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Letter from Christina Bourgeois and Stephanie Bauer

LWV Supports Land Trust Plans

The League of Women Voters of the Cooperstown Area and League of Women Voters of the Oneonta Area support the Otsego Land Trust’s effort to acquire Camp Henderson in Milford, New York. The camp, a 668-acre site that includes forests, wetlands, and Crumhorn Lake, is being offered for sale by the Leatherstocking Council of the Boy Scouts of America with no constraints on how the property can be sold, subdivided, or used.

The League of Women Voters believes that air, water and land resources should be managed as interrelated parts of life-supporting ecosystems. Resources should be conserved and protected to ensure their present and future availability. Areas of critical concern include fragile or historical lands, where development could result in irreversible damage to shore lands, lakes, geological formations, wildlife habitats, and scenic or historic areas and wetlands. The League views land, such as Camp Henderson, as a finite resource, not a commodity and land ownership, whether public or private, carries responsibility for stewardship management.

The Otsego Land Trust has proven to be a superb steward of protected land, as evidenced by Brookwood Point on Otsego Lake on Route 80. This beautiful property, protected forever and carefully managed by the land trust under a conservation easement, is regularly enjoyed by members of the community. Compton Bridge, Deowongo Lake and other properties in Oaksville, Richfield, and Roseboom also serve as a testament to the work of the Otsego Land Trust.

The need for state funding is urgent and the time to act is now. The former scout camp is one of the largest undeveloped tracts of land remaining in Otsego County. The property offers a major opportunity for a collaborative effort to protect and conserve significant natural resources in perpetuity. The entire property has high conservation value that can help build climate resiliency in the region, strengthen the tourism economy, and improve the quality of life for residents and visitors.

Please contact Senator Peter Oberacker (518-455-3131), Commissioner Department of Environmental Conservation (518-402-8013), and Commissioner NYS Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (518-474-0456).

The League encourages you to act quickly to secure funding from the Environmental Bond Act to support the purchase of the Crumhorn Lake property. The property is important to residents of Otsego County and their quality of life.

Christina Bourgeois
Natural Resources Director
LWV of the Cooperstown Area

Stephanie Bauer
Team Leader
LWV of the Oneonta Area

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