By Mark Boshnack
The Daily Star
---- — A new public access site along the Susquehanna River recently opened south of the village of Cooperstown thanks to the cooperation of several partners, officials with two of those involved said Wednesday.
The Compton Bridge Conservation Area, with access on county route 11C in Middlefield, began with the 2009 purchase of land by the Otsego Land Trust, according to a Wednesday media release from the state Department of Environmental Cooperative. It will allow anglers and boaters with car-top boats to access the Susquehanna.
In Dec. 2009, the Land Trust and the DEC entered into a Fish and Wildlife Management Act Cooperative Agreement allowing for public access along 1,400 feet of riverbank. The recently completed improvements to the approximately three-acre site were funded by a grant from the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network, administered by several agencies. They include two small parking areas, a 6-foot-wide footpath and a small wooden footbridge that provides for safer and more-convenient access to the river from the road. The Otsego County Highway Department also provided assistance in the project.
“We provided a lot of the labor and some of the material needs for the improvements,” DEC Region 4 spokesman Rick Georgeson said. It's an example of the types of partnerships the DEC has around the state with private owners to open up sites for public use, he said.
“The DEC was an ideal partner,” Otsego Land Trust outreach coordinator Marcie Foster said, adding that the nonprofit is working on several other parcels along Oaks Creek, a Susquehanna tributary, in hopes to open a similar site in the future.