LAND PURCHASE SECURES WETLAND HABITAT AND ADDS TO PROTECTION OF CAYUGA LAKE WATERSHED

03/14/2024

The Finger Lakes Land Trust (FLLT) announced it has purchased 26 acres located off Tucker and Iradell Roads in the town of Enfield, Tompkins County. The property, which contains 1,200 feet of frontage on a tributary to Taughannock Creek, will be added to the FLLT’s adjacent Lower Nature Preserve.

In addition to fields and hardwood forest, the new acquisition contains ten acres of wetlands that attract abundant wildlife—over 65 confirmed species of birds and other fauna. Protection of these wetlands not only secures this wildlife-rich habitat but also provides an upland buffer to the tributary to Taughannock Creek, which flows into Cayuga Lake.

The addition of this parcel to the Lower Preserve will expand the protection of existing wetlands in this area and double the size of the preserve to 49 acres. The conservation area, which is currently managed for wildlife habitat, was created in December 1997 when local resident William Lower donated 23.5 acres to the FLLT.

Partial funding for this project came from New York State’s Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP). The WQIP program funds projects that directly address documented water quality impairments or protect a drinking water source.

By working cooperatively with landowners and local communities, the Finger Lakes Land Trust has protected over 32,000 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 187 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 www.fllt.org.

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