Photo by Bill Hecht

The Finger Lakes Land Trust (FLLT) today announced it has received a donation of 30 acres with 1,080 feet of undeveloped shoreline on Seneca Lake in the town of Fayette, Seneca County. Located three miles south of Geneva, the property is a gift from the estate of Robert Kriss who passed away in 2021. Robert was a resident of Geneva who enjoyed outdoor recreation and had deep concerns about the natural environment.

Two non-contiguous parcels comprise the 30 acres, set in an agricultural landscape on the northeastern side of Seneca Lake. A 10-acre wooded shoreline parcel is separated by a rail line from 20 additional acres that features woodlands, brush, and a farm field. The property’s natural shoreline is of particular significance for fish and wildlife.

The FLLT intends to manage the property as the Kriss Family Nature Preserve. Due to the site’s limited access by land, public access will be by boat only at this time. Protecting undeveloped shoreline is one of the organization’s top strategies for safeguarding water quality and providing public access to our region’s lakeshores.

Other FLLT-protected lands in the area include the Bishop Nature Preserve, which provides access to the Cayuga-Seneca Canal Trail, as well as the Kashong Conservation Area, which is owned and managed by the Town of Geneva.

“We are grateful for this tremendous gift to the Land Trust, the community, and Seneca Lake,” said Land Trust Executive Director Andy Zepp. “Undeveloped shoreline is scarce in the Finger Lakes and it’s so important for wildlife and the health of the lake.”

By working cooperatively with landowners and local communities, the Finger Lakes Land Trust has protected over 29,000 acres of the region’s undeveloped lakeshore, rugged gorges, rolling forest, and scenic farmland. The FLLT owns and manages a network of over 46 nature preserves that are open to the public and holds perpetual conservation easements on 172 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, including the Finger Lakes National Forest, may be found at, a resource created by the FLLT to encourage people to get outdoors. Additional information about the Finger Lakes Land Trust may be found at

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