Featured News and Highlights

Land Matters: Help us map the county’s scenic views


Originally Printed in the Register-Star
by Peter Paden*

A few months ago, I told you about an ambitious project to try to make a map that identifies the county’s scenic places. The Columbia Land Conservancy, working together with our friends at the Farmscape Ecology Program of the Hawthorne Valley Association, developed an online, interactive tool that allows anyone to mark a place in the county of particular scenic significance, including a brief description and a photograph.


Thank you, CBRC & HRRT!

Gravel Grinder; donation; donor 002

We were pleased to promote the Farmer’s Daughter Gravel Grinder, a 65-mile non-competitive bike ride exploring beautiful Columbia County, which took place this summer.  The ride was organized by the Capital Bicycle Racing Club and Helping Riders Realize Talent; and these great organizations donated the $4,000 in proceeds from the ride to CLC.  Thank you from all of us here at CLC, and stay tuned for more information about next year’s ride!


A Glitch and a Re-Launch


In May, we contacted you about the interactive online tool, our Scenic Resources Mapper, and asked that you share your favorite scenic views in Columbia County. While we were preparing to enthusiastically report back to you about all of the beloved scenic spots that people shared, there was an unforeseen technical glitch.

We are very, very sorry to report that many of the views entered were lost. We have worked with the map host to successfully fix this problem, but now we need your help to recover the map. In the spirit of summer movies, we are launching:
Scenic Resources Mapper – the Sequel!


Land Matters: Getting Beyond Labels


Originally Printed in the Register-Star
by Peter Paden*

Note: The following Land Matters column appeared in the [August 2, 2013 edition of the Register Star/August 1, 2013 edition of the Courier]. It is reprinted with only minor edits to reflect the passage of time.

I was speaking recently with a friend, a really wonderful guy who has lived in the county all of his life, who knows the area like the back of his hand, who loves it. He loves the land. He loves farming and appreciates the deeply imbedded rural heritage and traditions that are central to our customs and culture. He loves the landscape and, having traveled widely, appreciates that we live in a place of world-class beauty.


Community Celebrates Public Conservation Areas at Ooms

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On Saturday, August 1, approximately 70 community members and CLC supporters gathered at Ooms Conservation Area to partake in stand-up paddling, kayaking, and old-fashioned games.  One of the highlights of the day was biologist Casey Tompkins’ collection of a 55-pound snapping turtle, which he estimated was approximately 65 years old!  Casey’s presentation focused on common misunderstandings about the turtles, which are primarily lazy vegetarians as adults. For more information about how you can continue to enjoy Ooms this summer, click here.

Whistle Down Farm Protected Through Partnership

Whistle Down (Scenic Hudson/Andy Martel)

Working together with farmers Eileen Wallding and Nicholas Pandjiris, Scenic Hudson and Columbia Land Conservancy (CLC) have protected 60-acre Whistle Down Farm in Claverack. Whistle Down is the latest farm to be protected through this partnership.   The farm offers  Community Supported Agriculture  (CSA) shares  and also sells at the Hudson Farmers Market.

Conserving agricultural land by purchasing conservation easements provides farmers with capital to invest in their operations and ensures the farmland will be available for the next generation of farmers.  Read the full press release here.

Rare West Virginia White Butterfly Found At Hand Hollow

Transmission Lines

A population of the rare/sensitive West Virginia White butterfly (Pieris virginiensis) has recently been identified at Hand Hollow Conservation Area by the New York Natural Heritage Program. The location where the butterflies were found is a moist hardwood forest patch supporting a diversity of native wildflowers, including the Broadleaf Toothwort/ Crinkleroot, the host plant for this rare butterfly’s larvae. We hope you share in our excitement about this discovery.
The presence of rare species makes it even more imperative that we control invasive species at our Conservation Areas. Garlic Mustard, an encroaching invasive plant, resembles Crinkleroot and fools the West Virginia White to lay its eggs on it. Garlic Mustard however is toxic to the larvae. If you are interested in helping CLC control invasives at our Conservation Areas, please contact Nate Davis, 518 392 5252, ext. 205.