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Two new E-Newsletters Online !!!

Hello OWN Community !!!

With a much awaited spring comes two new E-newsletters - Volume 5 is a presentation given by Dr. John Halfman on Owasco Lake/Watershed's Water Quality and Trophic State given in March at the annual March to Lake Day lake symposium at Cayuga Community College.  Volume 6 is a recent presentation by the Owasco Watershed Lake Association's Jim Beckwith and Charlie Greene given to the Auburn City Council.  They covered a number of important topics including what OWLA is as well as ongoing projects, concerns and the many efforts in which the group is continually invovled to help protect and improve Owasco Lake.  Great job Jim and Charlie !  

View the new volumes of the E-newsletter and feel free to review older volumes by clicking on the E-Newsletter tab above.

NRCS Conservation Practice Standard - Nutrient Management - Code 590

April 21, 2014

Significant concern has been raised in regard to the amount of nutrients running off into Owasco Lake this spring from manure spread as fertilizer on agricultural fields. In fact iit has been reported that manure itself has been washing directly off the fields and into the lake in some areas.  

In an effort to provide additional information to help clarify understanding and make the most informed decidsions toward prompt mitigation of this problem, the attached document (link below) has been made available.

The National Resource Conservation Service, Conservation Practice Standard, Nutrient Management, Code 590 (January, 2013) describes, as summarized on the first page under Definition, the best practices for "Managing the amount (rate), source, placement (method of application), and timing of plant nutrients and soil amendments." 


Download this file (nyps590.pdf)NRCS - Nutrient Management[ ]218 Kb
The CRP Readiness Initiative


April 18, 2012

The NRCS and Conservation Professional Training Program Present: The CRP Readiness Initiative

National conservation training set for May 1-2 in Auburn, N.Y.

Auburn, N.Y. – On May 1-2, conservation professionals have the opportunity to join more than 300 colleagues across the country who have already signed up to help farmers and landowners preserve soil, improve water quality, and increase wildlife habitat through the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Readiness Initiative. A free two-day CRP training workshop will be held at the Holiday Inn, 75 North Street, Auburn. The registration deadline is April 23rd. The workshop is presented by the Conservation Professional Training Program and sponsored by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). It is part of a national initiative to train a group of conservation professionals and independent consultants to provide the planning, implementation, and management services associated with the Conservation Reserve Program.

“We are thrilled to have so much interest in our national training program so far. These conservation professionals emerging from our trainings now have detailed knowledge of national and state CRP conservation practices. They are ready to create, implement and maintain CRP conservation plans and ultimately help preserve our most fragile rural lands,” said Kevin Erb, Project Co-Director.

A team led by the University of Wisconsin-Extension and comprised of national university extension staff, Natural Resources Conservation Service and Farm Service Agency (FSA) staff, and representatives from NRCS partner agencies and organizations has collaborated to streamline the trainings and make them accessible, convenient, and consistent across all states.

"With more people trained to help landowners, we expect more landowners to take advantage of the Conservation Reserve Program to protect our natural resources," said Erb. The Conservation Reserve Program gives farmers and landowners technical assistance and a financial incentive to reduce soil erosion and runoff, leading to improved water quality and wildlife habitat. Upon acceptance under a general or continuous program signup, a conservation professional trained in CRP planning helps a landowner assess his or her unique parcel of land, covering topics like land slope, cropping history, soil type, cultivation methods, and water quality. Upon completion of an assessment, the landowner and the conservation professional work together to create a CRP-conservation plan.

Natural Resources Conservation Service employees and conservation partners usually provide the technical services associated with CRP planning, but a wave of expiring contracts has prompted a new effort to recruit and train a broader range of professionals to help meet planning demands for expected re-enrollments. Independent conservation professionals, registered technical service providers, members of conservation associations, and employees of organizations with formal connections to NRCS are encouraged to participate.

“Assisting landowners in getting conservation on the ground is the end goal of the CRPRI. By training and mentoring technical service providers and current partners for CRP conservation planning, we increase the capacity and availability of conservation professionals qualified and ready to prepare high-quality conservation plans that protect soil, water quality and wildlife habitats,” said Tony Kramer, NRCS Deputy Chief of Programs.

Following the initial two-day training, participants in the CRP Readiness Initiative will have the opportunity to work directly with a project mentor, participate in online forums and webinars, and sign up for supplemental training courses as needed. During the summer of 2012, the training curriculum will be transitioned to an online format, which will be available for a course fee. Some of the topics to be covered during the free core workshops include: understanding the landowner’s objectives, developing a CRP plan according to national and state guidelines, and CRP best practices for conservation. Continuing education units are available across multiple certification disciplines.

For more information, contact Kristen Saacke-Blunk, CRP Readiness Initiative Northeastern Media Contact, at (814) 863-8756 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . To register for the New York workshop, visit


#  #  #


Visit http://conservation-training.uwex.edu/media for full media kit.


This material is based upon work supported by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under agency number 68-3A75-11-268, CDFA number 10.902. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Download this file (AuburnNYCRPRI.doc)Auburn, NY NYCRPRI.doc[ ]221 Kb
Now is the Time for NY’s Marinas, Boaters & Anglers to Battle Hydrilla


NY Invasive Species Specialist Chuck O’Neill, 585-831-6165, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

New York Sea Grant Recreation & Tourism Specialist Dave White, 315-312-3042

Now is the Time for NY’s Marinas, Boaters & Anglers to Battle Hydrilla 

Ithaca, NY -- Marina operators, boaters and anglers are the front line for preventing the spread of Hydrilla verticillata, a nasty aquatic invasive plant, and now is the time to act says Cornell University Cooperative Extension invasive species specialist Charles “Chuck” O’Neill. 

