It’s Up To Locals To Safeguard Their Interests In Chautauqua Lake

Readers' Forum

To The Reader’s Forum:

This matter will impact all of us, particularly those fortunate enough to own property–be it a home, cottage, or trailer–along the picturesque shores of our beloved lake. For over two decades, this lake has been a cherished part of our lives. My children have grown up here, and our affection for it runs deep enough that we’ve made the decision to relocate here permanently and establish a business. However, our plans are now uncertain due to the intentions of New York State (NYS) and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

Some believe that the proposed classification will improve the lake’s health, but I beg to differ. How does inaction equate to improvement? Currently, we’re able to manage weed growth through various means, but there’s no guarantee we’ll be allowed to continue these efforts. This isn’t about politics or a lack of concern for the environment. Sometimes, what seems beneficial on paper simply doesn’t align with reality.

The truth is, this region already faces economic challenges, and the lake sustains much more than just fish life. Its scenic beauty drives income for local marinas, restaurants, stores, and attractions. The proprietors of these businesses are our neighbors. If the lake loses its appeal to tourists, they’ll cease to visit, causing a ripple effect of financial strain. Businesses will shutter, and our community will suffer collectively. The stakes are too high.

I, for one, lack confidence in the DEC and NYS’s consideration of our best interests. It’s up to us to safeguard our own interests. Who desires more regulations, restrictions, and permits? Certainly not me. Do you relish the idea of applying for permits, only to wait and hope for approval? And let’s not forget, these permits won’t come free of charge.

I urge you to take action–pen a letter, make a call, or send an email–to convey to NYS, the DEC, and your local representatives that this cannot be allowed to proceed. Our lake must remain just that–a lake.

Annmarie Schneider



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