The Sacandaga Protection Committee (SPC), composed of community leaders, lake users, permit holders and area property taxpayers, was formed in 2009 to develop strategies to protect the environmental, economic and legal interests of the entire lake.
After being faced with catastrophic proposed changes by the Hudson River- Black River Regulating District (HRBRRD) and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), area residents revolted and demonstrated they were a force to be reckoned with. Those proposals would have made the Great Sacandaga Lake shoreline into a 129-mile public beach with no provision for law enforcement, litter, sanitation control or parking. They would have banned fireplaces, picnic tables and mowing, among other prohibitions. The destruction in property values would have shifted a significant amount of the property tax burden to properties far from the lake. These proposals were submitted to the Governor’s Office of Regulatory Reform without any discussion or input from the community.
But your efforts helped put the proposal on the back burner–for now. However, the DEC has made it clear that they still consider the shoreline NYS forest preserve land and that it will revisit this issue in the future. Other issues that remain a threat to the way of life on the Sacandaga include the need to mount an aggressive legal defense against the National Grid/Niagara Mohawk lawsuit that attempts to eliminate the permit system, monitoring the ongoing beneficiary studies being conducted by the District and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for impacts on permit holders' permit fees, and helping to find a solution to the long term financial viability of the District through both federal and state options. The SPC was born out of the eye-opening controversy caused by these events. One of the goals of the SPC is to ensure that any proposed changes to the rules and regulations, or any other major lake issue, take all factors into account and that the community has a seat at the negotiating table.
We need to be prepared to face any challenge to the way of life cherished by this wonderful community for more than 75 years and ensure that the three-county area does not suffer a reduction in tax base available to support needed services to the region.
- To ensure that the rights of all the lake community and caretakers of this land are upheld for the benefit of everyone who enjoys the lake.
- To retain the Permit System which has served the lake community so well since 1931 and work for a permanent solution that protects the ecology of the lake in order to provide an environment which allows the lake community to prosper.
- To determine the legal rights of the lake community with the assistance of the Hodgson-Russ law firm.
- To raise a $1 million war chest to protect and defend the rights of the lake community against the bureaucracy of New York State.
- To inform everyone within our lake community of any potential threats to us from all sources and our progress in the protection of the Great Sacandaga Lake.