FL Land Trust finalizes the purchase of the Bell station


The Finger Lakes Land Trust has purchased a 470 acre parcel of land that includes 3,400 feet of Cayuga Lake shoreline.

The Bell Station property is the largest piece of private shoreline remaining in the Finger Lakes.

Located on the eastern shore of Cayuga Lake, the Bell Station property was originally acquired by NYSEG for a nuclear power plant that was never built. Bell Station features wooded hills overlooking the lake, vast fields, and several small streams with waterfalls. The property is recognized as a priority project in the New York State Open Space Plan.

Acquiring the site for conservation will significantly improve public access to the eastern shore of Cayuga Lake, which is 90% privately owned. Permanent conservation will also prevent residential development on the steep slopes bordering the lake, helping to safeguard the water quality of the lake and prevent future harmful algal blooms.

For all these reasons, the Finger Lakes Land Trust has pursued the conservation of the Bell Station property for several years. His interest is shared by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Governor Kathy Hochul, and the DEC has appointed the FLLT as its agent to pursue the acquisition of the land. The project nearly collapsed earlier this year when NYSEG offered an online auction to sell Bell Station to the highest bidder, emphasizing the potential for shoreline development. The auction was scheduled to take place in October. Through Governor Hochul’s efforts, public pressure, and other backers, the NYSEG voluntarily agreed to cancel the auction and enter into a purchase agreement with the FLLT.

Finger Lakes Land Trust Executive Director Andy Zepp said: “We are especially grateful to Governor Hochul and the strong leadership of DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos, Senator Pamela Helming and Assembly Member Anna Kelles for providing gathered a coalition of support to make this agreement a reality. This is a huge victory for the Finger Lakes and all residents of New York State. “

FLLT is now under contract to purchase the Bell Station property and is working with DEC, City of Lansing, County of Tompkins and other key stakeholders to acquire the land and create a public conservation area on the lake side. of the property. The conservation area will be transferred to the state and managed by the DEC as an open wildlife management area for recreational purposes, including hiking, cross-country skiing, wildlife viewing, hunting and hunting. peach. The organization also plans to use the easternmost part of the property for solar power generation in partnership with the city of Lansing.

The Finger Lakes Land Trust needs to raise $ 500,000 quickly to complete the purchase and is seeking broad community support. The project is further supported by a generous low-interest loan from the Park Foundation.

Finger Lakes Land Trust Executive Director Andy Zepp said, “The FLLT would like to thank the Park Foundation for their tremendous support, without which this project would not be possible. Today we are launching a public campaign to raise additional funds from the Finger Lakes community and are very excited to complete the purchase with their help.

Park Foundation Adelaide President Park Gomer said, “We are proud to support the preservation of this critical coastline and help save habitat, ecosystems, water quality and access. from the public to the beauty of Cayuga Lake and the surrounding wildlife. It’s the kind of collaboration with trusted leaders from Finger Lakes Land Trust, NYSEG, and New York State that is a multi-level victory for the community. It also strengthens our commitment to clean water, clean energy, species protection and conservation. “

To learn more about the FLLT’s efforts to save Bell Station and how the community can help, please visit: https://www.fllt.org/savebellstation.

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