News of Otsego County

Otsego Land Trust


Share Your Stories Of
Baseball In Oneonta

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BASEBALL STORIES – 6-8 p.m. Local fans are invited to share their stories about Oneonta’s baseball history. Hosted by Bob Brzozowski and Chris Vredenburg at the Oneonta History Center, 183 Main Street, Oneonta. (607) 432-0960 or visit

PLANTING – 1-4 p.m. Join Otsego Land Trust to beautify the gardens at Brookwood Point, 6000 New York 80, Cooperstown. (607) 547.2366 or visit

News Briefs: June 2, 2023

News Briefs: June 2, 2023

NYCON, Scriven Extend Deadline for Mini-Grant Applications

ONEONTAThe New York Council of Nonprofits has extended the deadline for its 2023 Otsego County Mini-Grant Program to Monday, June 5. The focus of this effort is to measurably improve the governance and management of qualifying Otsego County 501c3 charitable nonprofits. Initiated in 2004, the program is made possible with underwriting from The Scriven Foundation.The Mini-Grant Program is an important resource for local nonprofits facing significant challenges or striving to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of organizational management, governance, and/or program services. “The foundation is proud to support this program as we recognize how important it is that our local nonprofits have access to high-quality advice and training as they seek to fully serve their clients and communities,” said Jane Forbes Clark, president of The Scriven Foundation. There is a total of $50,000.00 of grant funds available, with grant awards ranging from $500.00 to $2,500.00 per nonprofit applicant. Grants will be awarded competitively to qualifying nonprofits with approved project activities. It is recommended that applicants review the 2023 grant criteria before applying, at The grant application can be accessed at announcements will be made between June 1 and July 1. 

NGOs Discuss Algal Bloom Communications

NGOs Discuss Algal Bloom Communications


Otsego 2000, Otsego Land Trust and the Otsego County Conservation Association convened a stakeholders meeting on Tuesday, May 9 to coordinate a response to harmful algal blooms. More than 30 people attended, including environmental scientists and representatives from municipalities, non-governmental organizations, volunteer groups, and county agencies. The conference was facilitated by Dr. Gina L. Keel, professor of political science at SUNY Oneonta. Attendees had extensive table discussions on messaging content and media, and shared their activities and findings. The group reached a consensus on the need for a unified, large-scale media strategy to notify local residents and visitors about HAB safety and mitigation. 

The SUNY Oneonta Biological Field Station presented water testing proposals and a summary of current testing protocols. Oneonta Associate Professor and limnologist Kiyoko Yokota spoke briefly on the state of new HAB research.

Naatz: Crumhorn Acres Should Be Saved
Letter From Ryan W. Naatz

Crumhorn Acres Should Be Saved

There are but a few special places in this world that seem to tolerate human interests of economics, development and recreation of their own accord. The rest are under threat. It is this constant balancing act, and often times failure, that leads to the notion that you can’t have all three, having your proverbial [environmental] cake and eating it, too. I argue, however, that with purpose, people and passion, you absolutely can!

Callahan: Land Trust Efforts To Be Applauded
Letter from Liz Callahan

Land Trust Efforts To Be Applauded

Residents of Otsego County may take its breathtaking vistas—including the county’s forested hillsides, farmed fields and meandering waterways—for granted. I applaud the visionary efforts to preserve the integrity of the former site of Camp Henderson by the Otsego Land Trust. The collaboration between OLT, Senator Oberacker, the NYSDEC and the NYSOPRHP, and a dedicated group of residents, will help to protect an important swath of local land in perpetuity. I would like to thank all the people involved in this effort for not taking the future stewardship of the Crumhorn Lake site for granted, and for working tirelessly to achieve its protection.

Liz Callahan

Solensten: Kudos to OLT for Crumhorn Effort
Letter from Lori Solensten

Kudos to OLT for Crumhorn Effort

Thank you for your informative article and inspiring editorial about the former scout camp on Crumhorn Lake in your paper last week.

I have been fortunate to have lived across the lake from the camp since 1981 and love the peaceful nature of the land and the motorless lake. For decades, the Crumhorn Lake Association and Boy Scout camp posted “Crumhorn Courtesy” signs around the lake, inviting the community to enjoy the lake in a quiet and respectful manner. Neighbors would come to swim, kayak and fish. Others would come to ride their horses or take a walk. We all loved when the scouts arrived for the summer, had their campfires, canoe regattas and “Order of the Arrow” ceremonies. Most of us on the lake had generations of family members who were both scouts and scout leaders.

