by Peter Paden Published October 3, 2014 in the Register-Star
Autumn Is Here Again; Don’t Miss It
Fall is here. The days are getting shorter, the nights colder, the air crisper and autumn colors are starting to emerge. I was mowing an area I know well on a gorgeous sunny afternoon the other day, an area I would say is pretty ordinary as outdoor spots around here go. Looking up, I was suddenly stunned by the riot of color that surrounded me – color emanating from trees, shrubs and grasses that are my everyday acquaintances. Somehow, though, they appeared brand new to my senses at that moment and beautiful beyond belief. I know I seem to say this every year, but I just love the fall. I don’t think there is anything that can beat a beautiful autumn day.
At the end of August the NYS Public Service Commission (PSC) released their proposal to review projects for the expansion of electric transmission lines in the Hudson Valley.
CLC and other members of the Hudson Valley Smart Energy Coalition renewed the call for the state to protect the historic, scenic, environmental, and cultural resources of the Hudson Valley by launching a petition to Governor Cuomo, legislative leaders, and the PSC. The petition asks that before moving ahead, the PSC examine the need for major new transmission capacity and respond to the concerns of communities in the Hudson Valley.
You can read, and add your voice to, the petition here.
Between September 18-20, 2014 many of CLC’s staff will be attending workshops and presentations at the National Land Conservation Conference (also called the Rally) organized by the Land Trust Alliance in Providence, RI.
This conference will be an opportunity for our staff to learn new skills, share insights and ideas, and get to know other professionals from around the country who are also working toward our shared goal of land protection. CLC’s Tony Colyer-Pendas, Director of Conservation Programs, will be among the dozens of presenters from around the country.
by Peter Paden Published September 5, 2014 in the Register-Star
What Will the Future Hold?
Have you ever asked yourself what Columbia County is going to look like 50 years from now?
- How will people who live here make a living? Will most of them be employed by businesses based in the county, or somewhere else, like the greater Capitol District, New York City or Boston? How many will telecommute, or generate their own incomes taking advantage of the internet? Perhaps many people will commute every day to New York City by high speed rail. Maybe we’ll have a lot more farmers, producing food closer the populations that crave fresh, affordable food.
Our two Greenagers crews wrapped up a very successful 2014 season at CLC’s Round Ball Mountain and Greenport Conservation Areas. Their hard work laid the groundwork for miles of new trails, and also improved many existing ones. They built bridges, felled trees, moved rocks, made crush, installed log steps, and built water bars, switch backs, and ramps.
These students will return to their Taconic Hills and Hudson high schools this fall with a newly gained set of skills, a strong sense of confidence, and deserved pride in their accomplishments. CLC looks forward to fostering a conservation ethic among a new round of high school students next year with our partner, the Greenagers. (In photo are the two crews and their crew leaders.)
You can view, read, and download CLC’s 2013 Annual Report: it includes an overview of our achievements for the last year, the most recent Protected Lands Map for the county, our financial report, as well as a list of every person who made a contribution to CLC in 2013. Thank you for your support!
Looking ahead to the next three years, CLC has also crafted its latest Strategic Plan, the result of an extensive review of our mission and goals, incorporating feedback from our partners, as well as farmers, planners, and many other stakeholders in the County. The 2014 – 2016 Strategic Direction Report sums up the Strategic Plan. The plan is designed to help us establish priorities for our land conservation efforts; and identify the key planning issues in our community. It sets out specific strategies to ensure that CLC’s resources are focused for maximum impact and to bolster our financial resources. You can view, read, and download this Strategic Direction Report as well.
We look forward to your continued support!
The Columbia Land Conservancy applauds Congressman Chris Gibson for co-sponsoring the Conservation Easement Incentive Act, H.R. 2807. The bill was adopted by the full House of Representatives as part of the America Gives More Act, H.R. 4719. The Conservation Easement Incentive Act has been the number one legislative priority for the land trust community for several years. It makes it possible for people of modest financial means who own property with high conservation value to be able to afford to permanently protect their land.
“Conservation easements [...] have led to a significant increase in the acreage of protected farms and forests across the country—properties that benefit all of us through their agricultural productivity and natural beauty,” said Congressman Gibson. Gibson, who has been a leader on conservation issues in the House, specifically thanked CLC for our efforts in farmland protection and habitat conservation.
To learn more about conservation easements, and CLC’s efforts, click here.
To learn more about the Conservation Easement Incentive Act, click here.