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December 20, 2012

Otsego Land Trust cleans up its island

Cooperstown Crier

---- — Otsego Land Trust has been cleaning up debris on Deowongo Island in Canadarago Lake, according to a media release from the organization.

After purchasing the island in September of this year, Land Trust field representative Connie Tedesco, sought the expertise of Tom Gott, the owner of Tom’s Mobile Home Repair in Edmeston to disassemble and remove the abandoned trailer on the north end of the island and all the other trash and equipment abandoned on the island.

With the help of Dan Heinrich, the owner of Green Builders Inc. from Cherry Valley, a barge was used to transport the trash off the island.

“In all, we removed 40 yards of debris from the island,” Gott said in the release.

Gott and his crew needed to borrow a boat from a friend to transport people and equipment to island.

“I’ve never worked on a project quite like this before, but we got it done and the island looks great,” Gott said.

According to the release, for these contractors, the clean up was a unique job. Transporting crews and equipment to the island was no easy feat and cold November temperatures and high winds brought additional challenges.

This first major cleanup operation on Deowongo Island was made possible by contributions from several individuals and organizations, including the Canadarago Lake Improvement Association.

“When we found out about the wonderful work that the Land Trust was doing, it became a priority to become involved and support this organization every step of the way,” Ryan Fagan, a CLIA board member, said in the release.

The cleanup was the first step in making the island safer and more accessible for visitors.

Otsego Land Trust now owns three parcels along Oaks Creek, the 106-acre Fetterley Forest Conservation Area on Panther Mountain overlooking Deowongo Island, and, in partnership with the state Department of Environmental Conservation, a recently opened public fishing access, called Compton Bridge, near the confluence of Oaks Creek and the Susquehanna River on County Highway11C.

In addition, a partnership between the DEC, Otsego Land Trust and the Birch Family created an additional fishing access site on Oaks Creek along Greenough Road in the town of Hartwick last year, according to the release.

Together, these sites form a “Blue Way” trail with several access points along Oaks Creek that ultimately tie into the 444-mile long Susquehanna River.

The Fetterley Forest Conservation area on Panther Mountain, Brookwood Point on Otsego Lake and Compton Bridge Conservation Area are open to the public. Within the year, Otsego Land Trust will be working on management plans for Deowongo Island and the three other parcels along Oaks Creek, with the anticipation of opening additional trails and public access.