After over 17 months of senseless delays, FERC finally forced New York State Electric and Gas to release the flow study and access plan for the Ausable River. The report is incomplete, biased, erroneous, and among the lowest quality work we have ever seen submitted to FERC. Still, there was actual data collected, and the report cannot help but reveal those data. All of the data fully support year round paddling access on the Ausable River. The conclusions of the report however totally reverse the results, and NYSEG asks FERC to allow them to totally prohibit paddling access to the Ausable River. If this sounds strange to you, you are not alone.
Nearly 50 paddlers volunteered their time to help complete the study, during the summer and fall of 2005. The Ausable Chasm Company generously worked with paddlers to allow scouting from the gorge rim on exploratory descents.
FERC required the submission of the report after AW, the Kayak and Canoe Club of New York, and several paddlers wrote them asking for action. FERC responded quickly and appears committed to resolving this issue by the start of the 2007 summer boating season.
AW and KCCNY are filing comments this week requesting year-round public river access at the Ausable in time for the summer boating season, and we are hopeful that this will occur.