Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Of Interest

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced that Creating and Maintaining Hudson River Views: A Handbook for Landowners is now available on the DEC website. The handbook is designed to help historic sites, land trusts, and owners of other large properties along the Hudson River create engaging views using best practices for environmental stewardship--practices that include methods of creating and maintaining scenic vistas that balance aesthetic and historic goals with the protection of habitat and natural areas. 

DEC has provided the following information about the handbook:
Creating and Maintaining Hudson River Views was developed and produced by Saratoga Associates through a NEIWPCC contract in partnership with the Hudson River Estuary Program Funding for this project was provided by the New York State Environmental Protection Fund (EPF). Throughout the development of this handbook, input and guidance was received from a group of stakeholders, including representatives from state agencies, historic properties, environmental groups, municipalities, educators, and design professionals.
To illustrate these practices in the field, Saratoga Associates also created two new views of the Hudson River that will serve as demonstration sites of best practices for creating scenic vistas. These scenic vistas are located at The Point at Mills-Norrie State Park in Staatsburg and at the Blithewood Estate on the Bard College campus in Annandale-on-Hudson. Saratoga Associates also produced a three-part training series, which is now available on YouTube
Click here to access the handbook.


  1. Good bedside reading over the holidays for Galloway & Colarusso.

  2. Does the Handbook say anything about expanding gravel operations along the shore? As usual, that depends on which DEC authority is speaking at any one time.

    On September 11, the DEC's Region 4 permitting office wrote to our city Planning Board that the DEC would not be an involved agency in the city's SEQRA review. The author of the letter acknowledged the newly discovered Peregrine Falcons and then, gratuitously, attached a totally inaccurate map of the "project location" it can only have aquired from the applicant under review. (Ask yourself, if the point of the letter was to proclaim that the state wasn't involved, then what was the purpose of attaching any map at all, let alone an erroneous one that serves the applicant's interests?)

    Then, only weeks ago, and thanks to the public's intervention, Region 4 reversed itself due to the presence of the falcons. The DEC will now be an "involved agency" in Hudson's environmental review.

    That's just one small example in an endless supply of examples, several of them truly egregious, that the DEC is not to be trusted with anything. The City and its residents must scrutinize everything under the state's authority, and fully grasp what's entirely under local authority.

    Unfortunately we're living in an age when questioning authority is going out of style. If I've learned anything in Hudson, it's that Home Rule is wasted on locals!