Photo: Matt Champlin

Finger Lakes Land Trust Conserves 160 Acres in Owasco Lake Watershed

The Finger Lakes Land Trust (FLLT) accepted the donation of a conservation easement on 160 acres of farmland in the town of Scipio, Cayuga County from local resident Barbara Post and her five siblings: Roger, Marilyn, Ken, Nancy, and Linda.

The property has expansive views of Owasco Lake and the surrounding area, including the FLLT’s Owasco Bluffs Nature Preserve on the opposite shore. Originally purchased by Barbara’s grandfather, the property has been in the Post family for more than a century. Three generations of the family farmed the land, primarily raising Angus beef cattle and a variety of crops.

An aerial view of farmland with a lake in the distance

Photo: Matt Champlin

The six siblings are planning to sell the property, however, they first wanted to ensure their longtime family farm was forever protected from development. “It would be sad to see this farm turned into a suburban development,” said Barbara. “It’s the best thing we can do.”

The conservation easement will ensure the farm is not developed and will also protect the lake’s water quality. Predominantly a mix of agricultural fields, a stream winds its way along the southern and eastern borders of the property and flows into the lake 4,000 feet downstream. The easement also expands vegetated buffers along the stream which will reduce runoff to the lake. Later this year, FLLT staff and volunteers plan to plant native trees and shrubs on the expanded buffer.

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.

*In the fall of 2023, FLLT staff and volunteers planted nearly 400 trees and shrubs along 5,000 feet of a tributary on the property that flows into Owasco Lake. See the story.