Chemung County Soil and Water Conservation District

851 Chemung St. Horseheaeds, NY 14845 A Publication of Chemung County’s Natural Resource Activities 2005 Chemung County Soil and Water Conservation ...
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851 Chemung St. Horseheaeds, NY 14845

A Publication of Chemung County’s Natural Resource Activities 2005

Chemung County Soil and Water Conservation District

607-739-2009 607-739-4392 Fax E-mail [email protected] Website:

Staff Mark Watts-District Manager

Mark Richer-District Technician

Karen Tillotson-Secretary

Board of Directors Kenneth Bush-Chair

Tom Rhodes-Vice Chair Dave Boor-Treasurer

Charles Gedatus-Legislator

Richard Gunderman-Legislator

John Flory-Member

Joel Klose-Member

NRCS/Chemung County EMC Tom Lasater-District Conservationist

Lee Hanle Younge-Chemung Co. Environmental Management

Associate Environmental Analyst John Schumacher

District Assists in A Manure Storage Facility Blakemore’s Manure Storage System The District assisted Lance and Gina Blakemore on their farm to construct a manure storage structure. This structure is a 100’ x 12’ round concrete tank that will accept manure from the farm through a gravity flow system. The purpose of the project is to store up to nine months of manure and spread it when the crops they grow can utilize the nutrients. The need for the structure became evident when the farmer developed a CNMP (Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan). Funding for the project came from NRCS (Natural Resource Conservation Service) EQIP Program (Environmental Quality Incentives Program), the state EPF (Environmental Protection Fund), as well as money from the Blakemore's.

District Manager’s Report 2004 Tire Collection Days Once again this year the District held a Tire Collection Day for Chemung County residents. The first was held in April and the second was held in October. Our first collection in April brought in approximately 3,800 tires. In October there were approximately 1,750 tires collected. The District started this program in May of 2003. To date we have rid the county of approximately 17,000 tires. The District would like to thank all of the many volunteers that assisted in making this program a reality, including all the municipalities that donated their drivers and trucks to haul the tires.

District Wins Award at Annual Water Quality Symposium Every March, the New York State Employees’ Association holds an annual symposium. It is a week of training, and then a banquet is held for the SWCD’s employees. On that evening, the Association grants awards in the following categories: Division Merit Award, President’s Award, District Director Award, Special Non-District Employee Award, and a Special Project Award. Chemung County Soil and Water Conservation District took two awards home. One was the Special Project Award for the two Tire Collection Days that were held last May and October. This project was a great success due to all the volunteers from municipalities that assisted with the removal of the tires. The other award went to the District’s secretary, Karen Tillotson. She was awarded the Division IV Merit Award. This is awarded to folks who go above and beyond their job responsibilities, and anyone that knows Karen sees this happen every day. Congratulations to the District and Karen!


District Manager’s Report

Town of Ashland’s Salt Storage Facility Mark Watts worked with five municipalities on writing Bond Act Grants to obtain funding for Salt Storages. They were for the Town of Erin, Town of Baldwin, Town of Elmira, Town of Ashland, and the Town of Veteran. Unfortunately only one received funding, and that was the Town of Ashland, which the finished facility is pictured below.

Conservation Building @ County Fair Grounds Update Progress is slowly being made towards our conservation building. Currently, we are working with Hunt Engineers to design a “Green Building”, which is the use of natural products. Our next step is to harvest the logs and prepare for construction. With luck we should see the building progress a great deal in the coming year.

Sketch of Conservation Building . Drawing by Hunt Engineer


District Manager’s Report Chemung County IMS System The District, over the past year, has been working with Weiler Mapping to develop a computer system to help access GIS information. The key to this type of system is that the user does not need to be competent in GIS and its software. There is simply a row of tools at the top of the screen that can be utilized to access different information layers. To the left illustrates all of the layers available to date. If you get a chance stop by the office to see how it works. Our hopes are to get this out to the towns soon.

Town of Veteran Dry Hydrant With assistance from the District, the Town of Veteran installed a dry hydrant at Dann Blvd. The Town was in the process of changing the culverts and requested if the District could assist with design and installation of the hydrant. Pictures show construction of the well and the fire department testing the hydrant. 4

District Manager’s Report Dam Maintenance The District is involved with the maintenance of the Counties five Flood Control Dams. They are Park Station, Jackson Creek, Sullivanville, Hoffman and the Marsh Dam. Through a member item from Senator Randy Kuhl and Assemblyman George Winner, the District obtained a Steiner for mowing the dams. The District also utilized the help of Camp Monterey to accomplish needed maintenance. Below are pictures illustrating the District at work.

