Groups partner to protect Columbia County farmland

STUYVESANT–The Columbia Land Conservancy (CLC) and Scenic Hudson have partnered with the owner of a farm in the Town of Stuyvesant to protect permanently 233 acres of agricultural land in the town. The transaction marks another collaboration between CLC and Scenic Hudson’s aimed at conserving farmland in Columbia County.

The conserved land includes more than 220 acres of USDA Prime Farmland and Soils of Statewide Significance–currently in use by local farmers who grow corn and hay–as well as a circa-1760 farmhouse listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The property, known as the Johannis L. Van Alen Farm, is part of a “Neighborhood Conservation Block” that includes 14 other agricultural properties within three miles totaling 2,926 acres permanently protected with conservation easements. This includes an adjacent 440-acre farm previously protected by Scenic Hudson and 166 acres of farmland protected by a CLC-Scenic Hudson collaboration earlier this year.

Scenic Hudson Senior Land Project Manager Kelly Boling negotiated the transaction in partnership with CLC’s Conservation and Agricultural Programs Manager Marissa Codey. The landowner donated a conservation easement that restricts development of the property, conserves its sensitive natural resources and ensures that it will remain available for farming. CLC will hold and manage the easement.

Collectively, Scenic Hudson and CLC have conserved more than 18,000 agricultural acres in the county, including 3,547 acres on 17 farms in Stuyvesant.

Scenic Hudson President Ned Sullivan said in the release announcing the deal that Hudson Valley farms remain face development pressures and that protecting them is a priority of Scenic Hudson’s Saving the Land That Matters Most campaign. He said he expects to continue working with CLC on more farmland protection projects.

“This transaction continues CLC’s long-standing commitment to protecting the rich and scenic farmland, forests and open spaces that make Columbia County such an extraordinary place,” said CLC Executive Director Peter Paden in the release. “It reflects, as well, a new level of partnership with our friends at Scenic Hudson, on which we plan to build in the months and years ahead.”

This conservation easement preserves a landscape that contributes to Columbia County’s $105-million tourism economy that sustains nearly 1,500 jobs. The market value of produce grown on Columbia County farms exceeds $50 million annually.


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