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Niagara Heritage Partnership’s Comments at the  Citizens’ Advisory Committee (CAC)
April 12, 2006 Greenway Meeting
The Niagara Heritage Partnership welcomes the opportunity to participate in the CAC process of Niagara Greenway planning. As stakeholders in the NYPA relicensing process we were primarily concerned with, though not limited to, NYPA impacts on that portion of the Niagara River from Niagara Falls, NY to Lewiston, NY. We successfully moved our request for studies regarding four-lane gorge parkway removal through two subcommittees, but the topic did not survive in a meaningful way as negotiations narrowed to other concerns.
When we repeatedly attempted to introduce this and other environmental issues centered on this 6.5 mile stretch of river, we were just as repeatedly told by NYPA negotiators that these topics were too “project specific,” that they intended to discuss broader concepts, that the topics would be discussed at some later date, etc., responses that we finally came to see as evasive negotiation tactics.
When the Niagara River Greenway Commission was created by  Gov. Pataki, NYPA negotiators immediately shifted their stance regarding our issues and we were then told the  proper venue for voicing our concerns would be the Greenway Commission. Although citizen stakeholders seem even more marginalized by the commission structure than they had been during relicensing talks, we nevertheless bring our concerns to the commission, trusting its objectivity will require that it request Wendall Duchscherer to formulate at least one gorge greenway plan without parkway lanes. The rationale and broad organizational, international, and citizen support of this proposal validates this option, as well as its strong correspondence with the  Conservation Funds’ American Greenways Program and book, Greenways A Guide to Planning, Design and Development.
Additional initiatives we are advocating the commission take under advisement for incorporation into the Niagara Greenway plan are as follows:
   • The creation of an ecology center dealing with regional flora and fauna, with entertainment, tourist, as well as educational, research, preservation and restoration potential as proposed by stakeholders other than the Niagara Heritage Partnership during relicensing. We suggest the historic building at Deveaux State Park as a possible location.
   • That funding be allocated to the establishment of a Joint International Biological Commission as proposed by P.M. Eckel (July, 2004) and that some aspect of this commission be housed and supported by the previously mentioned ecological center. See accompanying document.
   • The potential for creating a greenhouse over the NYPA generating plant parkway lanes, for the propagation of native flora to be used in restoration projects and for other benefits as discussed elsewhere.
   • Evaluation of reduced homeland security risks with vehicle parkway lanes over the generating plant closed to traffic, as discussed elsewhere.
   • The potential for an external elevator on the Wrobel Towers, Niagara Falls, NY (public/private enterprise) to carry residents and visitors to a rooftop observation deck.
   • The restoration of Devil’s Hole State Park by bridging the damage caused by the NYPA access road, the restoration of historic CCC railings, the removal of rock debris in the gorge caused by road construction, currently a botanical dead zone, as discussed elsewhere, photographs included.
   • Since Hyde Park Landfill is listed as “remediated,” the restoration of the underground water flow (from the currently plugged Bloody Run remnants) to Devil’s Hole for maintenance/restoration of botanical communities dependent on water seepage.
   • The removal of the OSPRHP maintenance garage facilities currently operated on the gorge edge to a more suitable location away from the greenway corridor and the natural restoration of that area.
While creating a Niagara River Greenway has the potential to be a very positive asset to our region, we remind ourselves that its creation is an extension of the NYPA relicensing process and, therefore, the Commissioners are functioning on behalf of NYPA representatives as well as representing their own interests and those of the region, with all of the attending inherent conflicts and responsibilities. In any case, the damage caused to the natural landscapes by the construction and continued operation of the NYPA generating plant in the lower gorge and its negative visual impact (we don’t accept, NYPA claims that “the concrete makeup of the plant walls blends well with the limestone of the gorge”) and the four lane Robert Moses gorge parkway, especially at Devils’ Hole, and NYPA’s destruction of the historic Milk Cave, Gorge Cave, and the alteration of Fish Creek in support of this highway provide in large part the rationale for most of the aforementioned reparation requests be addressed by the Niagara Greenway Plan.
Attachments Included:
NHP PDEA Response to Niagara Power Project Preliminary Draft Environmental Assessment  Website location for reference:[1][1].pdf
P.M. Eckel’s Bob Baxter’s Niagara Greenhouse (8 pages) Website location for reference:
Devils’ Hole State Park Stewardship, Guest View May 12, 2002 (see photo)
 Website location for reference:
Homeland Security at the NYPA Facility  Listed Under recent postings: Website location for reference:




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Niagara Heritage Partnership

MPO Box 1495

Niagara Falls, New York 14302-1723