Upcoming Trout Stream Management Meetings across New York

NYS DEC has announced that they will host a series of public meetings across New York on to discuss trout stream management. These meeting will feature a 30-minute presentation describing how DEC currently manages trout streams and will summarize key findings of a statewide study completed in 2015 (PDF, 2.6 MB) followed by a 90-minute discussion identifying the measures of trout stream angling quality most important to this segment of New York’s angling residents.

Information for meetings planned in the Upper Susquehanna River watershed are as follows:

October 19
6:30-9:00 PM Hammondsport High School
8272 Main Street
Hammondsport, NY 14840
October 26
6:30-9:00 PM Whitney Point High School Auditorium
10 Keibel Road
Whitney Point, NY 13862

Visit DEC’s page for more information and other meeting locations.


USC Buffer Program Funding Opportunity

The USC Comprehensive Riparian Buffer Program (USC Buffer Program) seeks to offer financial compensation and resource assistance (planning, design and plant material) to increase the implementation and restoration of riparian forest buffers and associated water quality BMPs through conventional, as well as new programs.  All projects require the implementation or restoration of a riparian buffer to be eligible for USC Buffer Program funding. Implementation of riparian forest buffers at least 35’ in width for streambank stabilization and/or pasture system development are priorities for this funding, however, all projects will be considered.  Applications for round 2 of funding are due August 17th.

Download the buffer application here:

Round 2 Buffer Application for Funding

Upper Susquehanna Coalition Riparian Buffer Technician

Position Description: This position will assist the current USC Buffer Coordinator with new and current efforts to reforest riparian areas. It is recognized in the Chesapeake Bay Forest Restoration Strategy that forest restoration is a “long term endeavor that begins with planting and caring for trees.” Therefore this new position will not only focus on implementation of new riparian buffer acres, but also strategies to monitor and maintain planted buffers to ensure the desired function is obtained. This position is a 12 month, temporary position with potential for extension.

Position tasks will include:

  • Perform tasks associated with riparian forest buffer implementation, including the planning, design, installation, and maintenance of streamside buffers;
  • Develop and implement monitoring strategies for streamside buffers;
    Provide direct, one-on-one assistance to landowners on buffer implementation and maintenance;
  • Educate USC districts and partners on riparian buffer implementation, establishment, and available resources;
  • Coordinate volunteers for planting events;
  • Collect data on buffer condition and maintenance performed; and
  • Assist other USC Teams with planning and implementation, as needed.

Qualifications: A Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited four-year college or university in Natural Resource Management, Forestry, Watershed Science, Stream Ecology, Agriculture, or closely related field; and excellent verbal communication skills with interest in working with the public, valid NYS Driver’s License with reliable transportation, ability to perform physically demanding work in an outdoor setting, flexibility to occasionally work weekend hours, and an interest in forestry, habitat restoration or public outreach.

Supervision/Location: This position will be based at the Tioga County Soil and Water Conservation District office and will be supervised by the Upper Susquehanna Coalition’s Riparian Buffer Coordinator. Buffer Technician Position 2017

Please submit a cover letter and resume to Lydia Brinkley at lbrinkley@u-s-c.org by May 5, 2017

Friday, April 28th USC Meeting in Owego

The USC Bi-Monthly meeting brings USC members and partners together to discuss ongoing projects, upcoming opportunities and events, and exchange ideas on natural resource issues.  Contact us for more information on what to expect at our next meeting.USC Logo

USC Buffer Program Application for Funding

The USC Buffer Program Application for Funding is now available!  The goal of this funding is to aid in the implementation of riparian buffers throughout the Upper Susquehanna Watershed. Forested buffers a minimum of 35’ wide are priorities for funding, however, all projects will be considered.  Funding for this program is provided by NFWF.

Find the Application .pdf linked here:

USC Buffer Program Application for Funding 2017

Starting at the Stream: Interagency Training for Water Quality

Save the Date

WHEN: March 2, 2016, from 9 am-3:30 pm

WHERE: Port Watson Mini-Conference Center
131 Port Watson St.
Cortland, NY 13077

This full-day educational workshop focusing on Riparian Forest Buffers (RFBs) is for technicians and managers and will provide:

  • An understanding of the different roles agency staff can take to get RFBs implemented;
  • Information as to the importance and effectiveness of RFBs (sales-pitch information);
  • Strategies and materials on how to leverage funds through RFB implementation; and
  • Educational information on current RFB implementation programs and incentives.

Speakers presenting include the Farm Service Agency, the Natural Resource Conservation Service, New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, and the Department of Environmental Conservation.  Also, a peer panel of RFB implementers from throughout the Upper Susquehanna Watershed and landowner perspectives of buffers will be incorporated into the workshop.

Lunch will be provided.  An agenda is anticipated to be distributed in late January. Event inquiries may be directed to Lydia Brinkley at lbrinkley@u-s-c.org.

