Key Land Trust parcel of mature hardwood forest will be added to Connecticut Hill Wildlife Management Area.
Ithaca, NY — The Finger Lakes Land Trust today announced it has acquired a 16-acre parcel that will be added to Connecticut Hill, New York State’s largest Wildlife Management Area. Working in partnership with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, the Land Trust plans to transfer ownership of the parcel as soon as state funds are available. Though modest in size in comparison to the existing wildlife area, this latest acquisition features frontage on both banks of a perennial stream that is a tributary of nearby Cayuta Lake. It also features mature hardwood forest and borders state land on three sides.
Located on the border of Tompkins and Schuyler Counties and spanning more than 11,000 acres, Connecticut Hill is recognized as one of the state’s Important Bird Areas, supporting a diversity of songbirds—some of them threatened by forest habitat destruction. The forest is also home to wide-ranging mammals such as Black Bear and is a well-known destination for hunters and hikers alike.
Acquisition of the property helps ensure the integrity of a healthy, shaded stream. Further, it adds to one of the largest blocks of conserved forest land remaining in the Finger Lakes. “One look at the property convinced me that we needed to act,” said Land Trust Director of Land Protection Zack Odell. “It was listed for sale and an adjacent lot had already been developed. A modest public investment will help ensure the integrity of one of our region’s most extensive conservation areas.”
Connecticut Hill is located within the Emerald Necklace – a proposed greenbelt that will ultimately link 50,000 acres of existing conservation lands that extend in an arc around Ithaca from Finger Lakes National Forest in the west to Hammond Hill and Robinson Hollow State Forests in the east. The Land Trust has already worked with partners to protect several thousand additional acres within the Necklace and continues to secure key parcels through acquisition as well as the use of conservation easements on land that remains in private ownership. The Emerald Necklace is recognized as a priority project within New York State’s Open Space Plan.
The Finger Lakes Land Trust is a member supported non-profit conservation organization that works cooperatively with landowners and local communities to permanently protect those lands that are vital to the character of the Finger Lakes Region. To date, the Land Trust has worked with partners to secure more than 16,000 acres of the region’s undeveloped shoreline, scenic farmland, rugged gorges, and majestic forest. The organization today owns and manages 35 conservation areas that are accessible to the public and holds conservation easements on more than 100 properties that remain in private ownership and on the tax rolls. Additional information on the Land Trust may be found at www.fllt.org.