Photo: Bill Hecht

Finger Lakes Land Trust Protects Over 160 Acres in the Cohocton River Watershed

The Finger Lakes Land Trust (FLLT) accepted the donation of a conservation easement protecting 167 acres from landowners David Henderson and John Hatch. The property is located in Steuben County, in the towns of Prattsburgh and Pulteney, and features 4,000 feet of frontage on Town Line and Hotchkiss Roads.

David and John are partners in an architectural firm based in New Jersey that specializes in sustainable redevelopment of urban buildings. They purchased their Steuben County property, including an old barn and house, in 2007 to establish a rural family retreat.

An aerial view of fields and forested land

Photo: Bill Hecht

The property is located on a hilltop in the Five Mile Creek sub-basin of the Cohocton River Watershed within the Resilient and Connected Network of lands identified by The Nature Conservancy—an important habitat corridor that will allow wildlife to migrate in response to climate change. Other protected lands nearby include Urbana and Italy Hill state forests.

The conservation easement will prohibit subdivision, permanently uniting ownership on both sides of Town Line Road. “Preserving farmland, protecting forests, and habitat for many creatures, this conservation easement was a practical way to ensure that the Finger Lakes’ rural character lasts in perpetuity,” said David and John.

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.