Please feel free to share the .pdf of this announcement linked here – Save the Date

Save the Date for CREP Land Eligibility Walking Tour

August 27th, 2015 from 10am-2:30pm Rain or Shine

Schuyler County, NY

The conservation and preservation of water resources are important to us all, so come and learn about the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program’s (CREP) land eligibility requirements through an in-the-field lesson with conversation.  This event is offered to all district and agency employees to promote consistent awareness and uniform implementation of CREP.

Specific meeting location and details will be distributed next week (8/17).  Lunch will be provided.

REGISTER NOW for the upcoming Emergency Stream Intervention Training in Tompkins County

The Tompkins County Soil & Water Conservation District and the Upper Susquehanna Coalition will be conducting a three-day training session for Post Flood Emergency Stream Intervention. This protocol and training were originally developed for municipal equipment operators and contractors to provide environmentally-friendly, post-flood stream response for compromised channel capacity due to deposition, in-channel debris issues and corrective measures for stream avulsions. The program was designed for immediate post-flood corrective action or triage by local municipalities, working with the stream’s natural tendencies while protecting aquatic habitat. For additional info on this training initiative and for a copy of the training manual, please go to www.dec.ny.gov/lands/86450.html. This program is not a long-term  restoration/ remediation program, nor a flood mitigation program.


  • Learning where to and where not to work
  • Determining when and where to relocate stream channels
  • Learning how to prioritize stream work
  • Identification/duplication of stable stream reaches
  • Recognizing channels with reduced flow capacity
  • Use of USGS New York StreamStats Web Tool to calculate watershed areas
  • Proper stream channel sizing using locally and regionally- developed Hydraulic Relationship Curves
  • Determining proper stream profile and geometric pattern
  • Reconnecting to the floodplain
  • Work methods and dewatering techniques


Participants MUST attend all three sessions to receive credit for attendance 3 Sessions,on non-consecutive, days include:

DAY ONE – “Before Construction”, Classroom training followed by an “in the field” site assessment and project layout. Lunch provided. Tuesday August 18, from 9:00 to 5:00, Newfield Town Hall 166 Main Street Newfield, NY 14867

DAY TWO – “During Construction”, Participants must visit the construction site during construction. No classroom training. Meals/transportation on your own. Date and time TBD, at Trumbulls Cors Rd/ Main St, Newfield, NY 14867

DAY THREE – “After Construction”, Meet at Classroom, visit site, followed by classroom review, Q and A, quiz, and Certificate of Training.  Six hours.  Lunch provided. Date and time TBD, Newfield, NY 14867

View the training flyer for more information on the training and on how to register.

Visit the USC Stream Team Page for more information

Visit the USC Stream Team Page for more information

Buffers Anyone?

By Troy Bishopp

Owego, N.Y. – You may identify with a buffer as an antacid, a car polisher or cows eating hay before going on lush pasture, and you’d be right.  In rural America, buffers are also an integral part of protecting and preserving water quality on the land and at the streamside.  Jacques Cousteau said, “We forget that the water cycle and the life cycle are one”.

The Upper Susquehanna Coalition strives to create and enhance a “wall to wall” buffer

Lydia Brinkley surveys a 4 year old USC riparian buffer in the Otselic River Watershed

Lydia Brinkley surveys a 4 year old USC riparian buffer in the Otselic River Watershed

program that respects the water/life cycle using an integrative, multiple barrier approach with its agriculture team, stream team and award-winning wetland team.  To bolster efforts to improve water quality and natural resources and work with landowners and communities in the Upper Susquehanna River Basin, the 19 Soil and Water Conservation Districts of the USC are pleased to introduce Lydia Brinkley as their new Buffer Coordinator.

Ms. Brinkley and the USC have partnered with The U.S Forest Service and The Natural Resources Conservation Service in a Joint Chiefs Landscape

Lydia points out Caddisfly cases from under rocks in a stream which are an indicator of good water quality.

Lydia points out Caddisfly cases from under rocks in a stream which are an indicator of good water quality.

Restoration Initiative to improve the health and resiliency of large scale landscapes and priority forested watersheds.  The goal is to add riparian forested buffer corridors and seek innovative ways to implement practical conservation measures on the ground.

Lydia holds a Master of Science degree in Forest and Natural Resources Management from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry where she performed research in the Skaneateles Lake Watershed, as well as on the aquatic insect composition of watershed streams dominated by agriculture and forest.  Lydia has experience as an environmental consultant, teaching college level science courses, and developing and delivering educational and conservation management strategies to landowners and communities.

She is looking forward to engaging with farmers and Upper Susquehanna River stakeholders, promoting common sense practices that are economically feasible, putting projects on the ground and playing a role in the enhancement of water quality ,soil health, riparian habitat and some good fishing spots.

Wendy Walsh, USC Watershed Coordinator and Tioga County SWCD District Manager said, “We appreciate Lydia’s passion and boots in the stream attitude to create more practical, riparian buffer acres that will protect our watershed for future generations.  She is an asset to our rural community”.

If you have a potential riparian buffer site or have an area on your farm where you need some technical help and site development help, contact Lydia Brinkley at lbrinkley@u-s-c.org or (315) 525-5872 and visit U-S-C.org for more water quality initiatives.

This article originally featured in County Folks Eastern Edition