“Now - before launching boats for the 2012 boating season - is the time for taking measures to prevent Hydrilla from reaching other waters. This is a priority in New York where the popularity of boating creates the opportunity for spread,” O’Neill says.

New York Sea Grant and the Cornell Cooperative Extension Invasive Species Program have written “Hydrilla: What Marinas Need to Know” and “Not Wanted! Hydrilla” fact sheets to help people recognize the invasive plant and closely inspect watercraft to prevent its spread. 

To prevent Hydrilla’s spread over land and by water, O’Neill says the timing is critical for marina operators, boaters and anglers, especially those who travel from waterbody to waterbody to participate in tournaments, to practice aquatic invasive control measures.

Measures include the use of drain filters when washing boats to opening airlocks and air bladders to prevent Hydrilla fragments from surviving in a kayak’s damp nooks and crannies. Sharp-eyed observation and proper disposal of debris that clings to watercraft are also good methods for slowing the spread of unwanted species.
New York Sea Grant is using the information sheets with its 2012 Discover Clean & Safe Boating campaign and with a cadre of new aquatic invasive species education and watercraft stewards attending waterfront and boating events throughout New York to teach tips on how to properly inspect one’s boat before transporting.
The Hydrilla fact sheets are online at http://nyis.info; see Priority Species: Aquatic Plants. #

·      “A half-inch fragment is all it takes for Hydrilla to establish itself.
·      Current control measures for Hydrilla include costly chemical treatments that keep the invader at bay, and periodic mechanical harvesting and handpulling. 
·      While unlikely, fragments of Hydrilla can overwinter on boats, including those that have been washed and shrink-wrapped. Marina operators and boaters can inspect watercraft and practice pre-launch cleaning of boats, making sure wash water does not flow into any surface water. Storm drain screens and earthen or straw berms around washing areas can contain runoff.
·      Hydrilla, also called water thyme, creates thick mats of surface vegetation, displacing native species; causing fish kills; reducing the weight and size of sportfish; obstructing boating, swimming, and fishing recreation; and reducing the value of shoreline property.
·      Hydrilla was discovered in Cayuga Inlet near Ithaca, NY, in August 2011. It exists the width and length of the Inlet. If Hydrilla reaches and escapes Cayuga Lake, it could travel by water to the Seneca-Cayuga Canal, Erie Canal, other Finger Lakes, Lake Ontario, and beyond. 
Photos available from This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , 315-465-7578:
·           Hydrilla in Cayuga Inlet; photo: Bob Johnson, Racine-Johnson Aquatic Ecologists
·           Typical dense mat of Hydrilla; photo: David J. Moorhead, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
·           Close-up of Hydrilla stem; photo: Robert Vidéki, Doronicum Kft, Bugwood.org
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Owasco Lake Agricultural Conservation Blueprint

Check out the attached document.  I have pasted in an excerpt from the introduction below.  


Farmers are some of our nation’s greatest environmental stewards. This notion is perhaps better
exemplified in New York than anywhere else. Almost 10 million residents of New York City
and the City of Syracuse receive clean, unfiltered drinking water every day thanks in part to
efforts to protect farmland and promote environmental stewardship of that land in watersheds
surrounding their water supplies. These actions not only keep water clean, they annually save
hundreds of millions of dollars by avoiding the costs of constructing and operating water
treatment facilities.
Success in keeping water clean in
these watersheds, like many others
in New York, is due in part to
farmers protecting their land and
managing it as a natural water
filter, as well as targeted
investments made by government
agencies in farmland conservation
programs and staff to work with
farmers. However, at a time of
tight budgets at all levels of
government, public funds and
agency staff to aid farmers to
protect and steward their land are
under threat. Thus, practical, costeffective
solutions are needed to enable farmers to pro-actively address water quality problems.
Through the development of the Owasco Lake Agricultural Conservation Blueprint, American
Farmland Trust and its partners have sought such solutions that strengthen the economic viability
of farming while addressing water quality concerns in Owasco Lake.
Project Background
Well managed farms make key contributions to the health of New York’s environment, economy
and culture. Within New York State, 30 percent of the private land (7 million acres) is in
agriculture. Approximately 55% of the Owasco Lake watershed is in agricultural use with
approximately 200 farms.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, Cayuga County’s 936farms sold
almost $214 million in farm products in 2007. Assuming one-fifth of these products were
produced in the Owasco Lake watershed (the watershed’s share of the county’s agricultural land
base), the value of products sold annually from watershed farms is more than $36 million, with
many of these farm businesses are closely tied with other local businesses such as Byrne Dairy.
Additionally, local farms provide fresh, healthy food and farm products to consumers at farmers’
markets such as the Central New York Regional Market and farm stands throughout the region.

Owasco Lake is the sixth largest Finger Lake with a drainage basin of 205 square miles.
Although Owasco Lake is one of the smaller Finger Lakes, the size of the drainage basin ranks
third of all the Finger Lakes. The soils within the watershed are deep, well drained, and contain
significant amounts of calcium that make them ideal for agricultural production.

The project goals of Owasco Lake Agricultural Conservation Blueprint include:
• compile existing research and data about the state of Owasco Lake, including actions
being taken by farmers in the Owasco Lake Watershed to protect water quality,
• identify the practices and activities relevant to agriculture that hold the most promise
for improving water quality and reducing barriers to farmers’ adoption of such
practices, and
• develop a “conservation blueprint” with recommendations for action at the local, state
and federal levels of the most viable options for assisting farmers in enhancing water
quality in the Owasco Lake watershed.

The ultimate goal of this project is to enable farmers in the Owasco Lake watershed to proactively
take steps to enhance and protect water quality. This outcome will require solutions that
deliver environmental results but are also practical and support economically viable farming in
the Owasco Lake Watershed.


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