Greene Land Trust. Balancing Sound Development and Effective Conservation

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1 Balancing Sound Development and Effective Conservation

2 Comprehensive Approach The is dedicated to protecting the many places that make Greene County such a special place: Scenic vistas that inspired the Hudson River School of painters and have attracted visitors to our mountains and valleys for generations Agricultural lands and the family farms they support, representing an essential part of our heritage and economy Open spaces that provide habitat for an abundance of wild creatures and an array of recreation opportunities for us and future generations Like a growing number of land trust organizations, the is thinking not only about the land we protect, but about how our work can support other community needs. We recognize that healthy, vibrant communities will support conservation efforts over the long run and without mutual respect and understanding for all points of view, community life is diminished and eventually cannot sustain itself. Traditional land trust values, including protecting open space and scenic vistas, helping to assure clean water and fresh air, providing recreational opportunities, supporting agricultural productivity and providing wildlife habitat, all contribute to creating attractive and vibrant communities. We also know that a vibrant community requires a strong economy with good jobs, sufficient and affordable housing, good schools, and thriving arts and cultural activities values perhaps not traditionally associated with land trusts. The works actively to facilitate a balance between sound development and effective preservation. We are proud to work with our key partners in Greene County, the Industrial Development Agency and the Soil and Water Conservation District to achieve this balance. We look forward to new opportunities to work with a wide variety of partners to help find innovative solutions to community needs, while continuing to pursue our traditional preservation and protection values. The success of the conservation efforts summarized in this brochure can be attributed primarily to the level of integration of voices and the acknowledged interests of many and varied community stakeholders. Our Projects Community Grassland Conservation Initiative Coxsackie Creek Wetland Acquisition Willows Restoration and Preservation Project Ag Incubator/Bio Fuels Partnership Governmental & Community Advocacy The Trust believes that these things are an important part of the quality of life we enjoy in Greene County and deserve our concern and care. The Trust works with public and private landowners to preserve these natural and cultural resources for future generations.

3 Project Highlights The Beginning Looking Forward Project Highlights Habitat Preservation at the Coxsackie Creek Grassland Preserve O V E R V I E W The Coxsackie Grassland Preserve encompasses more than 350 acres of important grassland and wetland habitat in the Towns of Coxsackie and New Baltimore. O B J E C T I V E To preserve and protect critical habitat while facilitating a balance between sound development and effective preservation. O U T C O M E A resource that provides an important wintering area for state-endangered Short-eared Owl and year-round populations of state-threatened Northern Harriers, as well as habitat for many other species is permanently protected. To stimulate economic development, the Greene County IDA acquired over 500 acres to create two shovel-ready business parks. Initially, the lack of a cohesive environmental strategy resulted in opposition on environmental grounds from individuals with substantial professional qualifications and knowledge of local species of concern. While grassland habitat favored by the Northern Harrier (a NYS threatened hawk species) was of primary concern, wetland impacts, storm water and other issues also were raised. As a result, the IDA made little progress on the environmental permits required to make the first business park a reality. New leadership at the IDA in 2002 requested the assistance of the Greene County Soil and Water Conservation District to reach out to project opponents and to develop an effective environmental impact strategy. Together they established a Grassland Habitat Advisory Committee which included the citizens that had opposed the project as well as representatives of local municipalities, planning boards, sportsmen, the Audubon Society, Hudsonia, Scenic Hudson, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and others. The GCIDA and GCSWCD worked closely with the advisory committee to devise an aggressive conservation strategy that resulted in the development of a Grassland Habitat Protection Plan. The Plan provided for the permanent protection of over 300 acres of fields, forests and riparian wetlands for habitat. Recognizing the need for an organization that would ensure long term protection and management of the habitat lands, the GCWCD and GCIDA funded the establishment of the. While the GLT was founded to assist habitat-protection efforts, it is an autonomous organization that continues to take on a growing range of natural and cultural resource preservation efforts in Greene County. The Trust will seek out opportunities to work with the communities we serve to increase understanding and appreciation of the natural and cultural resources that contribute to the unique character of Greene County. As we look to the future we will think strategically, not only about the land we protect, but about how our work can support a wide array of community needs. We know that meaningful land conservation can not only complement, but truly advance, the fulfillment of community needs not often associated with land conservation. In turn, we are confident a healthy, vibrant community will support conservation over the long run. We will continue to manage our properties to protect their unique conservation values while working to provide access for recreation and education that is consistent with conservation objectives. We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect. Willows at Brandow s Point O V E R V I E W The 1780s farmhouse acquired by, the surrounding 60+ acres of land and Hudson River shoreline owned by NYSDEC, provide an unusual opportunity to protect both important natural and cultural resources. O B J E C T I V E Preservation and restoration of the National Register of Historic Places listed house and improvements to provide better access for the surrounding property. Aldo Leopold O U T C O M E A important historic and natural resource is preserved for future generations providing an excellent facility for historic and environmental education.

4 Working With Private Landowners We also work with private landowners to help them permanently protect places they love. While each case is unique, the main ways we can work with private landowners to conserve special places are: Donation of land to the Trust, which owns and protects it forever. Donation of conservation easements through which property owners give certain development rights to the Trust forever, while retaining ownership of the land itself. Sale of property to the Trust at a reduced price. Each of these conservation methods may bring tax benefits to owners; before undertaking any of these preservation efforts, it is strongly recommended that landowners consult with their own tax experts and/or legal counsel. With any of these tools, the Trust is responsible for protecting these lands forever. We take this responsibility very seriously. Creating stewardship funds that will provide income to support ongoing management of properties and oversight of easements is also a critical part of our work. How we treat our land, How You Can Help Become a member or a supporter of Contact us to learn more about your own land conservation options Volunteer to help us with our efforts to preserve and protect special places Become an annual financial supporter of the Make a donation to our Land Stewardship fund Make a bequest to the in your will. Habitat Predictions For more information and maps of our conservation projects, go to: how we build upon it, how we act toward our land and water, will in the long run tell what kind of people we really are. Laurence Rockefeller Contact us at: 270 Mansion Street Coxsackie, NY (518) Support GLT Donations to the Greene Land Trust, a qualified charitable organization, are tax deductible.

5 270 Mansion Street Coxsackie, NY Mr. & Mrs. Joseph E. Smith PO Box 111 Coxsackie, NY If you live in Greene County, you ll want to learn more about GLT

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