Friday, September 11, 2015

Loss Of A Young Life

  Many of you may know that there was a tragic drowning death of a young, teenage girl in the Esopus Creek last Saturday. I am linking to an article that fully explains the details of how it happened.

  Woodland Valley resident Pete Oberbeck was featured in the article and probably saved the life of the kayaker that he was able to warn about the strainer. The hazard exists in Shandaken by the cemetery at the fishing accessing point. Please warn everyone you know not to go into the Esopus at that point until the DEC removes that dangerous hazard.

  I am copying and pasting a sample letter from the Town of Shandaken website to the NYSDEC. You can help by writing to them and helping to get that hazard removed.

  From the Town of Shandaken -

PLEASE HELP US PREVENT FURTHER LOSS OF LIFE! Use this sample letter below to contact the people shown to solve this problem with the debris in the Esopus Stream - (owned by NYSDEC). Before another tragedy occurs. Please copy and paste.. insert your own contact info at bottom.
Sample letter:

"Dear Governor Cuomo, Senators Carlucci & Seward and Assembly Members Cahill & Zebrowski:

This email/letter I'm forwarding to you is one I hoped to never have to write.

A 14 year old girl, Jordyn Engler, lost her life on the Esopus Creek by putting her inner tube into the river in a location that was known to be unsafe (her Dad was also injured).

The obstruction that took her life was a well known strainer (many downed trees in the stream's main current) that has been pointed out to folks from Ulster County, the NYS DEC, NYC DEP and the members of the Ashokan Stream Management Program's Recreational Stream Access Committee. As these downed trees are on NYS DEC's Forever Wild land, they can't legally be moved or destroyed as per Article XIV of the NYS Constitution.

Section 1. The lands of the state, now owned or hereafter acquired, constituting the forest preserve as now fixed by law, shall be forever kept as wild forest lands. They shall not be leased, sold or exchanged, or be taken by any corporation, public or private, nor shall the timber thereon be sold, removed or destroyed.

As an individual that advocates for recreational use of the Esopus Creek; I'm exceptionally heartbroken over this loss.

I appeal for your help to preserve the recreational use of the Esopus Creek by taking reasonable measures to protect public safety; Article XIV, as written, doesn't speak to safety - so feels out of balance, though of good intent.

Can you suggest either amending Article XIV of the NYS constitution (easy, no?), get an executive exception for this parcel of land or land adjacent to recreational whitewater resources, or suggest or execute any other actions to prevent further loss of life?

As always, thank you for your support and representation."
Signed ....
(Here is the contact info)..Gov. Cuomo -
Senator Carlucci -
Senator Seward -
Assembly Member Cahill -
Assembly Zebrowski -