Editor’s Note: Bill Harman has led SUNY Oneonta’s Biological Field Station on Otsego Lake since its founding.
Historically, as in all our inland lakes after the original European settlement, rowboats, canoes, and sailboats capable of carrying a few passengers dominated Otsego Lake.
Early on it provided a corridor between the waters of the Mohawk drainage and the Southern Atlantic states via the Susquehanna River and was of national importance. It was used for a diversity of commercial and military activities over that length of time.
The first dirt road was built up the east side of the lake by William Cooper in 1787. By 1818, sections of road had begun to be built along the west side of the lake between Cooperstown and Springfield, but there was no direct route until about 1917.
Those early roads did not provide access to hotels and residences along the lake since they were constructed along the ridgetops to avoid the necessity of building bridges over the many streams running to the lake.
During that period, the lake itself served for commercial as well as recreational transportation. The first steamboat was launched in 1858. The last commercial steam vessel plied the lake in 1933.
During the height of those activities in 1894, 10 steam-powered vessels were active on the lake. At least two, the “Natty Bumppo” and the “Cyclone,” could carry more than 300 passengers.
Five years ago, CVS Pharmacy Corp., as a healthcare-product provider, made the costly but ethical decision to discontinue the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products.
Cheers to them!
With springtime approaching, I am reminded by the CVS example of applied ethics of the decades-long silence by the SUNY Oneonta Biological Field Station on West Lake Road, regarding the use of pesticides and herbicides on the Leatherstocking Golf Course on Otsego Lake, the source of drinking water for the Village of Cooperstown and camps along its shore.
Since the Susquehanna River originates at the south end of the Glimmerglass, we have a downstream responsibility to the Chesapeake Bay as well.
Since biology is the study of life, where is the fundamental concern over the use of chemicals designed to kill weeds on the shore of our drinking water?
The often-heard excuse – “Nothing has ever been found in the tests” – is not reassuring.
When it does show up, it will be
Martha’s Vineyard has an organic golf course. Cooperstown should as well.
SUNY Oneonta undergrads Rachel Zeino and Jeanmarie Russell completed the seasonal swap of non-wake-zone buoys for winter spar buoys yesterday at Springfield Landing. They completed the task in snow sleet, rain and hail, Paul Lord, who leads the Biological Field Station diver team, reports. This was the last no-wake zone buoy on Otsego Lake this year: The buoy off Lakefront Park in Cooperstown was removed earlier in the day by BFS volunteer diver Pat McCormack and SUNY Oneonta grad student Sarah Coney. (Paul Lord photos)
COOPERSTOWN – Summer interns at the SUNY Oneonta Biological Field Station stumbled upon a surprise recently when they caught a 12-inch American eel more than 440 miles from the ocean in a habitat from which the species was thought to have been extirpated.
The interns, high school graduates Alexa Platt and Lauren Saggese, were researching near the beginning of July in the Susquehanna River near the base of the Cooperstown Dam at Otsego Lake.