Living Land, late October 2013

Finger Lakes Land Trust


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First Phase of Hinchcliff Family Preserve Complete


We recently acquired a ten acre corridor overlooking Skaneateles Lake's eastern shore adjacent to Ripley Hill Nature Preserve, the highest point in the Skaneateles watershed.  This stretch of land will ultimately host a hiking trail connecting to an additional 196 acres that feature a mile of hillside overlooking the lake, scenic meadows and rugged gorges. The area provides habitat for diverse wildlife populations including numerous neo-tropical songbirds and game species such as wild turkey and ruffed grouse. 

This 10 acre corridor is a key link in a growing network of conserved lands that will ultimately extend in an arc around the southern half of Skaneateles Lake.  Development of appropriate public access to the site will provide a unique opportunity for residents and visitors alike to experience the rugged beauty of the highlands.  


Saving Hemlocks from the Woolly Adelgid

On October 17, Cornell entomologist Mark Whitmore released 800 Laricobius nigrinus beetles at the VanRiper Conservation Area, on the west side of Cayuga Lake, to help battle the woolly adelgid, an invasive, non-native insect killing our beloved Eastern Hemlock trees.  The beetle, chosen as a biocontrol after years of careful research, was first introduced to the Finger Lakes region two years ago and has a demonstrated the potential to reduce woolly adelgid populations without negatively affecting other species.   
Half of the beetles were released on a tree at the edge of a lakeside stand of large hemlocks that have been heavily infested for a few years.  The other 400 beetles were released on a tree in a forested gorge which is in the early stages of infestation.  The Land Trust intends to introduce the beetle to two additional nature preserves. It will take several years to gage the effectiveness of Laricobius nigrinus on the woolly adelgid population.  During this time, the Land Trust will continue to work with Mark Whitmore who will monitor the preserves. 

In addition to biocontrols, the Land Trust is partnering with Cornell Plantations on direct application of an insecticide to protect hemlocks at the VanRiper Conservation Area, Lindsay-Parsons Biodiversity Preserve and Sweedler Preserve at Lick Brook.  Trees with the strongest qualities will be selected for application while the beetle gets established.  This effort is to sustain dozens of mature, healthy trees for a decade or more until effective biocontrols are in place across the landscape.


Protecting Shorelines, Summits, and Lands in Between

Our capital campaign, Shoreline to Summit, is 92% of the way to our goal. To help us reach the top, a generous Land Trust family is going to match all new campaign gifts dollar for dollar up to $100,000.  Please make a special gift to the campaign this year (in addition to your annual gift) and have your dollars counted twice!  To contribute and learn more, visit or call (607) 275-9487.  Thank you!


Preserve Profile: Bahar Nature Preserve and Carpenter's Falls Unique Area

Within the folds of farmland next to the waters of Skaneateles Lake, lies a hidden forest that calls to visitors yearning for an enchanted retreat.   Discover a dramatic forest and gorge landscape, take in the vista and skip stones along the lakeshore, and watch the secrets of the Bahar Preserve's unfold before you as you explore. Learn more and get directions.

Upcoming Events

Talks and Treks:

Sunday, October 27, 10:00AM, Stevenson Forest Preserve, Tree Identification Walk
Akiva Silver, naturalist, landscaper, and outdoor educator, will lead a walk that will focus on identification, natural history, wildlife value, the role of invasive plants, as well as survival uses of trees and shrubs. The walk will last two hours or more so please come prepared with appropriate clothing and footwear for the weather and terrain.  Click here for directions and preserve information.

*All Talks and Treks are held rain or shine.  Remember to wear good shoes and bring water and snacks.


Reduce your 2013 Taxes
Did you know that Congress extended the charitable IRA roll-over through December 31, 2013? This is how it works:
If you have a traditional IRA, you are required to make yearly minimum distributions starting at age 70½ and pay tax on the withdrawals. With the extended charitable IRA rollover, a donation sent directly to the Land Trust from your IRA can count against the minimum required distribution you would otherwise be required to take.
The roll-over allows you the freedom to give up to $100,000 from your account to the Land Trust, which will reduce your adjusted gross income, satisfy your minimum distribution, and demonstrate your clear commitment to local conservation.
It’s important to note that, to satisfy requirements of the new law, your IRA administrator––not you personally––must send the gift directly to the charity of your choice. Please consult your tax advisor to learn more about how both you and the Land Trust can benefit from the charitable IRA roll-over this yea



Did you know? Charitable gifts, memberships and stewardship fund income provide over 80% of the Land Trust's operating budget. Your gift helps us to conserve beautiful natural areas, protect farmland for the future and educate individuals and communities about our local landscapes. Become a member by making a gift online today.

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Header photo of Cayuga Lake by Bill Hecht.  Aerial photo of Skaneateles Lake by  Bill Hecht. Woolly Adelgid Photo  by Monika Wood.  Old oak photo by Betsy Darlington.   Carpenter's Falls photo by Derek Doeffinger. Canandaigua Lake  with Bare Hill photo by Nigel Kent. Seneca Lake hillside photo by Steve Knapp.