Category Archives: News

Chatham Bookstore Hosts Photographer Jerry Freedner, Proceeds Benefit CLC

July 27, 2016Rebecca

The Chatham Bookstore hosts a reception for an exhibit of landscape photographs by artist Jerry Freedner on Friday, August 26, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The show, “The Farmer’s Art,” is on view from August 5 through September 6, 2016. A landscape photographer, Jerry Freedner is currently focusing his energy on the rural lands and farms of the Hudson Valley. His photographs reflect a vision of the farmer as an artist and the land as art. The exhibit at the Chatham Bookstore celebrates “the farmer––as much the artist as the sculptor, the plow as the chisel and the earth as the stone.” Through the sale of his photographs and books, Freedner helps support the Columbia Land Conservancy, Agricultural Stewardship Association, and Scenic Hudson. The Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation recently awarded him a grant to continue his work on behalf of land conservation in the Hudson Valley. Twenty percent of the proceeds from the exhibit at the Chatham Bookstore will go to support the Columbia Land Conservancy.

Join Us for Summer Fun August 6!

July 12, 2016Rebecca

Come out to Ooms for summer fun August 6! Pack a picnic to enjoy as you watch the sun set over Sutherland Pond and learn more about snapping turtles from educator Casey Tompkins. In addition to the beauty of Ooms and the wonder of snapping turtles, the event will feature: Kayaking and stand up paddling demonstrations Free Stewart’s ice cream Disc golf Hiking the trails We suggest a $20 per family donation to help CLC continue to maintain Ooms and our other nine Conservation Areas. You can register in advance by clicking here.

Land Matters: What Does the Future Hold?

July 1, 2016Rebecca

What Does the Future Hold? Note: The following Land Matters column appeared in the [September 5, 2014 edition of the Register-Star/September 4, 2014 edition of the Courier]. It is reprinted here with only minor edits to reflect the passage of time. *************************************************************** 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. • Who will these people be? Will the mix of age, economic, political, racial and ethnic groups be similar or different from today? Demographers report that Columbia County is an area increasingly attractive to people whose children have grown, looking to escape the pressures of life in more urban environments. Perhaps we’ll see a growth of retirement communities. Will there… Read More

Check Out the Scenic Mapper!

June 6, 2016Rebecca

Last year, you contributed pictures of your favorite scenic views in Columbia County – thank you! We’ve compiled the results into an interactive map you can see by clicking here. Read more about the project here.

Land Matters: A Dream Within Reach for Hudson’s North Bay

May 2, 2016Rebecca

For quite a few years now, those of you who follow community issues in Hudson have been aware of an ambitious vision for the area on and near the capped landfill at the City’s North Bay. The vision calls for the creation of a nature preserve, more than 100 ecologically rich acres teaming with wildlife, offering spectacular views of the Hudson River and the Catskills beyond, a place where people could explore five distinct habitats and learn about the history of human settlement on the river shore, and from which they could set off on a walk that would connect with a seven mile trail network through a thousand acres of conserved forests and open fields along the river shore. All this in a city with an acute shortage of open space and a long-standing determination to take better advantage of its status as a Hudson River waterfront community. This is not a pipe dream.  It is a real possibility.  And a great deal of preparatory work has been done, at considerable expense.  With focus and determination, a buildable project could be ready to go in a year or two. But proposals like this take a long time to ripen,… Read More

Land Matters: CLC Could Use a Little Help from Our Friends

April 7, 2016Rebecca

The Columbia Land Conservancy is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and we’re looking forward to a yearlong celebration of that milestone in our institutional history. We are also marking our fifth year as an accredited land trust. And with that milestone, it is time now to renew our status. We’re in the final throes of submitting our reaccreditation application papers. It’s a lot of work, but it’s important. And we could use a little help. As part of the process, the Land Trust Accreditation Commission solicits input from members of the community on the quality and impact of our work, as more particularly described below. We’d be very grateful to any of you who may have a few minutes to participate in this effort. The Columbia Land Conservancy The mission of the Columbia Land Conservancy (CLC) is to work with the community to conserve the farmland, forests, wildlife habitat and rural character of Columbia County, strengthening connections between people and the land. In other words, our job is to find ways to ensure that the exceptional conservation qualities that make Columbia County such a special place — expansive forest tracts, excellent farmland, plentiful and clean surface waters, healthy and… Read More

Land Matters: Climate Smart Communities

March 1, 2016Rebecca

by Peter Paden On February 18th, the Ancram Town Board adopted a resolution to become a Climate Smart Community. In so doing, Ancram joined the Towns of Copake, Kinderhook and Chatham and the Villages of Kinderhook, Chatham and Valatie, in recognizing the peril posed by our warming climate and committing to take immediate and sustained action to address it. We should be proud that these communities have shown leadership on this pressing issue. We should encourage every other municipality in our county, including our county government, to follow suit. If You Can’t Stand The Heat . . . The planet is warming at an alarming rate. It’s a fact. Every one of us has experienced the consequences in recent years – steadily higher average temperatures, a notable increase in extreme weather events, a dramatic rise in sea level.  Each of these phenomena has – or will to a certainty – cost our communities enormous sums to repair massive damage to physical infrastructure, crops and livestock, to respond to the human suffering caused by weather emergencies, to address numerous adverse impacts on human health and the environment and in lost economic opportunities. Even if we manage to contain and reverse the… Read More

Land Matters: Good News for Columbia County

February 1, 2016Rebecca

  On January 5, 2016, Governor Cuomo announced that his budget proposal for the 2016 fiscal year will include $300 million for the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF). This is great news for anyone who values clean water, productive farms, and accessible parks and open spaces. It is also great news for Columbia County – for conservation and enjoyment of our wonderful natural resources, for our county and local governments and for our economy. You can help ensure it happens. What is the Environmental Protection Fund? The EPF, which was established under Governor Mario Cuomo in 1993, is is a dedicated source of funding for critical environmental programs that protect New York’s robust conservation resources, including our clean drinking water, our magnificent parks, and our family farms. It is a fiscally responsible, pay-as-you-go, capital projects account for making major, long-term quality-of-life investments. The EPF’s dedicated funding source takes no money away from other state priorities. The Real Estate Transfer Tax (RETT) has funded the EPF since it was created, and generates between $400 million and more than $1 billion annually in new state revenue. A portion of the revenue is dedicated to the EPF each year as part of the budget,… Read More

CLC and Partners Protect High Valley Farm

January 29, 2016Rebecca

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced an 800-acre conservation agreement that will preserve a crucial gap in Taconic State Park in Columbia County. The agreement will enlarge a major protected forest area in the Taconic Mountains along the New York and Massachusetts border, benefitting those who love the natural beauty of this region, consumers of locally grown food, and more than two dozen rare animal and plant species. Protection of High Valley Farm in Copake brings to fruition a years-long collaboration between CLC, The Nature Conservancy, New York State, and the property owner, Edgar Masters.

Farm Film Fest 8 Open for Submissions

January 20, 2016Rebecca

Entries are now being accepted for Farm Film Fest 8, an annual event sponsored by the Chatham Agricultural Partnership, the Columbia Land Conservancy, and the Chatham Film Club. Download the Call for Entries form, or learn more at the Chatham Keep Farming website.