Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates Counties, New York
The 2013 Finger Lakes Regional Sustainability Plan was created following the establishment of the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority’s (NYSERDA) Cleaner Greener Communities Program. The first phase of this program involved the development of ten regional plans across the state, each with a unique approach toward accelerating energy efficiency and smart growth practices throughout New York. The Finger Lakes planning team was tasked with outlining a path toward reduced greenhouse gas emission, increased job creation, and economic development in a manner consistent with the values, history, and culture of the nine-county region. As a subconsultant to C+S Engineers, EDR reviewed the most challenging aspects of sustainable agriculture and forestry within the region, and helped to identify strategies and projects to increase the viability, accessibility, and ecological contribution of Finger Lakes farms and forests, while also decreasing their waste and dependence on external inputs. With valuable input from several stakeholders throughout the region, EDR identified a dozen representative projects (and approximately 30 project ideas) which, if implemented, will help both the agriculture and forestry sectors grow in a more sustainable manner. These projects range in focus from the farm-scale and regional diversification of production, to the incorporation of bio-energy systems, to participation in carbon offset markets.