Master Plan at The Lake

By: 
TR Staff
Staff Writer

By Chelsey Olauson
trnews2@times-online.com
Most area citizens consider Lake Ashtabula to be “The Lake.” This massive, over 8,000-acre, nearly sixty-year-old body of water in its entirety comprises a great portion of tourism visits and regional visitor spending.
In 2016, The Lake had over 300,000 visits and about 13 million dollars in visitor spending. It looms correspondingly large in the thoughts of area businesses and visitors alike.
Managing this recreational area that covers also fish and wildlife habitat is the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Two notable figures in the USACE were present at the public meeting last night: Manager Rich Schueneman and Park Ranger Scott Tichy. Also at the meeting was a biologist and an archaeologist with this organization.
Managing a water body for wildlife and fish that doubles as recreation area requires periodic revisions to the way that things are done, and that is what this meeting was about: Beginning the discussion that would eventually result in a new plan of action for the USACE at Lake Ashtabula, the old one of which was constructed in 2006. The steps in the process for construction of a new plan that the public can partake in is commenting online about what you use the lake for as well as changes that you would like to see at the lake, and there will be a public review of the completed plan, projected for late fall of 2019.
As the USACE constructs their new plan and environmental assessment, public comments given both at the meeting and online will be considered. As recreation has changed, so too must the operation of the recreational facilities, and that is why public comments are valuable to the USACE at this early stage of planning.
Continued work on the boundaries of where USACE land ends is one undertaking that the engineers plan to keep rolling, but other changes are not solidified into a concrete plan quite yet. If you have any comments, contacting Mr. Tichy or Mr. Schueneman is a possible way to transmit them. Otherwise, visiting the website at https://mvp.usace.army.mil/Ashtabula_Homme_Master_Plans/ is the most efficient way to get your input noticed. The USACE would like to note that all comments will become part of the final report, so mention of personal information is given in the comment will be publicly shared due to the open nature of this Master Plan.
How do you use the Lake? What do you appreciate about it, or dislike, or want to see changed? The USACE would like your input for the future of the Lake Ashtabula Project by sharing your thoughts with your local Manager Rich Schueneman, at 845-2970 and Park Ranger Scott Tichy at 845-2970 or Scott.C.Tichy@usace.army.mil.

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