Photo: Bill Hecht

Partnership Creates New Addition to High Tor Wildlife Management Area

The Finger Lakes Land Trust (FLLT) and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently completed the addition of 86 forested acres to the High Tor Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Yates County.

Located on Parrish Hill Road in the town of Italy, the property was originally purchased by the FLLT from the estate of Martha Parker in 2016, and transferred to the state in October 2020.

Once farmed, the property is now entirely forested and includes 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.

“New York State is committed to enhancing recreational opportunities and connecting New Yorkers with nature, protecting Finger Lakes region water quality, and improving habitat for wildlife,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. “In partnership with the Finger Lakes Land Trust, this property is a great addition to the High Tor Wildlife Management Area.”

“We are delighted once again to have the opportunity to partner with DEC to expand this popular wildlife management area,” said Finger Lakes Land Trust Executive Director Andrew Zepp. “This is the fourth cooperative acquisition project we have completed here, and this latest addition features mature forest and extensive road frontage. By adding it to High Tor, we are securing significant wildlife habitat, enhancing public access, and helping to maintain Canandaigua Lake’s water quality.”

This is the Land Trust’s fourth conservation project done in partnership with DEC to expand the WMA, including a portion of Conklin Gully. The Land Trust also owns and manages the Great Hill and West River nature preserves in this area.