The Land Trust has acquired 86 forested acres on Parrish Hill Road in the town of Italy, Yates County from the estate of Martha Parker. Several years before Martha’s passing, the property had been identified as a priority for protection due to its proximity to High Tor Wildlife Management Area.
The property, once farmed, is now entirely forested and includes considerable frontage on both sides of Parish Hill Road. It is located within an Audubon-designated Important Bird Area and encompasses steeply sloping hillsides with several ravines above the West River Valley.
Acquiring the land will expand recreational opportunities for the public since the property will ultimately be conveyed to New York State as an addition to High Tor Wildlife Management Area. The High Tor WMA consists of approximately 6,100 acres in Ontario and Yates Counties – a portion of which borders the south end of Canandaigua Lake.
“Here is a great example of how varied sources are working to protect our Finger Lakes,” said Land Trust Board member Bob Brancato. “This acquisition will not only expand the wildlife area but will also help protect water quality by keeping development off steep sensitive slopes. It coincides with the hard work the Towns of Middlesex and Naples have been doing to better manage proposed steep slope development in their towns that include parts of the High Tor area. Working together on projects like these can positively impact the quality of Canandaigua Lake now and into the future.”
Earlier this year, the Land Trust conveyed two separate parcels—143 acres in total— to New York State as additions to High Tor Wildlife Management Area, including the northern half of Conklin Gully. The Land Trust has protected over a dozen parcels in this area and also owns and manages the Great Hill and West River Nature Preserves.