Saturday, January 23, 2010

Niagara Gorge Rim Restoration Wild Ones Niagara Proposal- Q & A

Greenway Ecological Standing Committee Questions/Comments:
Wild Ones Niagara (WON) and EDR Responses
January 14, 2009

SCOPE: What percentage of this project is strictly ecologically focused? Why should tasks 4, 5 and 9 be funded by the GESC since they don't directly address ecological improvements? What percent of economic growth is expected to be solely a result of traffic rerouting, as opposed to that created by the ecological restorations?

Response EDR:  By definition, ecology is a global all encompassing concept.  100 % of the project is focused on the combination of natural and built environments and how they interact and impact each other.  The Greenway itself is an interface between the natural wonder of the Great Lakes, the Falls, the Gorge and a decaying metropolitan area in the northeast United States.  Tasks 4 and 5 will assess the impact of the man made environment on the natural environment and show how they can co-exist.  This is the essence of our study, and we feel the essence of the Greenway Plan. Task 9 is essential because the only initiatives that will proceed are those that “pay for themselves” and add value to our needy community.

Response WON: From our perspective, one hundred percent of the project is ecologically focused. This focus extends from the leaves of the mature black oak to the tree itself, to its companion trees, to unbroken canopies, to compatible plant under stories, to the proximity, for example, of public access vehicle roads. It extends to asking the following questions, cited here as examples, but not all of them:

What benefits might be derived from the construction of a greenhouse over the power project parkway lanes? Could the State, nonprofits, or university horticultural programs nurture native plants there for gorge or gorge rim reforestration? Would there be potential for public-private investment? Could an exterior elevator be installed on the side of an existing near-gorge building that would lead to a rooftop viewing plateau? Could this be public-private? Might it protect the gorge or gorge rim from the temptation of further commercial intrusion? Can the access road to the lower river at the power plant be successfully bridged, giving the public access to about a third of Devil's Hole State Park on the gorge rim currently denied them? 

If the proposed study were to be merely theoretical, then the long-reaching effects of ecological restorations could be ignored. Because the study has been designed to examine impacts and effects, Tasks such as 4 and 5 become necessary so that ecological accommodations to real-world impediments or manmade environments can be formulated, and potential benefits of economic revitalization can be realized. 

The economic impact (Task 9) will be analyzed as inextricably meshed with ecological restoration. It is a more comprehensive and more sophisticated methodology related to the study of ecological restorations. This integral relationship is recognized world-wide; the Wild Ones Niagara study intends that it be carefully examined in relation to this specific study, the ecological study of the gorge rim. This concept is further recognized and encouraged by the Niagara River Greenway Commission: 

“The Niagara River Greenway is a world-class corridor of places, parks, and landscapes that celebrates and interprets our unique natural, cultural, recreational, scenic, and heritage resources and provides access to and connections between these important resources while giving rise to economic opportunities for the region.”

Ecological restorations create the largest percent of potential economic gain as a result of establishing natural environments attractive to eco tourists. It also embraces the new (2008) tourism market strategy of obtaining a globally recognized Creative Tourism City designation (based on the theme of open space preservation) for Niagara Falls and the western NY region.
(Creative Tourism, A Global Conversation: How to Provide Unique Creative Experiences for Travelers Worldwide, Wurzburger, Aageson, Pattakos and Pratt)

No comments: