48. New York Rivers United
(Latest update 2001)
Marine Midland Bank Bldg.
199 Liberty Plaza
Rome, NY 13440
American Rivers United
1025 Vermont Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20005
web site: www.amrivers.org
American Rivers also heads the Hydropower Reform Coalition:
Key Personnel (1996)
American Rivers United
Rebecca Wodder, President
New York Rivers United
Bruce Carpenter, Executive Director
New York Rivers United (1997)
As intervenors in 1996 in the FERC relicensing procedures for Niagara Mohawk in connection with the company's Raquette River dams, New York Rivers United co-signed its letter with demands for lands with:
Residents Committee to Protect the Adirondacks
Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks
National Audubon Society, N.Y.S. Representative
Sierra Club, Atlantic Chapter
Natural Heritage Institute (an international non-profit legal action organization based in San Francisco and Washington, D.C., with financial and policy ties to the Nature Conservancy)
Later in the process, participation in the land transaction involved:
The Nature Conservancy
Other Niagara Mohawk relicensing land transactions in New York State have involved:
Open Space Institute
The Conservation Fund
"Joining American Rivers is the easiest and most effective way of protecting our nation's rivers Your tax-deductible dues enable us to speak up from coast to coast to defend the quality of our drinking water, the natural beauty of our environment, the recreational value of our waterways, and the countless species of plants and animals they support. And when you join you'll also be help(ing) stop unnecessary dams, timber clear-cuts, and pollution and saving us all millions of tax dollars."
Extensive web page on the hydropower relicensing process
(1) FERC relicensing process
American Rivers United, the national organization with which New York Rivers United is affiliated, specializes in asserting itself as a formal participant or intervenor to obstruct the dam relicensing process. Each instance of participation by the environmentalists has specific goals.
The goals of American Rivers United can be summarized as "Land for Dams" and habitat preservation or creation, although even more radical demands are made, such as the removal of an existing dam, which is now underway for the Edwards Dam on the Kennebec River in Augusta, Maine.
For the Raquette River, the demands meant that they would control about 15,000 acres of lands in the Raquette River basis owned by Niagara Mohawk. They demanded that lands be declared surplus, that the disposition of these lands be addressed in the FERC process, that these lands be kept available during the entire process, and that the Niagara Mohawk execute a surety to guarantee that it could contribute to the purchase of these lands (for contribution to the State).
New York Rivers United was successful in its objectives, and approximately 8,000 acres of land were agreed to be transferred to the State in conservation easements and 1,000 acres as fee simple to the State and The Nature Conservancy as a result of their intervention in the FERC process.
Fifteen dams in New York State are scheduled for FERC relicensing
Until representatives of the Adirondack Fairness Coalition and the Property Rights Foundation of America started jointly monitoring the Rainbow Falls FERC relicensing process this year, it is likely that no public interest group concerned generally with the local economy and private property rights was participating in the FERC process in New York.
(2) American Heritage Rivers
American Rivers United is the lead non-profit player in the American Heritage Rivers program. The Hudson River was designated an American Heritage River from Lake Tear in the Adirondacks to Battery Park, Manhattan, by President Clinton in 1998.
(3) Compromises for recreational interests
One inside source that wished to remain unidentified alleged
that the New York Rivers United compromised the adequacy of the
Salmon flow for river habitat needs to please recreation interests
desiring weekend flows that foreclosed the adequacy of even, adequate
daily flows for fish habitat.