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New York City Watershed

New information added in January 20, 2006

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News Brief

"Septic Restrictions Proposed to Stop Nearly All Development in the Adirondacks and Many Other Areas" - April 2004
Using the Public Health Law as a surrogate to stop development, a new amendment seeks to restrict septic systems to make it impossible to build them without five feet of usable soil above impermeable deposits, no raised septic systems, and many other conditions impossible to meet in vast areas of New York where public health would not be jeopardized by septic systems.

"The Passing of Old Gilboa" - By V.D. Mattice, Kingston, N.Y., September 1921
A poem by a former resident, poignantly recalling the obliteration of the village of Gilboa in the Schoharie Valley, submerged for another reservoir for New York City.

Summer 2002:
"NY City DEC Intimidates Owners of Access Across City Watershed Property."

Fall 2000:
"New York City Acquires More Catskill Watershed Lands"

See Also
See Also

Government Control of Private Land

Biosphere Reserves and World Heritage Sites

Heritage Rivers and Areas - National

Wetlands Policy - National

Defeating Zoning and Building Codes - New York

Additional Helpful Organizations
Additional Helpful Organizations

The Catskill Landowners Association, Inc.
(An association of landowners dedicated to enlightened private stewardship "to provide a most effective method of preserving the aesthetic and environmental integrity of Catskill lands." Founded 1990. Members receive a quarterly newsletter.)

Additional Resources
Additional Resources


In-Depth Information

  • Carol W. LaGrasse"Illegal, Unjust, and Irresponsible" - by Carol W. LaGrasse (PRFA, January 17, 2006)
    DEC 2005 Draft Open Space Plan fails to reveal full extent and impact of its land acquisition plans, violates the principles of environmental justice and good government.
  • "Another Snitch System Institutionalized" - By Carol W. LaGrasse (PRFA January 23, 2005)
    With the successful settlement of a lawsuit by an environmental group, the Residents Committee to Protect the Adirondacks, citizen informants can not efficiently report violations on the six-million acre Adirondack Forest Preserve. New York State's trend toward environmental snitch systems is raising hackles here and there.
  • "State Senator John Bonacic Proposes Upper Delaware Greenway" - PRFA, Summer 2004
    Sen. John J. Bonacic (Rep., New Paltz) is proposing an Upper Delaware Greenway modeled after the State's Hudson River Greenway. The Independent Landowners Association, Long Eddy, whose president is Noel van Swol, is opposing the carrot-and-stick regional land use control scheme.
  • "Wasting Water"- By Carol W. LaGrasse (PRFA, November 1, 2003)
    New York City apartments are still not metered, and extreme waste results. City taxpayers and upstate property owners should be aroused, considering the cost of handling the water and the one and one-half centuries of hardship imposed on property owners in the Catskill Mountains and Putnam County.
  • "Rural New York" - by Evelyn M. Rikard, Letter to the Editor published in Windham Times, January 3, 2002. (Reprinted by permission of Evelyn M. Rikard)
    The irony and injustice of the State's and the City's treatment of New York City Watershed property owners.
  • February 2001:
    New York City Watershed—PRFA's Warnings Are Coming True
    Five years after PRFA published its analysis of the momentous Watershed Agreement, our warnings are coming true. The City's acquisitions of prime land are making neighboring property owners nervous. Local building permits are obstructed while the City exerts its overarching power to review septic system permit applications.
  • "DEP Threat to Access to Private Property across New York City Water Supply Lands" — By Carol W. LaGrasse
    (PRFA, October 25, 2002)
    For seven months, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection has been stonewalling PRFA's Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) quest to find out the extent of the DEP's pressure on landowners to convert legitimate access rights across City Watershed lands to revocable access permits.
  • "Pataki's Good-bye Kiss," by Carol W. LaGrasse, Op Ed (Jan.1998). Published with title "As time goes on, governor grows more 'green'," in Capitol District Business Review (Albany, Jan. 19, 1998), and other papers in New York State and elsewhere.
    The Op Ed points out the Pataki Administration's watershed negotiations to the detriment of Catskill landowners.
  • Tai Aguirre in front of the U.S. Capitol Building"Courage Takes All—Big City Backed Down for Brave Carmel Couple" - by Carol W. LaGrasse (PRFA, April, 1998)
    The entire coalition of Watershed Towns capitulated, but one home-owning couple stood their ground and won! This story-press release tells how Tai and Adele Aguirre resisted the New York City enforcement action, including severe fines, for a small addition to their home in Carmel in Putnam County.
  • "New York City Watershed Rules" — Adele Aguirre, Carmel, N.Y., from Proceedings of the Third Annual New York Conference on Private Property Rights (PRFA 1998)
    The personal story of how Tai and Adele Aguirre endured the harassment of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) walking on their property, staring through their windows, bringing a lawsuit to their door "with armbands and everything, guns," coming back to test their septic system every day but finding nothing wrong, and the rescue of the Aguirres by Atlantic Legal Foundation.
  • "An Overview—The Brave, Hopeful Watershed Settlement" - by Carol W. LaGrasse, New York Property Rights Clearinghouse, Vol. 2, No. 3 (PRFA, Oct. 1995)
    This article compares the effusiveness of leading spokespeople for all sides at the negotiating table with the realities of the threats to private property rights and to property ownership that are key features of the actual preliminary legal document of the watershed accord that had just been negotiated.
  • "The Government Squeeze on Private Property—The Stone Age of Government" - Carol W. LaGrasse, excerpted fro Positions on Property, Vol. 1, No. 1 (PRFA, March 1994).
    This publication exposed for the first time the multitude of overlapping environmental land-use controls and acquisition plans that are being put in place in New York State. Before PRFA began publishing Position on Property, the multitude of pre-zoning and pre-acquisition land designations was largely overlooked.

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