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Finger Lakes Land Trust Announces Largest Project to Date in Skaneateles Lake Watershed


Yesterday, the Finger Lakes Land Trust (FLLT) announced the organization has protected 690 acres at the Jackson-Noel Farms in Spafford. FLLT says it is the largest conservation project they have completed within the Skaneateles Lake watershed. The conservation includes two miles of frontage along Route 41.

Photo by Matt Champlin. Provided by FLLT

The land is owned by Bill and Jeri Noel Jackson, and will be protected in three separate conservation easements by the organization. The easements will allow for continued agricultural use, require maintenance of stream buffers, and conserve over 200 acres of woodlands.

“Bill and Jeri grow high-quality organic hay sold locally and in the state of Virginia where they own an equestrian-related general store. Since purchasing their first farm parcel in 2016, they have taken great measures to amend soils on the property to grow orchard grass, timothy, clover, and rye.” FLLT said in a release.

FLLT says the area which is now protected has faced ever increasing development pressure. The organization also says the property has 8,500 feet of streambank with several creeks flowing into Skaneateles Lake, which is the water supply for over 200,000 people, including the City of Syracuse.

“We’re very grateful to Bill and Jeri Jackson for conserving their farm,” said Land Trust Director of Conservation Max Heitner. “It is a beautiful property and we couldn’t be happier to secure it for continued agricultural use and water quality protection in the Skaneateles Lake watershed.”

Funding for the project came from the state Farmland Protection Implementation Program (FPIG) and the FLLT’s Finger Lakes Forever capital campaign.

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