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Old 03-07-2007, 11:22 PM   #72
Treehugger Extraordinaire
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Watertown, NY
Posts: 28
My Letter

Here is my letter to commissioner Sheehan. Just thought I'd share it.

DigitalNY (Ric)

Commissioner Sheehan,

This letter is written in regard to the "Duck Hole Dam" located outside Newcomb, NY. I am sure that this is not the first correspondence that you have received regarding this subject and I'm sure it will not be the last. I am writing you because I believe that I, as well as the others that have written you, have very valid concerns surrounding the current condition of the dam as well as the DEC's plans to let the dam naturally degrade and fail.

The first concern I have is for the dam and surrounding areas recreational value. Although the dam and surrounding area is not the number one recreational destination in the Adirondacks it is nonetheless an area of spectacular beauty. A beauty that should be protected.

My second concern is for the health and well-being of the residents of Newcomb and those present to enjoy the recreational value that would remain in the surrounding area. Release of the water held by the Duck Hole dam would result in the addition of hundreds of acres of swampland to the area and give mosquitoes a wide expanse in which to lay larvae. This would without doubt have an impact on the spread and controllability of West Nile Virus.

My third concern is for the current wildlife that inhabits the area and areas downstream. It is inhabited by Loons, Ospreys, Herons, Duck and other bird species and wildlife. By allowing the dam to fail you will be responsible for the destruction of this habitat that is in use by the very protected species your agency is tasked with preserving.

It should be noted that I believe regional supervisor's estimates of $500,000 to $1,000,000 for construction of a new dam to be a bit off if volunteers are used for labor and if the DEC seeks out the support of other organizations and conservation groups in order to source supplies. On the other hand, the longer you wait to take action and the longer this debate goes on the more it will cost. How much has been spent so far in the studies surrounding whether or not to rebuild it?

I hope that my pleas do not fall on deaf ears. There has been much discussion regarding this matter from both sides and it is quite obvious even to those not involved that this is a matter of long deliberation. It is my hope that the DEC will find the funds and manpower necessary to replace the dam and maintain the current splendid beauty that is Duck Hole.



How much damage can 159 million gallons of water do? I suppose if we wait we'll find out.*

* This figure is based on it's 61 acre area with an average depth of 8 feet, which I feel to be conservative.
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