PARTNERSHIP ENHANCES ACCESS TO NEW YORK STATE’S ONLY NATIONAL FOREST

Pond off Burnt HIll Road, Finger Lakes National Forest. Photo by Tom Reimers
03/05/2020

The Finger Lakes Land Trust recently announced it has acquired 5.5 wooded acres in the town of Hector, Schuyler County. The property includes more than 1,300 feet of shared boundary with the Finger Lakes National Forest (FLNF) and approximately 1,000 feet of frontage on Vesa Road.

Protection of this parcel prevents future subdivision that would fragment wildlife habitat connectivity and disrupt recreational opportunities.

The acquisition was made possible by the organization’s “Opportunity Fund,” a dedicated account created by the Land Trust to make time sensitive acquisitions possible. The fund will be replenished when the property is sold to the U.S. Forest Service in the future.

This latest project is the Land Trust’s fourth land acquisition within the national forest, where the organization also holds three conservation easements conserving private property. Spanning more than 16,000 acres, the FLNF is located between Cayuga and Seneca lakes. It is well known for its miles of multi-use recreational trails and dirt roads. The forest’s patchwork of fields and woodlands also provide habitat for a diversity of wildlife and is recognized as one of New York State’s Important Bird Areas.

 

By working cooperatively with landowners and local communities, the Finger Lakes Land Trust has protected more than 24,000 acres of the region’s undeveloped lakeshore, rugged gorges, rolling forest, and scenic farmland.  The Land Trust owns and manages a network of over 35 nature preserves that are open to the public and holds perpetual conservation easements on 147 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, including the Finger Lakes National Forest, may be found at www.gofingerlakes.org, a resource created by the Land Trust to encourage people to get outdoors.