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August 28, 2000

Contact: Geoff Ryan (718/595-6600)

Watershed Forestry Conservation Corps Team Completes Summer's Work At Cannonsville Reservoir

Commissioner Joel A. Miele Sr., P.E., of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced today that a Watershed Forestry Conservation Corps team recently completed an inventory of the Johnny Brook forest area above the Cannonsville Reservoir in Delaware County. This area contains over 2,500 acres of water supply land and was last inventoried almost 25 years ago. The information acquired through the new inventory will be used to determine changes in the forest stands, to identify both common and rare species of flora and fauna, and to locate and describe special habitats and water resources, such as springs, seeps and wetlands. The three-person team, comprised of a crew chief and two student interns, worked throughout the summer on the inventory.

"This marked the second year that DEP has employed a team of specialists in forestry from area colleges to conduct inventories of properties at the reservoirs," said Commissioner Miele. "It's a great program that provides students with valuable experience, while collecting important information that helps DEP plan management strategies for water supply lands and forests."

The chief of this summer's crew was Mr. Thomas Pavlesich of Lancaster, PA. He graduated last year from the College of Forestry at Syracuse, and then worked for Mead Paper Company doing forest inventory work on their extensive land holdings in New Hampshire. Mr. Pavlesich plans to attend graduate school in January. The two interns working under his leadership were Mr. Ron Chapin and Mr. Michael Cooper.

Ron Chapin is a returnee from last year's intern program, during which he helped map all the roads in Johnny Brook with a Trimble Geographical Positioning System unit. That work experience was invaluable in helping this year's crew members develop an accurate Geographical Information System (GIS) map from the data they collected. Mr. Chapin resides in Oneonta with his wife and two boys and will be a senior this fall at SUNY Oneonta where he is majoring in Earth Science. A 23-year veteran of the U.S. Army, he saw 16 years of service in the Army's DELTA force special combat unit. "The DEP program has been great for me, because I'm learning all sorts of information that will be very useful in my future teaching career," stated Mr. Chapin.

Michael Cooper resides in Saugerties and will be a senior at the College of Forestry at Syracuse in the fall. His two-hour commute has done little to stem his enthusiasm for the program. Mr. Cooper said, "It is a great experience driving all the way through the Catskills each day - from the Hudson River to the West Branch of the Delaware River. My biggest concern, so far, has been avoiding the deer, bears and other wildlife that can wander onto our mountain roads."


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