Farmers from throughout the Owasco Lake watershed raised an array of specific concerns and suggestions for the first proposed draft of new rules and regulations governing the watershed at the second of two stakeholder meetings Tuesday.
Members of the agricultural community in the watershed, which includes farmers in both Onondaga and Tompkins counties in addition to Cayuga County, met at the second stakeholder meeting designed to provide the staff behind the regulations input and feedback specific to their expertise.
The first stakeholder meeting, held Monday night, was made up of lake association members and lakeshore property owners.
Since 2017, a working group led by staff from several Cayuga County departments have been undertaking the rewrite effort — the first since 1984 — in an effort to provide enforceable rules to protect the lake in light of harmful algal blooms.
Staff members will take the input from the meetings, as well as any additional submitted feedback, and present it alongside a final draft to city of Auburn and town of Owasco governments for their approval before it is sent to the state for its approval, before final local approval.
Comments from the agricultural stakeholders Tuesday night largely revolved around questions of implementation costs — both for municipalities and individuals — and how much the rules would supersede existing farm management plans.