Editorial: Clever Plan Deserves Our Full Support

Clever Plan Deserves Our Full Support

W e are thrilled to report the exciting and insightful efforts of the Otsego Land Trust to preserve and protect the beautiful but vulnerable 668-acre tract of land on Crumhorn Mountain. The Leatherstocking Council of the Boy Scouts of America has put the defunct Henderson Scout Reservation up for sale and it is in danger of being compromised by development. See the story on page one for further details.

The project is an ideal use of funds from New York’s 2022 Environmental Bond Act, which set aside $4.2 billion for community conservation projects following an overwhelming endorsement by 67 percent of voters. OLT proposes to use the funding to purchase the Crumhorn property, place conservation easements on all parcels, and ultimately resell the conserved land. The plan is brilliant for several reasons. First, the money can become a revolving fund to buy, conserve, and re-sell further parcels of threatened and deserving properties in the future. Second, it provides a significant benefit to the towns of Maryland and Milford, as it will restore most of the property to the tax rolls. Third, if OTL retains the Boy Scout reservation itself, the camp would be open for leasing to area organizations for short- or long-term meetings, camping or cultural uses. BSA Leatherstocking Council itself could benefit from such an arrangement, which would be welcomed by local would-be scouts. For the rest of us, it is a benefit to have 668 acres of stunning natural beauty preserved, to say nothing of potential future conservation of additional lands that will flow from this far-reaching project.

Land Trust Leading Efforts to Preserve Crumhorn Property
The pristine Camp Henderson property is currently for sale, with no constraints as to how it can be sold, subdivided or used. (Photo by CT Ware Photography)

Land Trust Leading Efforts
To Preserve Crumhorn Property

Revered Scout Camp For Sale; Unspoiled Wilderness at Risk


One of the largest undeveloped tracts of land remaining in Otsego County is the focus of ongoing preservation efforts by the Otsego Land Trust and a group of private citizens.

Camp Henderson Scout Reservation on Crumhorn Lake in the Town of Milford is currently for sale, collateral damage resulting from of a flood of sexual abuse lawsuits which led the Boy Scouts of America to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February of 2020.

In its online “Camp Henderson Update 2022,” BSA Leatherstocking Council—which owns the 668 acres of forests and wetlands housing the former Boy Scout camp—refers to the sale of the property as an extremely difficult and sad decision.

Land Trust, Audubon Society to Host Woodcock Walk

Land Trust, Audubon Society to Host Woodcock Walk

OAKSVILLE—The Otsego Land Trust and Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society invite bird-lovers to observe the spring mating ritual of the American woodcock at 6:45 p.m. on April 13 at the Parslow Road Conservation Area. The woodcock is a small, plump bird in the sandpiper family that probes for insects and earthworms on the forest floor. They migrate from the Gulf Coast to the Northeast U.S. and eastern Canada each spring to breed; their return is widely welcomed as a harbinger of spring.

Male American woodcocks perform mating displays in scrublands and forest clearings at dusk and dawn throughout the spring. Males make several short, buzzing ground calls, then launch into an erratic, spiraling flight that ends in a steep dive. The display flight produces a unique, melodious sound as air rushes across the male’s wing feathers. If a female comes to observe the display, the male will strut and bob across the forest floor. Mating displays may continue for up to four months.

The Parslow Road Conservation Area, just off state Route 28/80 in Cattown, has many ideal sites for woodcock mating displays. Audubon Society educators Charlie Scheim and Sandy Bright will lead a walk beginning at 7 p.m. in the parking lot at 127 Parslow Road. Waterproof footwear, a headlamp or flashlight, and binoculars are strongly recommended. Register at

Butternut Valley Alliance Joins Otsego Outdoors Collaborative
“On the Trail of Art” is one of several annual events hosted by the Butternut Valley Alliance. Photo by Graham Stroh

Butternut Valley Alliance Joins
Otsego Outdoors Collaborative



Having recently welcomed the Butternut Valley Alliance to its ranks, the Otsego Outdoors program has now grown from a trio of partner organizations to a quartet.

Otsego Outdoors, known for its seasonal Otsego Octet Challenges, connects county residents and visitors with year-round recreational opportunities.

