The Finger Lakes Land Trust (FLLT) recently announced that it recently acquired 110 acres of woodlands and meadows in the town of Lansing, Tompkins County. The recent acquisition overlooks the eastern shore of Cayuga Lake and includes the Cedar View Golf Course which was operated by the Larsen family for more than 50 years before it ceased operation in 2021. The property is located just north of the Bell Station parcel which the FLLT acquired in 2022.
Once part of a dairy farm, the property consists of lakeshore woodlands that feature several seasonal tributaries to Cayuga Lake. The former 9-hole golf course provides scenic views of the lake and is lined with native Eastern red cedar trees that took root when the site was used as a pasture.
The FLLT acquired the land through a partnership with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and intends to sell the property to DEC along with the lakeshore portion of Bell Station, to be managed as a public wildlife management area. The new management area will feature approximately 3,600 feet of lakeshore and more than 400 acres of diverse wildlife habitat.
“We were thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the Larsen family to conserve this special property,” said Land Trust executive director Andrew Zepp. “Together with Bell Station, this site is large enough to have special significance as habitat for fish and wildlife while also providing outstanding opportunities for outdoor recreation.”
Prior to conveying the land to DEC, the FLLT will partner with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to expand meadows on the former gold course to enhance grassland habitat for migratory songbirds such as Bobolinks, Savannah Sparrows, and Eastern Meadowlarks. A number of trees will be carefully removed to expand habitat for these “at risk” bird species and the meadows will be maintained through periodic mowing.
While the Cedar View Golf Course property will remain closed to the public until habitat improvements are completed, the adjacent Bell Station property is currently open for hiking and wildlife observation. For directions and additional information, visit fllt.org/bellstation.
The purchase was made possible by the FLLT’s Opportunity Fund—an internal revolving loan fund that is utilized for time-sensitive acquisitions and then replenished either through fundraising or the sale of land to a public conservation agency.
By working cooperatively with landowners and local communities, the Finger Lakes Land Trust has protected over 30,000 acres of the region’s undeveloped lakeshore, rugged gorges, rolling forest, and scenic farmland. The FLLT owns and manages a network of over 45 nature preserves that are open to the public and holds perpetual conservation easements on 179 properties that remain in private ownership.
The FLLT focuses on protecting critical habitat for fish and wildlife, conserving lands that are important for water quality, connecting existing conservation lands, and keeping prime farmland in agriculture. The organization also provides programs to educate local governments, landowners, and residents about conservation and the region’s unique natural resources.
Information on the region’s premier destinations for outdoor recreation may be found at www.gofingerlakes.org, a resource created by the FLLT to encourage people to get outdoors. Additional information about the Finger Lakes Land Trust may be found at http://www.fllt.org.