The Finger Lakes Land Trust recently announced it has acquired 20 wooded acres on Bare Hill—the iconic promontory overlooking Canandaigua Lake’s eastern shore. 0The property is located in the town of Middlesex, Yates County, in close proximity to New York State’s 393-acre Bare Hill Unique Area.
Bare Hill is well known in the region for its scenic views as well as its cultural significance in the creation story of the Seneca Nation. This recently acquired property, which represents the organization’s eighth project in the area, provides an important connection between state lands on Bare Hill and two other parcels previously acquired by the Land Trust. When public funds are available, all three parcels will be transferred to New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) as a single 45-acre addition to state land.
Addition of these undeveloped lands to Bare Hill Unique Area will enhance wildlife habitat protection, help safeguard water quality in Canandaigua Lake, and increase public access to recreational opportunities. In the future, the Land Trust hopes to work with the state and other partners to construct a hiking trail on nearby conserved lands from the lakeshore to the summit of Bare Hill.
“We are fortunate that the Finger Lakes Land Trust continues to preserve ecologically sensitive and culturally significant land in the Canandaigua Lake watershed,” said Land Trust Board Member and Canandaigua resident Wade Sarkis. “These are beautiful properties and many are available for the public to enjoy now, as well as for generations to come.”
Elsewhere in the Canandaigua Lake watershed, the Land Trust owns and manages five nature preserves including a recently acquired 100-acre preserve in the town of Canandaigua that will be open to the public in 2021. The organization has worked in partnership with Ontario County to create Grimes Glen County Park, with the Town of South Bristol to create Carolabarb Park, and with NYSDEC to enhance protection of Conklin Gully and High Tor Wildlife Management Area. Additionally, the Land Trust holds conservation easements on 22 properties in this area, representing more than 900 acres conserved in private ownership and remaining on local tax rolls.
By working cooperatively with landowners and local communities, the Finger Lakes Land Trust has protected nearly 25,000 acres of the region’s undeveloped lakeshore, rugged gorges, rolling forest, and scenic farmland. The Land Trust owns and manages a network of 35 nature preserves that are open to the public and holds perpetual conservation easements on 150 properties that remain in private ownership.
The Land Trust 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 local residents about conservation and the region’s unique natural resources.
Additional information about the Finger Lakes Land Trust may be found at www.fllt.org. Information on the region’s premiere destinations for outdoor recreation may be found at www.gofingerlakes.org, a resource created by the Land Trust to encourage people to get outdoors.