Niagara Gazette


July 14, 2013

Bill Hilts' Outdoor Report for July 14, 2013


Niagara Gazette — The bigger question has to be how it will affect the tributaries regarding water flows. Also, how will this impact natural reproduction of salmon and trout in places like the Salmon River, which DEC is telling us significant? The IJC could be playing with fire if the implementation of this plan were to create any negative effects.

Leadership from the Wilson community met with DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens last week to discuss Plan 2014. They cited conflicts within the environmental scientific community over the benefits of Plan 2014. “Given the IJC’s significant projections for economic loss,” as written to Martens by the Wilson stakeholder group, “we are asking that the Commission use a variation of this adaptive process to “experiment” or “pilot” some levels over the next several years to confirm the environmental benefits and create a win-win situation that minimizes the damages to landowners, municipalities and boaters. In fact, the previous IJC board had given us assurances that the plan would not go into effect unless and until a method of mitigation for the affected interests was put into place.”

It’s important to become familiar with Plan 2014 and get involved. Attend the public hearing in Lockport tonight if just to become more informed. Information on the Plan can be found on the IJC website at

While we really didn’t address the issue of dredging, somehow this needs to be part of the plan in that the issues need to be address. And even though the Federal government is sitting on some $8 billion in cash sitting in the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund, we still need to think about implementing some sort of a plan to take matters into our own hands – on a local, regional and state level. Some ideas being tossed around have been a surcharge on your boat registration in the counties bordering the south shore of Lake Ontario; a fee or surcharge on boat launches and boat slips in the areas affected; and the purchase of equipment to conduct the dredging work. 

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