Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Fading Into Myth: Niagara Fall's Landscape - Spread the Message

Fading Into Myth: Spread the Message - Restore Niagara Fall's Landscape

Spread the Message - Restore Niagara Fall's Landscape

If I could spread my message right now to 1 million people, I would tell them about the vision to remove the Robert Moses Gorge Parkway from the Niagara Gorge Rim as necessary to ecologically restore the unique botanical landscapes of Niagara Falls, NY and the Niagara River Gorge rim.

I’d direct them to and ask them to sign the online petition--and then please mail a letter with a postmarked date no later than July 1, 2011, to New York State's Governor Cuomo and to NYS Parks' Commissioner, Rose Harvey. I would ask them to send copies to NYS Senators Charles Schumer, Kirsten Gillibrand George Maizarz, Mark Grisanti, to Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, Assemblyman John Ceretto, to NYS Parks Western Director Mark Thomas, to the Parson's Group consultants, and to the Buffalo News, The Niagara Gazette, The Buffalo Business First, and the Albany Times Union.

I’d ask them to say the following:

1. They want to see the road totally removed between Niagara Falls and Lewiston,

2. They embrace and share the vision for NYS Parks and the Niagara Gorge Rim as put forth and advocated for these last 15 years by The Niagara Heritage Partnership. Tell them you believe it could be funded, and implemented, within the next three years through the Niagara River Greenway Relicensing dollars, through the Niagara National Heritage Area funds, through Federal Administration Funds, by another New York Power Authority sweep, through NYS Park's Heritage and Preservation Grant funds, or through bonds.

3. I would ask them to speak for those who can't: the flora--the native plants, the Old Growth Forest at DeVeaux Woods and Whirlpool State Parks, the ancient cedars growing in the gorge walls, and for the wildlife--the birds that migrate this Globally Significant Important Bird Area (the Niagara River and its shorelines), and for the deer that lay dead for a week against the parkway cement wall that prohibited its access to the natural environment.

4. I would ask each to write he or she strongly believes this vision will economically benefit not only the residents of a financially challenged city, but will also benefit the millions of tourists who come to see Frederick Law Olmsted's unparalleled 1880's vision--NY's first and oldest State Park.

5. I would ask them to promise that they will visit the charming northern villages when they come to see our restored wonder, but they want to do it by alternate routes--the I-190, Route 265, and via Highland/Hyde Park Blvd.

6. I would ask them to mention that they have learned about how other cities around the United States and the world have removed and are removing their highway mistakes.

7. Finally, I would ask them to state unequivocally that anything less than total removal of the gorge parkway and a full restoration would do a disservice to the multitudes that travel to this world destination and to those of us who live in this western New York region.

USA Today:
Albany Times Union:
Buffalo Business First:
Buffalo News:
Niagara Gazette:

Governor Andrew Cuomo: (518) 474-8390
Congresswoman Louise Slaughter: Fax: NY: (716) 282-2479, Fax: Washington DC  Fax: (202) 225-7822
Senator Charles E. Schumer: Fax: 716-846-4113
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand: Fax (866) 824-6340 
Senator Mark Grisianti:,
Senator George Maziarz:
Assemblyman John Ceretto:

Rose Harvey, Commissioner, NYS Parks:
Mark Thomas, Western Director, NYS Parks:
Tom Donahue, Parsons Group:
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