May 13, 2009: Little help offered vs. Esopus Didymo


To The Editor:
About a year ago, I started putting signs up for Didymo on the Esopus Creek from the Boiceville market all the way to Phoenicia and a few places beyond that point. I met with Region 3 fisheries before posting my signs to show them my signs. They had no comments, just stated “do not post my signs on DEC easements to the Esopus Creek.” I complied. I also asked when you are going to put up signs on the Esopus a number of times throughout the 2008 summer. The reply was “no money, no manpower.”
After contacting many private landowners, and posting my signs, I then contacted the Ashokan Pepacton TU chapter board members and asked them if they would be willing to defray some of the payments for the signs. Their reply was, “if you came to us before you posted your signs, we may have considered giving you some money to defray from the cost of the signs.” That reply came from Roger Walters. None of the board members offered to assist me in putting up additional signs. Mr. Walters is a board member of APW and Region #3 TU vice president. Only two board members were supportive.
I was very angry that they were not willing to do anything! I continued putting up more signs regardless. The Catskill Mountain Railroad gave me permission to post my signs anywhere on the side of the tracks. They were supportive.
As of now, there are 72 signs posted, 42 for Didymo and 30 notice signs. Cameras were also put up which landowners paid for; some did pay for the signs.
Posted signs Boiceville to Phoenicia, Coldbrook Road and beyond. Risley Road by closed bridge, USGS station off of Rte. 28, one mile on the tracks going to Phoenicia, back roads Woodland Valley, Rondout Creek; 1.6 miles, all posted. Cost of all signs $900. PDQ, in New Paltz, dramatically reduced the cost of the signs, a great help.
All summer long in 2008, inmates were planting pine trees at Region #3 DEC headquarters New Paltz, plant trees yes, signs no. All state signs are made at two correctional facilities; inmates are paid approximately 31 to 61 cents an hour; for materials the state pays slightly over cost. As for manpower, they could have used outside gangs for help, free labor. DEC has a responsibility to protect all streams. As for the APW they are the watchdog of the Esopus, supposedly.
April 2, 2009 DEC knew about Didymo but did not confirm it.
April 9, 2009 Schumer and APW Roger Walters and others announced $15 million to help with signs and other things.
April 15 nine-inch trout put into Esopus. They should have put them elsewhere.
April 27 notices went out from DEC that Didymo is in the Esopus.
Nowhere in Ulster County are there posted Didymo signs or anywhere in Region #3 my signs are not going to stop Didymo; it was to alert and educate people, to reduce the possibility. And with some luck, prevent it coming into the Esopus. No longer the case now!
Everyone from William Janeway, DEC Region director and Roger Walters and Chet Karwatowski, APW president, knew that Didymo was in the Esopus on April 2 or thereabout.
The rest of the story is what I call the Potomac two-step or as most know CYA. All the above are un-disputable facts.

Jim Littlefoot