Bobolink – Photo by Andrea Westmoreland
The Bobolinks have returned to Columbia County! Starting in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s a 6,000 mile flight. It’s a spectacular bird with a bubbling song and unique plumage. The male bobolink is the only North American bird that is black underneath and white on the back. After breeding, his plumage changes into a muted and camouflaged appearance.
Over the last thirty years, bobolinks – as well as other grassland birds such as savannah sparrows, grasshopper sparrows, and Eastern meadowlarks – have significantly decreased due to loss of farmland and intensification of certain agricultural practices. Yet, we still have sizable populations and during the warmer months many grassland birds call Columbia County home and take advantage of the numerous meadows and agricultural lands. CONTINUE READING
The USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Scenic Hudson, Columbia Land Conservancy (CLC), Dutchess Land Conservancy (DLC), Dutchess County officials, Town of Red Hook officials, other local leaders, and farmers announced that federal Farm Bill funding has enabled Scenic Hudson and its partners to complete the purchase of conservation easements on seven working family farms in Dutchess and Columbia counties. The farms are vitally important to the region because they contribute to the production of local, healthy food and add to local economies with strong agricultural business sectors. CONTINUE READING
Have you seen an Eastern bluebird this season? We have and they’re absolutely beautiful, which is one reason CLC is working hard to protect and create habitat for the state bird of NY. Named for its brilliant royal blue feathers, bluebirds nest in the cavities of decayed trees and stumps at the edges of grasslands where they feed on insects. But in recent years, the loss of open land and the introduction of invasive species have caused bluebird populations to dwindle. CONTINUE READING
The Columbia Land Conservancy (CLC) has permanently protected another 103 acres of farmland. Working with CLC, Robert and Linda O’Mara donated the development rights on their property in the Town of Ghent, which is a working farm, and created a conservation easement that protects the important natural resources and characteristics of the property. With the easement, as with all of CLC’s easements, the landowners will be able to live on and enjoy their land, and continue agricultural and conservation forestry activities.
As an award-winning author, Malcolm Gladwell is known for distilling vast amounts of research into a clear and compelling understanding of how the world functions. Working with the Columbia Land Conservancy (CLC), he has a new story to tell: protect land for future generations.
Gladwell recently donated the development rights on his 300-acre property in Columbia County, NY to CLC. Such transactions, which are called conservation easements, permanently protect the most important natural characteristics of a property. As with all easements, Gladwell can continue to live on and enjoy the land, and the property can also be used for agricultural and sustainable forestry activities.
It’s a gorgeous piece of property and I’d love to make sure future generations can enjoy it as much as I have.
Malcolm Gladwell CONTINUE READING
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, no it’s CLC in a plane. Once a year, CLC takes to the sky in order to monitor all of the lands on which we hold conservation easements. The aerial perspective is breathtaking. The county is split into vast green meadows and snow covered woodland slopes. The landscape is dotted with ponds, rolling hills, and working farms. These are all the features you see on the ground, only from this unique perspective you see how they are interconnected. From the skies there is a surprising amount of water, houses tucked away from the main roads, and a diversity of landscapes. CONTINUE READING
Representative Gibson and CLC staff visit farmer Rick Skoda at Triple Creek Farm in Taghkanic
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded the Columbia Land Conservancy (CLC), Scenic Hudson, and Dutchess Land Conservancy (DLC) $2.56 million in federal funding to help preserve nearly 1,250 acres of productive farmland in Columbia and Dutchess counties. The farms are vitally important to the region because they produce local, healthy food and contribute to the local economy. Agreements already have been reached with the seven working family farms for the purchase of conservation easements (also called purchase of development rights) on the farms. CONTINUE READING