District Technician, Mark Richer, mowing a Flood Control Dam.

Debris on concrete riser

County excavator removing debris

Park Station Dam bi-annual gate valve exercising 5

District Manager’s Report Storm Event of 2003, Dry Run Road On August 9, 2003 the Dry Run Creek Watershed experienced a severe rainstorm (5 inches in 3 hours). Erosion occurred in many areas, rock riprap was lost, sheet piling was bent, and in many places the stream down cut upwards of 5’. The District assisted the County Highway in developing a plan to try and stabilize the worst section. Money was obtained from FEMA and work accomplished included the installation of concrete footers. Sheet piling, rock rip rap walls, as well as vortex weirs and stream barbs were used to stabilize the stream. Below are before and after pictures as worked progressed. In all, approximately $600,000.00 was expended on the work.


District Manager’s Report First Wetland Constructed Utilizing New Technology LIDAR “Light Imaging Detection and Ranging” Recently the Town of Southport, with assistance from the District, received a grant for Wetland Construction. As part of this grant the Town spent money flying the Seeley Creek Watershed and collected topographical data that is good enough to design low hazard dams from. Working with Ducks Unlimited, a design was completed for a 4.0 acre wetland located on Rosar Hill in the Town of Southport. Below are pictures showing construction of the site. The entire design was completed utilizing the information gathered from the LIDAR flight. There was no need to survey the area ahead of time. Our hopes are to have LIDAR completed for the entire county by the end of the year. That way we can do designs for areas without the need to survey areas for the preliminary design. Keep watch for future updates!

Before Construction

After Construction


District Technician's Report District Seedling Sale The District had a successful tree sale this season. Over 28,000 seedlings were sold to over 235 residents. We offered a variety of evergreens, deciduous, ground covers, conservation packets, and transplants. The District usually has extra trees available for sale during pick up for those who didn’t get a chance to order.

2005’s order form on page 15

District Technician Mark Richer packaging up trees for a customer

Residents to pick up orders

Packaged Trees ready for pickup

District’s Fish Stocking Program The District’s Fish Program offered residents the chance to purchase Brook Trout, Koi, and minnows for pond stocking. Seventeen landowners made purchases. There were 780 trout sold, 12 Koi and 20 Rick Musa of Fish Haven Farm pounds of minnows.

Trout Distribution Each year the District offers residents the chance to order Trout, Bass, Grass Carp, Minnows, Channel Catfish, and Koi, for pond stocking. Pictured below are the Rainbow & Brown Trout. Four hundred and seventy –five large Rainbows were sold. Fifty smaller Rainbows and two hundred and thirty Browns were sold.

See 2005’s order form on page 14


District Technician's Report THE NEW YORK STATE BIRD The New York State bird was once very common throughout the state. The Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) has shown a decline over the last 50 years. The main causes include loss of habitat, competition with non-native birds and possibly pesticide use Of the 3 species of bluebirds in the United States only the Eastern Bluebird resides in New York. Its range is both the United States and Canada east of the Rocky Mountains As spring approaches the bluebirds arrive in Chemung County during late February and March. The male usually returning before the female, begins to search for suitable nesting sites, such as unoccupied cavities, holes in trees, fence posts or nesting boxes. The bluebird is a cavity nesting species. As the male discovers nesting sites and the females arrive, the bluebird courtship begins. Through singing and wing and tail displays the male persuades the female to inspect the cavity he has shown her. If she disapproves, the male will display another site and hopefully after inspecting several, the female will chose one. If she does, she has accepted the male as her mate and nest building will commence. The bluebird nest is built almost entirely by the female. The 3 to 4 inch wide nest is made of woven grasses and will take 5 to 6 days to build. Upon completion the female will lay one egg a day until the clutch is complete, usually 3 to 5 blue eggs. As the female incubates the eggs the male stays close by to guard the nest from intruders. In 13 to 14 days the young will hatch. Both male and female share the job of caring for the young. Bluebirds keep a very clean nest removing all egg shells and waste materials. Food is brought to the young every 5 minutes from dusk to dawn. Soft insects such as worms and caterpillars are fed at first and later weaned on to hard shell insects like crickets and grasshoppers. Fifteen to 20 days after hatching the young bluebirds leave the nest. The new fledglings do not go far. They remain off the ground for several days to avoid predators. For the first 7 to 10 days out of the nest the parents feed them and over an additional 7 to 10 days the young are weaned to their independence. As cold weather arrives in Chemung County the bluebirds join together to form loose flocks and migrate to warmer areas. Some remain here throughout the winter, depending on the severity of the weather and the food supply. The birds that stay change their diet of insects to berries, such as American holly, dogwoods, cherries, cedar and others. There is much competition for this food source by other birds that winter over. Bluebirds have to deal with many natural predators. Mammals, reptiles and even insects prey on adults, young and eggs of the 9

