Canal Corporation scales back on tree-cutting project, halts all work until February

(WHAM photo)

Pittsford, N.Y. – The New York State Canal Corporation is changing its plans in regard to a controversial tree-cutting plan along sections of the Erie Canal.

During a special informational meeting Thursday in the Town of Pittsford, the corporation announced it was scaling back on its original plan, instead focusing on clearing dead trees and underbrush. This, it said, would be done to identify any current weaknesses or issues with embankments.

The corporation says it will also be working with property owners and members of the affected communities to address any concerns going forward.

The goal of the project was to remove trees and other vegetation from along certain stretches of the canal. The corporation said the presence of some plant life could endanger embankments – which could, in turn, result in damage to property or loss of life.

The plan was criticized by many, who said the project would have a detrimental result on quality of life and tourism. Three towns had joined together in pursuing legal action in order for a comprehensive environmental study to be conducted.

The Canal Corporation said no work would be performed before February 7.

This is a developing story – 13WHAM will provide updates as they become available.

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