5. Lake Champlain Basin Program
Original Name: Lake Champlain Management Conference
(Partially updated 2002)
P. O. Box 204
54 West Shore Road
Grand Isle, VT 05458
Web site: www.lcbp.org
LCBP Program Resource Room
1 College Street
Staff: Bill Howland, Basin Program Manager
This program is a project of Senator Pat Leahy.
See entire steering committee below
Ron Ofner, Lake Placid/Essex County Visitors Bureau, Chair of the New York Citizens Advisory Committee
According to Bill Howland, numerous federal and state agencies contribute to the funding of the Lake Champlain Basic Program. However, funding is mainly provided through federal appropriations (U.S. EPA)
Sen. Pat Leahy, key person in the U.S. Congress
Numerous state and federal agencies represented in the Steering Committee (see below)
National Park Service
Organizational Description and Goals
"The Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) was established to coordinate the activities envisioned by the Lake Champlain Special Designation Act of 1990. The LCBP is a government funded initiative working in partnership with numerous cooperating agencies, organizations and individuals to develop and implement the comprehensive plan for Lake Champlain. The program is guided by the Steering Committee which represents a broad spectrum of lake-basin interests and organizations from New York, Vermont, and Quebec including local government and citizen representatives, scientists, and state and federal agencies. In addition, many individuals are involved in the planning process through advisory committees and interested citizens participate through public meetings. The ultimate goal of the LCBP is to insure that the Lake and its drainage basin will be protected, restored and maintained so that future generations will enjoy its full benefits." (Casin' the Basin, Fall 2000, p. 12)
The newsletter Casin' the Basin is produced three times a year under an EPA grant and distributed free of charge.
"NEIWPCC [New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission] operates the business affairs of the lake Champlain Basin Program. NEIWPCC, a non-profit interstate agency established by an Act of Congress, serves and assists its member states individually and collectively by providing coordination, public education, training and leadership in the management and protection of water quality in the New York and New England Region." (Casin' the Basin, Fall 2000, p. 12)
Board of Directors (Steering Committee) (2001)
The steering committee was established in 1988 through a Memorandum
of Understanding signed by the Governors of New York and Vermont
and the Premier of Quebec.
Tamsen Benjamin, Vt. Agency of Transportation
Stuart Buchanan, NY State DEC, Ray Brook
Patrick Brennan, NY State Dept. of Agriculture and Markets, Albany
Gregory Caito, NY State Dept. of Economic Development, Plattsburgh
Peter Clavelle, Mayor, Burlington, Vt.
Canute Dalmasse, Vt. Agency of Natural Resources, Waterbury
Mario DelVicario, US EPA Region 2, New York, N.Y.
Jean Hubert, Ministere de L'Environment, Longueuil, Quebec
Donald Garrant, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
Leon Graves, Vt. Dept. of Agriculture, Montpelier, Vt.
Buzz Hoerr, Vt. Citizens Advisory Chair, Colchester, Vt.
Ron Manfredonia, US EPA, New England, Boston, Mass.
Kenneth Miller, Citizens Advisory Chair, St. George-de-Clarenceville, Quebec
Ronald Ofner, New York Citizens Advisory Committee, Chair, Crown Point, N.Y.
Robert Reinhardt, NY State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Albany
Dave Tilton, US. Fish and Wildlife Service, Essex Junction, Vt.
John Titchner, U.S. Dept. Agriculture, NRCS, Winooski, Vt.
Emily Wadhams, Vt. Agency of Commerce and Community Development, Montpelier, Vt.
Mary Watzin, UVM, School of Natural Resources, Burlington, Vt.
Numerous reports and other in-house publications available
from the LCBP.
Slide show can also be scheduled.
Phosphorous Reduction. One of the highest priorities of the LCBP is phosphorus reduction. The LCBP is involved in numerous monitoring programs, task forces, and action programs toward this end. One area where the LCBP expresses support is the implementation of the controversial Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) program that the EPA promulgated. This program addresses non-point source pollution such as that attributed to agriculture and even forestry.
Corps of Engineers' Lake Champlain Initiative. Offered by Sen. Leahy and the other three NY and Vt. Senators and passed U.S. Congress, this initiative is "modeled after the New York City Watershed Program." Added to the biannual U.S. Army Corps of Engineers water resources authorization legislation, "the amendment authorizes $20 million in Corps funding for water-related environmental resource protection and development in the Lake Champlain watershed." (Casin' the Basin, Fall 2000, p. 11)
National Park Service. "For fiscal year 2001, the National Park Service (NPS) will provide $350,000 for the LCBP's cultural heritage and recreation programs." (Casin' the Basin, Fall 2000, p. 10)
Lake Champlain Corridor preservation and Scenic Byways
On September 8, 1995, Senator Jeffords of Vermont introduced the Champlain Valley Heritage Corridor Study bill to Congress. The bill was never adopted, but the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the National Park Service, received presidential authorization to conduct an inventory of early settlement sites to determine whether heritage corridor designation was feasible.
Backed by the National Park Service and U.S. Department of Transportation, the Lake Champlain Basin Program is the leading agency attempting to gather "local" public support for the preservation of the Lake Champlain-Lake George corridor, including the establishment of the Champlain Valley National Heritage Corridor and the Lakes to Locks Scenic Byway, the latter on both a national and state level. In spite of local opposition, the Secretary of Transportation designated the Lakes to Locks National Scenic Byway on June 13, 2002.
In 1999, the Boston office of the National Park Service issued a 140-page glossy report on the "Champlain Valley Heritage Corridor Project," at the behest of Senator James Jeffords of Vermont. The report contains extensive analysis of options for "management" of the corridor.
Whenever meetings were publicly announced in either New York or Vermont, many vociferous citizens turned out to protest the official designation of the Lake Champlain corridor in any form.
The Lake Champlain Trail, or "Lakes to Locks" Trail, or Champlain Canalway Trail
One of the best-kept secrets related to the lake Champlain Basin Program is to establish a continuous trail from the Mohawk River/Erie Canal to the Quebec border. The National Park Service, New York State Canal Corporation, and New York Parks and Conservation Association have jointly devoted an ambitious plan to complete one continuous trail through government-owned and private property along the existing and old Champlain Canal route from the Erie Canal to Lake Champlain bay at Whitehall. In addition to requiring private land along the route where the canal passes through farms and other private property, the plan calls for numerous access roads or trails leading into the canal trail across private property from public roads at regular intervals.
Upon reaching Whitehall, the future route of the Champlain
Canalway Trail northward to the Quebec border has not been put
in a form that can be obtained for review.
A canoe trail along the shores of Lake Champlain is also envisioned. This would probably also entail land use restrictions. In addition, a number of bike trails have been established around Lake Champlain.
International Land-use Management
Some of the meetings called by the Lake Champlain Basin Program were to address the Lake Champlain/Richelieu Valley Corridor management plan.
The National Park Service report states that "Cross-boundary
management of natural and cultural resources in the Champlain/Richelieu
Valley is in its early states following the signing of a Memorandum
of Understanding (MOU) by the Governors of New York and Vermont
and the Premier of Quebec in 1988, which was renewed in 1992 and
1996. This MO&U provides, among other responsibilities, that
the two States and Province will coordinate planning and pollution
control to restore and protect natural and cultural resources
in the Lake Champlain watershed." (Page 89)