Photo: FLLT

Network of Conserved Lands in the Southern Tier Grows with New Conservation Easement

The Land Trust accepted the donation of a conservation easement on 83 acres owned by Tim and Paddy Welles in the town of Horseheads, Chemung County.

The Welles property is a couple of miles up the road from Quarry Farm, where the Land Trust holds several easements protecting 240 acres. Conservation of the Welles property will secure frontage on Crane Road from unplanned development and help secure the bucolic nature of the area near Quarry Farm—the national historic site where Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain) wrote some of his most well-known stories.

Photo: FLLT

Located in the town of Horseheads on a hilltop nearly 800 feet above the Chemung River Valley, the Welles property includes steep slopes that drop into a small hemlock and hardwood swamp forest. In this forest, a small stream originates and feeds into Latta Brook in the Chemung River basin of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The Welles property is almost entirely composed of soils classified as highly erodible. By maintaining most of the property in a forested condition, the Welles conservation easement helps to protect the water quality in the Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the United States and one of the most productive water bodies in the world.

Protection of the Welles property will also secure habitat for wide ranging mammals, including black bear that wander through the area feasting on ants and grubs they find in rotting logs and under rocks in the forest.

Tim Welles, a retired Vice-President of Manufacturing and Engineering with Corning Inc., and Paddy, a retired Marriage and Family therapist and past faculty member for Elmira College, enjoy living on their wooded property where they spend time in the woods hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, or harvesting firewood dependent upon nature’s whims. “Conservation easements are a great idea,” Tim said. “I hope more people take this step to protect our environment.”