LAKE GEORGE - The Lake George Park Commission has released a Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement which incorporates draft stream corridor management regulations aimed at better protecting Lake George and its tributary streams.
The documents will be the subject of a public comment period, continuing a public outreach effort begun by the LGPC in 2007.
More than 30 organizations have participated in a series of meetings on issues related to stream protection.
"We can and must better protect Lake George, one of New York's most beautiful and valuable resources," said Commission Chair Bruce E. Young. "Now is the time for the public to see and comment on what the commission members have been working on all fall."
The DGEIS and related information can be viewed and downloaded at www.lgpc.state.ny.us
The draft regulations propose that a 100 foot vegetative buffer, preferably native forest, be retained along each side of lake tributary streams when land is developed.
The primary purpose is to buffer the flow of sediments, contaminants and nutrients into the lake, which would otherwise reduce water quality, feed algae and fuel weed growth. The buffers would also help preserve the ecology of streams and protect fish and other organism that live in streams or come into them from the lake for spawning and other lifecycle needs.
"We have worked hard to this point to balance environmental protection with private property rights and understand the essential issues will be of some debate," said Young. "The lake's intrinsic value and its importance to the local economy requires us to forge a workable approach among the many diversified interests."
The draft regulations also contain standards for stream disturbances to preserve fish passage, protect water quality and reduce impacts to down stream property.
The LGPC has prepared a level one evaluation of existing stream crossings that shows problems and is working with funding groups on solutions.
"Government at all levels will have to do better with stream crossing designs," Young said
The DGEIS was prepared by the Center for Watershed Protection and revised by the LGPC.
It is the source for information about needs and benefits, the nature of the problems being addressed.