Photo: Bill Hecht

Land Trust Receives Nearly $2 Million in State Funding for Farmland Protection Projects in Chemung and Yates Counties

The Finger Lakes Land Trust (FLLT)  received $1,971,928 through New York State’s Farmland Protection Implementation Grants program (FPIG). Two of the FLLT’s projects were selected for protection through the use of perpetual conservation easements in Chemung and Yates counties.

$1,189,696 was awarded to protect 428 acres at Boorcrest Farm, a pasture-raised beef cattle operation in Horseheads, Chemung County, which sells its products locally and is adjacent to Soaring Eagles Golf Course at Mark Twain State Park. The completion of this project will result in the protection of wetlands located near the headwaters of Catharine Creek, a major tributary to Seneca Lake that is well-known for its trout fishery.

Additionally, the FLLT received $782,232 to protect 195 acres at Hallpine Farm in the town of Milo, Yates County. Hallpine Farm grows a variety of crops such as corn, beans, and wheat and is located within a growing block of conserved farmland located on both sides of New York State Route 14A, just south of Penn Yan. This is the second farmland protection project being undertaken by the Hallings family, the owners of Hallpine Farm.

The FPIG program is administered through the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and is designed to keep agricultural land in production, ensure the long-term viability of New York’s farming operations, and strengthen New York’s agricultural industry. This round of FPIG grants supports New York’s top priorities: food security, climate resiliency, source water protection, and access to farmland.

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.