The state has completed the purchase of two parcels of land that will serve to protect natural and cultural resources in Ontario and Seneca counties, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced recently. The 95-acre Gathercole property, located immediately east of Canandaigua Lake in the town of Gorham, Ontario County, and the 77-acre Junius Ponds Complex, in Junius, Seneca County, will provide open space and public recreation access for a range of activities.
Priority Projects in Open Space Plan
Both projects were identified in the New York State 2006 Open Space Conservation Plan as priority projects. They will provide access for a variety of activities including hunting, fishing, trapping, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, camping and more. The Gathercole property will provide additional protection for an important Finger Lakes’ watershed. The Junius Pond Complex will help protect threatened and endangered species.
“These recent successful acquisitions demonstrate the state’s continued support and commitment to preserve and conserve regional open space, as highlighted in the 2006 New York State Open Space Plan,” stated Regional Director Paul D’Amato.
The Gathercole parcel is a steep-sloped tract in an area of high development pressure. It provides exceptional views of Canandaigua Lake and is an important component of the lake’s viewshed. The plot is highly visible from Canandaigua Lake and its western shoreline. It contains a forested hillside that includes mature hardwoods and a portion of Fisher’s Gully. Protection of this property will help maintain Canandaigua Lake’s water quality while also securing intact forest habitat that is particularly important for nesting songbirds.
About Junius Ponds
The Village of Lyons, in Wayne County, once used the Junius Ponds Complex as a public water supply and accepted an offer by DEC ($104,500) to purchase the complex. The roughly 77-acre parcel features bogs, fens, ponds and other wetland features. Threats to the complex include peat mining, sand and gravel mining, illegal specimen collections, runoff from the New York State Thruway and agriculture, and commercial development pressures on adjacent lands. DEC is also under contract to purchase an additional 30 acres contiguous to the Junius Ponds Complex.
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