Moving rocks could be costly

People aren’t allowed to move rocks to help prevent shoreline erosion around the Great Sacandaga Lak

People aren’t allowed to move rocks to help prevent shoreline erosion around the Great Sacandaga Lake without first doing an archaeological study that could cost as much as $1,800.

Glenn LaFave, the executive director of the Hudson River Black River Regulating District, which operates the lake as a flood-control reservoir, said Friday that requirement is the result of the district’s new hydroelectric power license.

He said the district is negotiating with the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the Department of Environmental Conservation to amend the rules.

Jean Raymond, supervisor of the town of Edinburg, said the regulating district should allow permit holders to work on their sites with as little interference as possible.

“I know my own beach is eroding wicked,” Raymond said. “I lost three feet of yard in the past two years alone. And I don’t think I’m unusual.”

Raymond said a few years ago she ran underground electric cable to her yard. If she wanted to do that today, she’d have to have the archaeological study done first.

“Eighteen hundred dollars for a six-inch trench,” she said.

“I think it would be very wise if they came up with three or four alternatives, a blanket permit,” she said.

That would allow people to take erosion-control measures such as placing rocks and retaining walls on erosion-prone areas, she said.

LaFave said the way the current rules are written, moving rocks or stone on the beach to another area constitutes a ground disturbance, while bringing in rocks or stone and placing them on top of the ground does not.

“Any excavation is considered a ground disturbance. It’s complicated. The goal of the board is to have this new, more streamlined application process in place before the new rules,” he said.

The district is also working with the state to have only selected parts of the 129-mile shoreline declared as archaeologically sensitive areas requiring a study.

“There are just a few areas that are historically or culturally significant from an archaeological standpoint,” LaFave said.

Categories: Schenectady County

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