The collaborative program was begun in May of 2017 by Otsego 2000, the Otsego Land Trust and the Otsego County Conservation Association.


Cooperstown Concert Series
Presents the Beau Sasser Trio

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CONCERT—7:30 p.m. Join the Cooperstown Concert Series for a performance by the Beau Sasser Trio, where they pay tribute to the classic organ trio sound with soul classics in the boogaloo and acid jazz stylings. Tickets, $20/person. The Otesaga, Cooperstown. Visit

BLOOD DRIVE—9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Save up to three lives with the American Red Cross. Quality Inn, 5206 State Highway 23, Oneonta. Register at

BLOOD DRIVE—9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Save up to three lives with the American Red Cross. Unatego Junior Senior High School, 2641 Route 7, Otego. Register at

Chainsaw Course is for the Gals

Chainsaw Course is for the Gals

Otsego Land Trust encourages women from all backgrounds to connect to nature in a new way at “Making the Cut—A Chainsaw Course for Women.” The free, two-day workshop will be held Saturday and Sunday, November 12 and 13 at the Upland Learning Center on the Thayer Farm property in Springfield.

This course is designed to teach safe handling of the chainsaw and to boost confidence through practical experience. Arborist Nathan Waterfield will help the beginner or novice chainsaw operator gain greater confidence with a common and useful tool.


Artists Paint at Brookwood Point


PAINT THE POINT – 7 a.m. – Noon. The public is invited to walk the gardens and view artists at work as they paint Brookwood Point. Resulting pieces will be on sale with the Cooperstown Art Association. Brookwood Point, 6000 St. Rte. 80, Cooperstown. 607-547-2366 or visit

OTSEGO COUNTY FAIR – 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Come enjoy music, rides, food, exhibits, and much more at the Otsego County Fair. Otsego County Fair Grounds, 469 Mill St., Morris. 607-263-5289 or visit

Summer Octet Challenge

Otsego Outdoors wants us all to take a hike

With plenty of summer left and abundant natural space to discover, the Otsego Outdoors Summer Octet includes state forests, state parks, local parks, Otsego Land Trust properties, private property open to the public, and the “New Lisbon Ride” that links Gilbert Lake State Park and Texas Schoolhouse State Forest.

By completing eight activities before September 21, participants earn a free embroidered Summer Octet patch and get listed on the Otsego Outdoors Challenge Roster. Participants can head to to find the full range of ‘summer octet’ possibilities.

“The menu of challenges this summer offers many opportunities for people to enjoy the outdoors,” said Jeff O’Handley, program director for the Otsego County Conservation Association. “In addition to the hikes and bikes and berry picking, we hope some will join us in some of our dirty and wet invasive species activities.”

Destinations new to the Octet Challenge this year are Bear Swamp State Forest in Decatur, the Robert V. Woodruff Outdoor Learning Center in Jordanville, Emmons Pond Bog in Oneonta, and New Island Forest Trails in Catella Park, Oneonta. Not all destinations are located directly inside Otsego County’s borders, but organizers note all are within approximately 10 miles of the county.

This Week – 02-17-22


The Freeman’s Journal • Hometown Oneonta

February 17, 2022


The SUNY Oneonta Biological Field Station volunteer diving team held an ice-dive training February 12 for the first time this winter with the ice one foot thick and air temperatures in the 40s. The dive team works with the field station and the Village of Cooperstown to maintain buoys, science instruments, and study the ecosystem of Otsego Lake. Pictured from left to right Ed Lentz, Lucas LaTarte (holding the safety line), Kari Minissale (noting the divers’ direction), Wayne Bunn, Tiffany Valenti, and PADI Master SCUBA Diver Trainer Paul Lord. Diving are Noel Odell and David Turner. Photo for by Larissa Ryan.


American Irish Historical Society plots move from NYC to Cooperstown

Blood shortage has impact on local supply

Inside The Paper

Mayor Drnek says it’s Oneonta’s “light-switch moment”

State Police recruitment tests underway

Bassett begins to lift visitation restrictions



“We’re following the science.”


The Driftwoods — Then and now and why

Legitimate Political Discourse by a Loving Crowd?

Otsego Land Trust: A year-round commitment to nature

History Column

Bound Volumes


Letter: Farmers deserve a fair return

Editors Policy


Jacek D. Rudnicki

Steven D. Brown

Leslie E. D. B. Jordan


Happenin’ Otsego


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21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103