Photo: Tom Reimers

Partnership Enhances Wildlife Habitat & Recreational Opportunities in New York’s Only National Forest

The Land Trust completed an 11-acre addition to the Finger Lakes National Forest (FLNF) in the town of Hector, Schuyler County. The property was donated to the Land Trust by Pennsylvania residents Charles and Nancy Cladel with the understanding that it would be conveyed to the U.S. Forest Service when funds became available.

As a national forest “in-holding”––a piece of private property surrounded by public land––the parcel has a mix of white pine, mature oak, maple and assorted other hardwoods. Several small vernal pools form in shallow depressions in the forest floor, and the property lies adjacent to wetlands.

Funds from the sale of the property will be placed in the Land Trust’s “Forever Fund,” a dedicated account created by the Land Trust to make time-sensitive acquisitions possible. The Forever Fund is currently being used to finance another pending addition to the FLNF.

This latest acquisition is the Land Trust’s seventh land protection project in the vicinity of the national forest. Spanning more than 16,000 acres, the FLNF is located between Cayuga and Seneca lakes. It is well known for its miles of multi-use recreational trails and dirt roads. The forest’s patchwork of fields and woodlands also provide habitat for a diversity of wildlife and is recognized as one of New York State’s Important Bird Areas.

“This parcel is a wonderful addition to the national forest, providing not only greater habitat connectivity but also increased recreational opportunities,” said Jodie Vanselow, District Ranger for the U.S. Forest Service. “We thank the Finger Lakes Land Trust for working with us on securing this parcel.”