District Technician's Report THE NEW YORK STATE BIRD, Continued bluebird. The predators include: opossums, squirrels, raccoons, domestic cats, snakes, and the parasitic insect called the blowfly. Many species of birds, native and non-native compete for the same nesting sites as the bluebird. Due to the growth of urban and suburban areas and changing agricultural practices many of the natural nesting sites of the bluebird have been lost. Dead trees are cut down, orchards are pruned, sprayed and fewer, and wooden fence posts are replaced with metal ones. With the lack of abundant nest sites the bluebird must compete with the very aggressive house sparrow and starling, both native to Europe. These birds will force the bluebird out of its nest site to take it for its own. This has been a major contributor to the decline off the bluebird population. Tree swallows, house wrens, chickadees, and white breasted nuthatches are among the native bird species that also nest in cavities and compete with the bluebird. These birds are also very beneficial and often face the same problems as the bluebird. The introduction of artificial nesting boxes aid all native species. Fortunately, bluebirds readily accept artificial nest boxes. By adding these to the dwindling supply of available nest sites, blue birds have more opportunities for successful nesting. The Chemung County Soil & Water Conservation District would like to encourage landowners with in the county and New York State to aid in the conservation of our state bird. Simply by building and putting up nest boxes in the best locations will help. Contact the District for nest box plans and additional information on mounting nest boxes for the best success. For those who do not have the time or materials to build their own the District has over 200 new nest boxes already built and ready to go for only $5.00 each plus tax. WOW! Blue Bird Boxes

CATHERINE CREEK WILLOW PLANTING Last year on May 5, 2004, we continued our willow planting efforts on Catherine Creek. Multiple rows of over 300 feet of Stream-co Willows were planted along the wide open gravel bars of the creek. Slowly but surely we are closing the gaps on these open areas. The willows planted several years ago are doing well. They are already offering some stream bank protection from their massive root systems and soon will be contributing shade to keep the trout waters cool. Our efforts will continue year after year until we complete our objectives. This project is a joint venture with the District and the following organizations. The SCT BOCES Conservation Dept., Chemung County Federation of Sportsman’s Clubs, and the Federation of Fly Fishers. We look forward to this year’s segment of the project. 10

District Technician's Report ENVIROTHON Chemung County once again participated in the Envirothon. There were six teams that participated, three from SCT BOCES and three from Twin Tiers Baptist High School. After testing their knowledge on soils, aquatics, forestry, wildlife, and current environmental issues, the SCT BOCES Senior team came out on top winning the County event. They moved on to the state competition at SUNY Morrisville, Morrisville New York. Our team scored 39th out of 52 participating counties. The State competition is very tough and a large amount of preparation is needed. Our team had a great time and learned many new things throughout the competitions. Nassau County won the state competition and represented New York at the National Envirothon. The 2004 National Envirothon was held at the Wesleyan College in Buckhannon West Virginia. The 2005 National Event will be hosted by Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield Missouri. In the year 2007, New York State will be the host of the National Envirothon.

2004 SUMMER SLAVE For the summer of 2004 the District hired Chris Cox to be our summer slave. Chris is a Junior at Thomas Edison High school and also attends the SCT BOCES Conservation Class. Chris also participates on the school wrestling and football teams. Chris’s job last summer was to aid the District Technician with the summer activities. Some of these activities included: building bat houses, finishing construction of the District’s storage barn, mowing the dams, hydro-seeding, cleaning debris from the canal and dams, running chain saw and running the saw mill. Chris did a great job for the District last summer he has a great attitude, was always on time and ready to go. The important hands-on skills that Chris learned at the BOCES Conservation program really gave him a step up working with us. Many of the summer interns hired by the District have been through that program.


District Technician's Report MONTERAY INMATES Last October the District was able to utilize Inmates from the Monterey Correctional Facility to aid in some labor intensive clearing projects. Due to the very wet summer we had last year and some of the larger storm events, the dams within the county held back huge amounts of water. This high water floated in large amounts of debris. As the waters subsided the debris was left scattered along the dikes of the dams. Sullivanville and Hoffman dams sported the most debris. Getting equipment on the side of the dams is difficult. The Inmates were brought in and removed the debris from the dams. Keeping the dams clean is crucial to their maintenance especially when it comes time to mow them. The Inmates were also used to clean several road side drainage ditches in Millport along New York State Route 14. These ditches were over grown with brush and trash witch obstructed the flow of water from the road ditch to the creek. The inmates did a nice job and the District was thankful to get them for these projects.

