Fishway Project Ground Breaking Ceremony on June 13, 2012. (Photo courtesty the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District.)
Fishway Project Update
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Buffalo District, in coordination with the Town and Village of Westfield and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), held a ground breaking ceremony on Wednesday, June 13, 2012, at the Chautauqua Creek fish passage project site. The purpose of the Great Lakes Fishery and Ecosystem Restoration (GLFER) project is to provide fish access to approximately 10 miles of high quality spawning areas in the upper portion of Chautauqua Creek and restore fishery populations using dam removal measures. The plan for improvement consists of the partial dam removal at the lower dam and a rock ramp fishway at the upper dam. The project will have a positive ecological impact and an economic impact as well, as high quality fishing opportunities are expanded in the region.
Fishway Project upper dam (Photo courtesty the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District.)
Fishway Project lower dam (Photo courtesty the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District.)
Westfield was well-represented at a recent public meeting of about fifty residents, local officials, grape growers, winemakers, planners and historians who gathered to help shape the Concord Grape Belt Heritage Area Management Plan. The Town of Westfield is lead agency for the development of the Management Plan, which will be developed through a comprehensive planning process, required of all Heritage Areas in New York State.
The Concord Grape Belt Heritage Area (CGBHA) is the 19th Heritage Area in the state and was created by the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation in 2006 after the successful passage of legislation sponsored by State Senator Cathy Young and Assemblyman Bill Parment. It is the first Heritage Area to be recognized for its agricultural heritage. A $75,000 Division of Coastal Resources grant is helping to fund the development of the Management Plan.
In addition to the Town and Village of Westfield, the CGBHA includes the Towns of Hanover, Sheridan, Dunkirk, Pomfret, Portland and Ripley as well as the Villages of Silver Creek, Forestville, Fredonia and Brocton and the City of Dunkirk.
The New York State Heritage Area System has four major goals for the unique areas: to enhance economic revitalization, to provide recreation and leisure activities, to educate and interpret the heritage and to preserve the resources of the area.
We are all familiar with the natural beauty, rolling vineyards and scenic lakefront views the area offers. But the economic impact of grape production in the area is equally impressive. Consider that New York State is the third largest grape-producing state and the CGBHA produces 68% of those grapes on over 19,000 acres with a total economic impact of $141 million.
Couple our ideal grape growing soils and climate with the fact that there are 16 million people living within a 150 miles of the area, and the importance of drafting a dynamic and comprehensive management plan becomes clear.
Upcoming public meetings will be posted on the Town of Westfield website. If you would like to become involved in the Management Plan development process, contact Andrew Dufresne at email@example.com or visit the Grape Beltís web site at www.concordgrapebelt.org.
Photo by: Don McCord
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Ripley - Westfield Wind Project
The proposed Pattern Energy Commercial Wind Power Project involves the construction and operation of up to 82 wind turbine generators, 47 of which are proposed to be located in the Town of Westfield with the remaining turbines to be located in Ripley. The Town of Ripley is co-lead agency on the project with Westfield. The installed capacity for the project is estimated to be 125 megawatts.
The State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) process had been on hold as the project sponsor worked to prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).
The Town is now in receipt of the DEIS and is currently reviewing the document. The Town will be making a determination soon on whether or not the document has adequately addressed all the environmental issues identified during the scoping process. Once the Town has determined that the issues have been properly addressed, it will accept the DEIS as adequate for public review. The DEIS will then be made available to the public for review and sent out to involved agencies.
The DEIS document is available for review at the Town office and at the Patterson Library. It is also on line at the website below.
Public comments on the document will be accepted until 5:00 pm on May 17, 2010. A joint public hearing on the proposed project will be held:
In Westfield, at Eason Hall on April 13, 2010 at 1:00 pm.
In Ripley, at Meeder’s Restaurant on May 4, 2010 at 7:00 pm.
Wind Project Timeline (pdf file)
Project documents are available at http://www.ripleywestfieldwind.ene.com
Check for updates.
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