NEWFIELD, N.Y. — The Finger Lakes Land Trust has announced it has acquired a 38 acre forest on Van Kirk Road in the town of Newfield, Tompkins County. The property borders Cornell University’s 4,000-acre Arnot Research Forest and is part of a habitat corridor that leads to the Land Trust’s nearby 265-acre Charles Spencer Nature Preserve.
Situated in the Susquehanna River watershed, the land was acquired from Donna Callais, who generously agreed to sell her property for less than its fair market value. The property features mature oaks and maples, and will be managed in conjunction with the Charles Spencer Nature Preserve, which includes frontage along Jackson Hollow Brook.
Protection of the property will help ensure that wide ranging animals such as black bear and bobcat will continue to wander through Ithaca’s Emerald Necklace. This latest addition comes as the Land Trust enters its second decade working on the Emerald Necklace, an effort to link 50,000 acres of existing public conservation land extending through the hills around Ithaca. The necklace is recognized as a priority project within New York State’s Open Space Plan and it features two Audubon-designated Important Bird Areas and several dozen county-designate Unique Natural Areas.
By working cooperatively with landowners and local communities, the organization has protected more than 22,500 acres of the region’s undeveloped lakeshore, rugged gorges, rolling forest, and scenic farmland. The Land Trust owns and manages a network of over 30 nature preserves that are open to the public and holds perpetual conservation easements on 138 properties that remain in private ownership.
The Land Trust focuses on protecting critical habitat for fish and wildlife, conserving lands that are important for water quality, connecting existing conservation lands, and keeping prime farmland in agriculture. The organization also provides programs to educate local governments, landowners, and local residents about conservation and the region’s unique natural resources.
Additional information about the Finger Lakes Land Trust may be found at www.fllt.org. Information on the region’s premiere destinations for outdoor recreation may be found at www.gofingerlakes.org, a resource created by the Land Trust to encourage people to get outdoors.