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Recent News

Congratulations to our "Grass Whisperer" Troy Bishopp on his 2012 Journalism Award from the New York State Agricultural Society!

Grass Whisperer Award


Click Here to view the Madison County district Grazing Newsletter for 2012 and read some great grazing articles!

Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District 2011 Grazing Program Annual Newsletter

Wetland and Grazing Crew Build “Wall to Wall Buffers”

The Tioga County SWCD/Upper Susquehanna Coalition’s Wetland crew knows how to tread lightly on the land when working around sensitive areas.  This capability with the right equipment benefitted a recent pond buffer project in Madison County while the men where in the area constructing a wetland complex.  Utilizing a skidsteer loader on tracks with an attached post pounder coupled with a timely freeze, “the grass and wetland whisperers”, Troy Bishopp and Ryan Ceruti installed a high-tensile fence excluding dairy heifers from a 2 acre pond in less than ideal conditions.  The farmer couldn’t even tell they were there.  On the wetland complex site, the equipment and men teamed up to install an eight foot deer fence protecting the newly planted trees.  It’s just another example of Districts working together for a common water quality goal and helping each other get conservation in the ground.

This document provides a TMDL update for the NY Agricultural Community:

Click here for USC data collection protocol:

Holding a successful pasture walk, an article by Troy Bishopp, USC Grazing Specialist

NY WIP Fact Sheet

data collection protocol Pasture walk article

Wetland Restoration and Construction Book

The USC and our partners at The Wetland Trust are distributing a book by Tom Biebighauser entitled Wetland Restoration and Construction: a Technical Guide.  Visit their webpage for a preview of the book and to place an order.

Legislative Session Powerpoints

View Madison County's annual report here highlighting some joint USC and Madison County Agricultural Projects:

Madison County's Annual Report


Visit our Vernal Pool Page for background information on our program and to add your pool to the database.

NY WIP Fact Sheet

The Ugly Graze-ling

Most of us know the Hans Christian Anderson’s fable about the ugly duckling blossoming into a beautiful swan.  This story extends to an unsightly ten acres of my pasture system.  This rank, hideous wad of growth has prompted visitors to say, “When ya gonna mow that, it looks ugly?”  Like the duckling, I have been belittled for “wasting” grass in favor of my feathered friends but this fairy tale always has a happy ending.......
Read this and other articles and anecdotes by the Grass Whisperer on his blog

Potomac River

Click here for A Watershed Moment with Troy Bishopp


In 2010 the USC finalized a contract for an $800,000 Stimulus Project. This 3 year project partners the USC with DEC foresters offering 35,000ac available land to work on.

Southern Tier Central Regional Planning and Development Board- has been awarded funds and a 2 year contract to develop a Susquehanna Chemung Action Plan: An Ecosystem Based Management Plan for the Susquehanna and Chemung Basins of New York. This grant includes funds for monitoring and data collection.


December 2009: Mr. Curatolo Goes to Washington... Jim Curatolo, coordinator of the Upper Susquehanna Coalition spoke before the US House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture in December 2009. Curatolo stressed the importance of local conservation districts as a link between farmers and state and federal agencies; a watershed approach where all are eligible to get implementation money, preventing disenfranchisement; funding for high quality, nutrient reducing practices in addition to innovation; and support for high quality data collection to support computer-based watershed planning.

Mr. Curatolo Goes to Washington

The USC has secured a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for $490,000 for grazing, stream rehabilitation and wetland restoration. The USC will provide match through a wetland endowment and a state grant to pilot a buffer program.

In May 2009 President Obama issued an executive order for Chesapeake Bay Protection and Restoration. A newer version of the Chesapeake Bay Program model is being used to determine each State’s load allocations of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and sediment. A Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) regulation will be derived from this model. This regulation will likely be in place sometime in 2011. The NY DEC is participating in all meetings regarding the TMDL to be sure New York’s water quality contributions and interests are represented fairly. The USC Watershed Coordinator has also been invited to Annapolis to discuss the executive order with Chuck Fox, EPA who was selected to oversee its implementation.

May 2009 began a 6 year agreement between the USC and the Chesapeake Bay Program. The grant provides support to address nonpoint source issues; to track practices that reduce sediment and nutrient loading in the Susquehanna River drainage; to formulate an action plan; and fund high priority practices.

Febuary 2009: Jeff Lape, Executive Director of the Chesapeake Bay Program was a guest speaker at the January 2009 USC meeting. Discussions included a possible Total Maximum Daily Load regulation, data collection, and the future of New York’s Tributary Strategy. Future needs include support of local efforts to upgrade sewage treatment plants financially and structurally, and strengthening local ability to implement critical practices across the landscape. The USC has been selected by the Chesapeake Bay Program for a 6 year grant to continue to provide support to address nonpoint source issues. The funding will support the USC in tracking practices that reduce sediment and nutrient loading in the Susquehanna River drainage, formulate an action plan to help with these reductions and fund high priority practices.


Click here to view the current news or here to see the current projects


















Upper Susquehanna Coalition
Main Office: 183 Corporate Drive - Owego, NY 13827 - (607) 687-3553
Coordinator: Wendy Walsh - 183 Corporate Drive - Owego, NY 13827 - (607) 687-3553 wwalsh@u-s-c.org