Chemung County Soil and Water Conservation District’s Environmental Field Days

Each year the District hosts an Environmental Field Days Program for area sixth grade students and their teachers. The event would not be a success without all the volunteers that offer their expertise and experience in teaching students about environmental issues. This past May we had over 1,000 students participate in this program over a two day period. Again, thanks to all those involved with making this a success.

Support the New York State Envirothon Scholarship Fund Raffle tickets available for $5 each at the District Office 1st prize $5,000 2nd prize $2,000 3rd prize $1,000 12

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Contact: Julia Robbins 315-477-6436 [email protected] HOME REPAIR LOANS AVAILABLE THROUGH USDA RURAL DEVELOPMENT Syracuse, NY, February 2, 2005- For very-low income homeowners who need to make repairs or improve their home, USDA Rural Development offers a 1% loan. Loan funds can be used for such purposes as repairs to electrical, water, septic, or plumbing systems, as well as for repair or replacement of a roof, windows and/or doors. Loan funds can also be used to make a household more accessible for persons with disabilities. To be eligible for a home repair loan, an applicant must have the ability to repay a loan and an income falling within the very-low income category for the household size of the county inhabited. To view USDA Rural Development income limits, visit Residents in Tompkins, Schuyler, Seneca and Chemung Counties, can call or visit the USDA Rural Development Office 903 Hanshaw Road, Ithaca, NY, at (607) 257-2737 Ext. 4, TDD (315) 477-6447 for further details and to obtain an application. USDA Rural Development's mission is to deliver programs in a way that will support increasing economic opportunity and improve the quality of life of rural residents. As a venture capital entity, Rural Development provides equity and technical assistance to finance and foster growth in homeownership, business development, and critical community and technology infrastructure. Further information on rural programs is available by visiting your local USDA Service Center, or by visiting USDA's web site at WIND CHILL CHART BELOW

As temperatures fall and the wind howls, we begin hearing about the danger of “wind chill”. The wind chill index combines the temperature and wind speed to tell you how cold the wind makes it “feel”. Even though the chill is given as a temperature, it’s not really a different kind of temperature. Low wind chill numbers shouldn’t keep you from going out; they should encourage you to dress properly.




Rainbow trout (5-7”)


300 - 400

Large Mouth Bass (2-3”)



Fathead Minnows



KOI (Small or Medium)

$11/SM/EA $16/ME/EA

Personal Preference





Yellow Perch (3-5”)



Black Crappie (3-5”)




Channel Catfish (4-6”) Triploid Grass Carp*(12”)


MINIMUM ORDER 25 EXCEPT FOR GRASS CARP Please enclose payment - make *Grass carp require a New York 8.25% sales tax____________ checks payable to: Chemung State permit to acquire call early County SWCD for details TOTAL____________________ $20 charge for returned checks Please order by the following dates: Rainbow and Minnows by: May 4th, 2005 Channel Cats & Grass Carp & Minnows by: June 8th, 2005 Largemouth Bass, KOI & Minnows by: July 13th, 2005 Perch, Crappie & Minnows by: September 14th, 2005 DELIVERY DATES All deliveries will take place at the Chemung County Soil & Water Conservation District office parking lot at 851 Chemung St. in Horseheads. Rainbow Trout & Minnows: Saturday May 7th, 2005 9:00am to 10:00 am Channel Cat, Grass Carp & Minnows: Saturday June 11th, 2005 9:00am to 10:00 am Bass, KOI & Minnows: Saturday July 16th, 2005 9:00am to 10:00am Perch, Crappie & Minnows: Saturday September 17th, 2005 9:00am to 10:00am


Address________________________________________________________________ Telephone number__________________________________



ARTICLES FOR SALE Bluebird nest boxes $5.00/ea Flagging tape $2.00/roll District hats $15.00/ea Waterproof tape $5.00/roll Topography maps $7.00/ea Tree planting bars $20.00/ea Barley straw (algae control) $6.00/bale

Bat roust box $15.00/ea Wire flags $0.10/ea or $10.00/100 Drain tile animal guards $5.00ea Timber harvesting booklets $3.50/ea Tree seedlings (spring) contact for details Fish fingerlings (spring, fall) contact for details


Chemung County Soil & Water Conservation District 851 Chemung St. Horseheads, NY 14845


Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postal Paid Permit # 152 Horseheads, NY 14845


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