Conservation Easement Helps Protect Rochester’s Drinking Water Supply

The Finger Lakes Land Trust (FLLT) today announced it has permanently protected 55 wooded acres in the town of Springwater, Livingston County. The property is contiguous with the 1,550-acre Harriet Hollister Spencer State Recreation Area and located in the Hemlock Lake watershed, a source of drinking water for the city of Rochester.

Featuring approximately 3,030 feet of forested frontage on Reynolds Gully Creek, a tributary of Hemlock Lake and a New York State classified trout stream, the property is also directly upstream from Hemlock-Canadice State Forest.

A stream and gorge with hemlock trees

Photo: Kris West

The property is owned by Rochester resident Bob Good who purchased the first 11-acre parcel in 1982 with his late wife Sue Schickler. With the help of family, they built a rustic cabin on the site and, over time, made two additional land purchases with conservation in mind.

Four generations of the Good/Schickler family have spent many years on their land producing maple syrup, playing in the creek, and relaxing at what they call “Tommy’s Camp.” After Sue passed away in 2016, Bob made the decision to donate a conservation easement to protect the property in honor of Sue and their family’s connection to the land. “We loved it from the beginning,” said Bob. “The idea that the conservation is permanent to generations beyond us that I will never meet, that’s kind of special.”

Protection of the Good property will safeguard the water quality of Hemlock Lake, provide an important buffer from development to nearby protected lands, and maintain wildlife habitat connectivity in the area.

Conservation easements are voluntary legal agreements that permanently limit future land use in order to protect the land’s conservation value. Lands subject to conservation easements remain in private ownership, on local tax rolls, and available for traditional uses such as farming and hunting.