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DEC, Duchess Conservancy Acquire Pine Plains Easement
New York Ag Connection - 01/12/2021

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Dutchess Land Conservancy (DLC) announced the acquisition of a conservation easement on a critical parcel in the town of Pine Plains that will help protect public water supplies in the Hudson Valley. DLC acquired the Jordan Lane Farm easement with New York State Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) funding that provides resources to protect source waters.

"Governor Cuomo continues to make the protection of drinking water across New York State a top priority through successful programs that protect watersheds essential to our public health and natural resources," DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. "Today's announcement and our continued partnership with the Dutchess Land Conservancy demonstrates our sustained commitment to providing clean water for generations to come."

Becky Thornton, Dutchess Land Conservancy's president, said, "We are so fortunate that landowners in Dutchess County are dedicated to the future of their land and commit to conservation. Our heartfelt thanks go to Ms. Speeter who has safeguarded water resources for the area, protected a portion of the viewshed from Stissing Mountain, and ensured that her family's land will remain open and viable for agricultural use long into the future. We also so appreciate our partnerships with the DEC and Dutchess County, and who recognize the importance of protecting our irreplaceable water resources and local farms for the long-term benefit of our communities."

The historic Jordan Lane Farm has been owned by the Jordan family for almost 200 years. Its historic white farmhouse, built in 1830, stands as a testament to the history of farming in Dutchess County. The farm was most recently used as support lands for local farm operations and has an exceptional amount of soils, covering nearly 100 percent of the property, that meet U.S.D.A.'s Prime Farmland and Farmland of Statewide Importance designations. Jordan Lane Farm is located in an area with many other easement protected lands conserved by the DLC and acquisition of this property helps to solidify a contiguous block of conserved land along Route 82 and Route 83 in the Town of Pine Plains.

The State awarded a $982,290 WQIP grant to DLC toward the $1,090,063 acquisition of a conservation easement on a significant portion of the farm, with additional funding provided by the Dutchess County Partnership for Manageable Growth Program. The easement is located within the Wappinger Creek watershed, a tributary to the Hudson River, and contains approximately 40 acres of wetlands that will continue to play a crucial role in water quality protection. The entire property overlies aquifer recharge areas and by acquiring the Jordan Lane Farm Conservation Easement, approximately 25 percent of the town's Wellhead Protection Zone is now protected in perpetuity.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo is increasing investments for clean water infrastructure projects, including the State's unprecedented $3.5 billion commitment to ensure that all New Yorkers have access to clean water. Part of the State's Environmental Protection Fund, the WQIP supports projects to improve water quality, reduce the potential for harmful algal blooms (HABs), and protect drinking water across the state. DEC has announced more than $37 million for 37 land acquisition projects to date. In addition to land acquisition projects for source water protection, WQIP grants are awarded for municipal wastewater treatment, nonagricultural nonpoint source abatement and control, salt storage, and aquatic habitat restoration.


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