Six Mile Creek (636KB PDF)
Visitors signed in and staffers asked them which areas they were interested in. The Fens, Fall Creek, and Owasco Inlet were the subjects of most interest by far, not too surprisingly given the meeting's being in McLean. Planner Kate Hackett then gave a presentation summarizing the Planning Department's approach and the eight areas (those above plus Salmon Creek in Lansing) under discussion at the meeting.
The Planning Department is interested in nine benefits natural areas provide:
After the presentation, there was a break for food and for exploring the many displays groups had set up, including the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network, Tompkins County Soil and Water Conservation District, Finger Lakes Land Trust, the Cayuga Trails Club, and Cooperative Extension.
After the break we re-grouped in smaller discussions around particular focus areas. I went to the one on Fall Creek (since I live across the street from the area). Concerns seemed to focus on flooding and debris issues, contamination of well and surface area from manure and septic systems, questions about municipal maintenance of natural streams and artificial ditches, and various natural invaders, from beavers returning to their natural habitat to deer and geese populations climbing to invasive plants.
The county seemed very interested in collecting information and ideas, not just telling us what their plans were, and people seemed to have a lot to share. They said they'd be posting meeting notes eventually as well.
(Town Board member Mary Ann Sumner visited an earlier session like this and posted her thoughts.)Posted by simon at May 25, 2006 6:48 AM in McLean , Tompkins County , natural areas , planning and zoning