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Hochul Announces Protection of 275 Acres of Cayuga County Land

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275 acres of environmentally sensitive land in Cayuga County is being permanently protected.

Governor Kathy Hochul announced on Thursday that the Nature Conservancy has donated 203 acres of land to Fillmore Glen State Park in Moravia with the plan of using it for activities such as hiking, hunting, and snowshoeing.

“The Finger Lakes region is home to some of New York’s most extraordinary wonders, and expanding the footprint of the protected wetlands is a promise we make to their long-term wellbeing,” Governor Hochul said. “We are preserving our natural environment and ensuring New York continues to be a recreational and economic asset for future generations.” 

Consisting of vacant woodland and roughly 50 acres of freshwater forested/shrub wetlands with two seasonal streams, the land was acquired by the Nature Conservancy in 2020. Following the donation, Fillmore Glen is now 1,144 acres and features hiking, camping, swimming, and fishing.

Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Pro Tempore Randy Simons said, “The expansion of Fillmore Glen is another example of how Governor Hochul is expanding outdoor recreational opportunities for New York residents and visitors. I’m grateful to the Department of Environment Conservation and The Nature Conservancy for their partnership in helping our parks grow and improve.” 

72 acres of forested wetlands in Venice are also being protected by the Nature Conservancy. Filled with hemlock, white pine, birch, and beech trees, the space also has several streams. The land is home to many species including grouse, coyote, and deer.

The Nature Conservancy’s Freshwater Resilience Specialist Olivia Green said, “Across New York there are a million acres of small wetlands providing essential services to wildlife and people. Wetlands act like nature’s sponges to soak up and clean our water. Preventing development on wetlands protects people—not just against floods but against drought, too. We commend New York for leading the nation and taking action to proactively safeguard the quality of our drinking water.” 

DEC Interim Commissioner Sean Mahar said, “Protecting open space is essential to safeguarding water quality and the lands protected today demonstrate the power of Governor Hochul’s investments in the Clean Water Infrastructure Act and DEC’s Water Quality Improvement Program which facilitate important partnerships to advance conservation actions. Watershed protection projects like this are a win-win for local communities, wildlife, and the many visitors who enjoy the Finger Lakes every year by creating new recreational offerings, providing clean drinking water, and supporting tourism in the region.” 

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