Conservation Easement buffers Steuben County Forest

Press Release

The Finger Lakes Land Trust announced Wednesday that it had completed a conservation easement on 23 acres of forest and fields adjoining Birdseye Hollow State Forest in the Town of Bradford, Steuben County. The property was originally donated to the Land Trust with the understanding that it would be sold subject to an easement ensuring that it would not be subdivided nor developed beyond the single home site that exists on the land.  

Conservation easements are legal agreements that limit future development of the land while allowing it to remain in private ownership. Easements typically allow for traditional uses such as agriculture and forestry. Conservation easements are recorded in the land records and are binding on future owners of the land. Federal and state tax incentives are available for easement donations that meet certain criteria.

“This easement helps buffer a state forest that hosts a popular stretch of the Finger Lakes Trail,” says Land Trust Executive Director Andrew Zepp. “It will also help maintain a scenic rural road corridor.”

The Land Trust now holds 78 conservation easements across the Finger Lakes Region and the Southern Tier. Other recent easement acquisitions include a 180-acre farm in northern Ontario County and two adjoining easements encompassing nearly 100 acres of woodland in Tompkins County.

The Finger Lakes Land Trust was established in 1989 to work cooperatively with landowners and local communities to permanently protect those lands that are vital to the character of the region. To date, the organization has worked with partners to secure more than 12,000 acres of significant open space, including rugged gorges, undeveloped shoreline, scenic farmland, and majestic forests. In addition to properties upon which it holds easements, the Land Trust also owns and maintains a network of 26 conservation areas that are open to the public.

Additional information on the Finger Lakes Land Trust and conservation easements is available at or by calling its Corning-based Senior Field Representative Kris West at 607-377-4026.