Ask NYSACC

Question: Does the New York State Department of Conservation have a formal responsibility to assist CACs and CBs in the performance of their work? Answer: Surprisingly, yes! All this goes back to the enabling legislation that allowed municipalities to establish Conservation Advisory Commissions (CACs) and Conservation Boards (CBs) pursuant to New York State General Municipal Law Article 12-F, Section 239-x and Section 239-y. Go to this link to see these sections: About NYSACC – NYSACC | New York State Association of Conservation Commissions. Section 239-x, para. 6 states (regarding CACs): “To assist a council in carrying out its functions, powers and duties, it may request the department of environmental conservation to: (a) prepare reports outlining objectives, priorities and proposed relationships of the council to the local legislative body; (b) prepare description of work to be undertaken, advantageous techniques to be used and suggested roles of council members; (c) provide research on conservation facts and procedures; (d) provide, on a consulting basis, technical and research assistance as may be required to assist the council in carrying out its work and to enable the council to offer recommendations to the local legislative body; (e) describe particular areas of natural resources within the city, town or village, as

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Focus on a Regional Group

Editor’s Note:  With the slow disappearance of county Environmental Management Councils (as of the end of this year, New York State with its 57 counties, if New York City’s 5 boroughs are counted as one, has 17 active EMCs), NYSACC has been highlighting regional groups around the state that have taken on some, if not all, of the responsibilities of EMCs.  In this edition, we look into a unique organization, covering a part of New York State that contains only two CAC’s: The Tug Hill Commission. Tug Hill Commission By Katie Malinowski, Executive Director What is the Tug Hill Commission? The NYS Tug Hill Commission (NYS Tug Hill Commission) is a small, non-regulatory state agency charged with “helping local governments and citizens shape the future of the Tug Hill region.”  The Tug Hill region includes 41 towns and 18 villages in portions of Jefferson, Lewis, Oneida and Oswego counties.  The most recent Tug Hill Regional Brochure and Map are available for download.  Learn more about the region and the commission in this video. Tug Hill Region The uniqueness of the Tug Hill region and its natural resources were recognized by New York State in 1972 when it created the commission. In 1992, the state legislature

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Presidents Message

Happy 50th Birthday NYSACC! 2021 is NYSACC’s 50th Anniversary Year, and we want it to be our break-out year. For those of you who don’t know us, the New York State Association of Conservation Commissions is an independent 501(c)(3) not-for-profit education organization that provides leadership in the development of vital environmental programs for cities, towns, and villages throughout the State of New York. We bring millions of people – government officials, environmentalists, students, citizens, private companies – all committed to preserving, protecting, and enhancing the built and natural environments in New York communities. This year we want to expand our services into all parts of the state. We want to continue reaching out to the 200 active Conservation Advisory Commissions in New York and provide you with good information you can use in your home municipalities. And we want you to join NYSACC!   But we also want to contact those municipalities without CACs and ask you to consider forming a municipally appointed volunteer environmental advisory council for your city, town or village. We want to be the umbrella organization for groups like Tree Boards, Coastal Management Commissions, and Sustainability Councils, who have no statewide group that represents their interests. We

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Environmental Justice:

“ Moving from an extractive to a regenerative economy ”   Editor’s Note:  Often lost in our desire to protect and preserve our natural environment is that certain segments of our society have not been treated equally, and their communities, have in fact, been made the repositories of the toxic industries that power our economy and dump sites where our waste ends up.  New York State recognized the disadvantages these communities, mostly low-income and/or people of color, face and have provided support through grants and educational outreach by creating under the umbrella of the NYS DEC the Office of Environmental Justice (Environmental Justice – NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation). As quoted from their website: “Environmental Justice is the fair and meaningful treatment of all people, regardless of race, income, national origin or color, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies. Environmental Justice allows for disproportionately impacted residents to access the tools to address environmental concerns across all of DEC’s operations. The Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ) works to address environmental issues and concerns that affect primarily low income and minority communities through grant opportunities, enforcement of environmental laws and regulations, consultation, guidance, and

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Solar Mapping Tool

Editor’s Note: The question of destroying woodlands and agricultural land for the placement of solar facilities is not a settled issue. Consideration of previously disturbed sites, such as locations with building roofs, parking lots, and brownfields should be given first priority when considering siting. The tool described below should be utilized within an entire environmental analysis when deciding where to place solar arrays. Also note, that while this tool was developed for use within the Hudson Valley, the authors have developed methods of using this tool in other parts of NYS and beyond. By Alex Wolf, Scenic Hudson Scenic Hudson Launches Interactive Solar Mapping Tool Helping communities find the best places to site solar energy – and support New York’s ambitious efforts to confront climate change – Scenic Hudson has launched a practical, interactive mapping tool. Scenic Hudson is a land trust and environmental advocacy organization working to preserve land and farms across the Hudson Valley.  Scenic Hudson’s tool development team aimed to create a mapper that is accessible to municipal decision-makers and does not require special expertise. With the use of this tool, available at How To Solar Now: A Solar Energy Toolkit For Your Community – Scenic Hudson

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