Photo: Stefanie Delaney

Conservation Easement Protects 104-Acre Horse Farm Adjacent to Finger Lakes National Forest

The Land Trust accepted the donation of a conservation easement that will forever conserve a 104-acre horse farm that provides valuable buffer to New York State’s only national forest.

The property, owned by Anastasia Newell, is located in the town of Hector, Schuyler County adjacent to the Finger Lakes National Forest.  Both the Newell property and the adjacent forest are located within the Emerald Necklace, an ambitious effort to link 50,000 acres of existing public open space.

Photo: Stefanie Delaney

Photo: Stefanie Delaney

Anastasia is the third generation family member to own the property, first acquired by her grandparents in the 1950s. The Newell farm is currently operated as an equestrian training and riding center where riders have easy access to trails contiguous with the neighboring Finger Lakes National Forest. The farm has also served as a safety check point during competitive equestrian events through the national forest.

The gently sloping property is a mix of fields, forest, and pastures with stunning views of the distant hills. Forested portions of the property contain stands of locust and a mix of hemlock, oak, cherry, maple, and white pine.

Anastasia expects the farm to eventually transfer out of her family’s ownership and wanted to keep the land intact for future farmers. Protection of the property will prohibit the farm from ever being subdivided and will prevent unsustainable land uses.

This is the Land Trust’s fifth project in the vicinity of the Finger Lakes National Forest where 116 acres, just a ½ mile from the Newell Farm, were protected in 2015. The Land Trust also acquired two forested parcels on behalf of the U.S. Forest Service and holds another conservation easement on 70 acres bordered on two sides by national forest land.