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Symposium Is Worth Watching For Those Who Care About Chautauqua Lake

There’s been a lot of talk about misinformation regarding Chautauqua Lake – particularly since local criticism of the state’s new wetlands regulations began.

The June 2 Chautauqua Lake Symposium, organized by County Executive PJ Wendel, was the most concise explanation of how DEC Region 9 officials intend to handle Chautauqua Lake issues under the new designations as well as how state Sen. George Borrello, R-Sunset Bay, and Assemblyman Andrew Goodell, R-Jamestown, think the state Legislature can protect lakes like Chautauqua Lake in the future.

It is especially noteworthy to hear DEC officials say, as plainly as possible, their desire and intention to make sure Chautauqua Lake remains a lake rather than allowing new wetlands regulations to turn navigable waters into a swampy mess. It’s also important to hear from Goodell and Borrello that many of the concerns raised regarding Chautauqua Lake have been raised elsewhere in the state. Lastly, hearing the region’s state representatives describe the legislative fix they propose and the reasons why it is necessary is important because it shows that concerns about how the upcoming wetlands designation changes affect lakes like those in Chautauqua County aren’t necessarily unfounded. While the DEC has no intention of making major changes to freshwater inland lakes, the new regulations could, in the wrong hands, allow changes that aren’t beneficial to property owners and lake users to happen. It is also, frankly, important to keep in mind Borrello’s statement about the importance of Chautauqua Lake ecologically. Property owners are important, but making sure Chautauqua Lake remains a viable fishery is an important consideration for Chautauqua Lake as well.

While the wetland regulations were the most pressing issue discussed during the more than five hours of presentations during the symposium, there is much more information available from the symposium that property owners and lake advocates will find interesting. Some of those presentations will be featured in upcoming editions of The Post-Journal, but those who want to watch the symposium can do so at chqgov.com/CHQLakeSymposium.

Gatherings like the symposium are invaluable to county residents, and in our view it was a valuable piece of leadership on Chautauqua Lake by County Executive PJ Wendel.

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