Land protection in the Canandaigua Lake Watershed

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express

The Finger Lakes Land Trust and Canandaigua Lake Watershed Association will hold a workshop on land protection in the Canandaigua Lake Watershed at the Vine Valley Community House in Middlesex on Aug. 14 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Hear more about the land protection efforts of the Finger Lakes Land Trust on Bare Hill and along the West River. The Land Trust recently acquired a 70 acre parcel which will expand Bare Hill State Unique Area and secure a rare stretch of undeveloped shoreline. And at the south end of the lake, near the West River, the Land Trust is working in partnership with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the NYSDEC to restore native grasslands and enhance wildlife habitat.

Edith Davey, Conservation Educator for the Ontario County Soil and Water Conservation District, will discuss the relationship of steep slopes to the health of the lake – addressing what makes steep slopes so erodible, the pressure of development to these highly erodible sites, and the impact of erosion on the lake.

Finally, this will be a chance to learn about how actions by private landowners through the use of conservation easements can work to protect our landscapes. Conservation easements are legal agreements that limit future development while allowing land to remain in private ownership and on the tax rolls.

The easement allows for the protection of the natural resources of the property while allowing for continued use of the land for agriculture. Landowners who donate conservation easements may be eligible for both state and federal tax benefits.

The Finger Lakes Land Trust is a membership supported, not for profit land conservation organization that works cooperatively with landowners and local communities to conserve those lands that are vital to the integrity of the Finger Lakes Region. Since it was established in 1989, the organization has protected more than 15,000 acres of the region's undeveloped shoreline, rugged gorges, majestic forests, and scenic farmland.

The Land Trust owns and manages 30 conservation areas that are open to the public and holds conservation easements on 100 properties that remain in private ownership. Additional information about the Land Trust may be obtained by visiting www.fllt.org or calling 607- 275-9487.