FL Land Trust protects 71 acres in Canandaigua Lake watershed

Finger Lakes Land Trust
The acreage is seen from Dugway Road, with Bristol Mountain Ski Resort seen in the distant right.

BRISTOL — The Finger Lakes Land Trust (FLLT) has acquired 71 wooded acres in the town of Bristol, Ontario County. The property shares its western boundary with Stid Hill Wildlife Management Area, and contains 5,365 feet of streambank on two tributaries to Canandaigua Lake.

A mixed hardwood forest defines the landscape here, set amongst the rolling Bristol Hills—a priority project of the New York State Open Space Plan. In the Open Space Plan, the New York Natural Heritage Program identifies the Bristol Hills as the largest occurrence of Appalachian oak-hickory forest in the state.

The FLLT was approached by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for assistance in acquiring the parcel. When funds become available, the FLLT intends to transfer the property to the state as an addition to Stid Hill WMA.

Conservation of this property will prevent future subdivision that would fragment wildlife habitat connectivity and disrupt recreational opportunities. The 1,035-acre Stid Hill WMA offers multiple outdoor activities including hiking, biking, fishing, and wildlife viewing.

The recently acquired property is located in a growing area of conserved lands including the FLLT’s Canandaigua Vista Preserve, Wesley Hill Nature Preserve, three properties protected by FLLT conservation easements, and Ontario County Park at Gannett Hill.

“This is a great addition to a growing network of conserved lands in the Bristol Hills,” said Finger Lakes Land Trust Executive Director Andrew Zepp. “Acquisition of this land will secure significant habitat, help protect Canandaigua Lake’s water quality, and expand recreational opportunities.”

By working cooperatively with landowners and local communities, the Finger Lakes Land Trust has protected over 28,000 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 170 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 http://www.fllt.org.