Wild Ones Niagara (WON) and EDR Responses
January 14, 2009
FEASIBILITY: Should feasibility be measured in terms of the possibilities for ecological recovery or in terms of the probability for removal of the RMP? Consultants should clearly separate the two. Will there be alternatives evaluated that identify ecological improvements that could be implemented if the Parkway or portions of the Parkway remain? Will the study be providing restoration plans for the gorge rim should the parkway remain in place?
Response WON: Feasibility was determined by the creation of the Niagara River Greenway Commission and the formation of the Niagara River Greenway Plan’s subsequent goals, objectives and principals. The Wild Ones Niagara proposal meets and exceeds every goal, principal and objective of the NRG plan and every criteria of the Ecological Standing Committee. The project is also in the NRG plan’s core focus area. Feasibility is not a criteria requirement for the Wild Ones project.
What is a requirement is the advancement of the plan as we stated under Project Narrative, on page 10, Section 2, Advancement of the Niagara River Greenway Plan:
“The [Wild Ones Niagara/EDR] Restoration Plan serves to advance the Niagara River Greenway vision including the goals, principals and criteria that define the vision.”
A key Wild One project purpose is “to provide a unifying tool for bringing multiple jurisdictions together to restore this area.”
No alternatives will be evaluated beyond what we stated in our proposal. It is beyond the proposal’s scope. Our study will be comprehensive regarding the totality of ecological restoration potential provided by the gorge rim made available with the parkway absent.
If the parkway, or part of it, remains an entirely new set and subsets of ecological dynamics need to be assessed: the presence of vehicle pollutants (231,738.75 tons of carbon emissions from vehicles on parkway, according to State Parks documentation), salt spreading, sheet water runoff (nearly three million square feet), and so on. Those interested in a "parkway present" scenario would be free to extrapolate from our study's data, conclusions, and recommendations, but the design of our study does not include this investigation.