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02-174-CLC News Fall 2002 - Columbia Land Conservancy

02-174-CLC News Fall 2002 - Columbia Land Conservancy


Fall 2002 In This Issue… 3 5 8 10 14 16 Message from the Chair Remembering a friend and a leader: George Rickey The Columbia Land Conservancy notes with great sadness the recent death of renowned sculptor George Rickey who passed away in July. As leaders in locally-based land conservation, George Rickey and his family will be forever linked to northeastern Columbia County. In 1991, George and his wife Edie protected their 225-acre property in the Town of New Lebanon, one of the first easements donated to the Columbia Land Conservancy. This would be the first of several land protection projects between the Conservancy and the Rickey family. In 2000, George Rickey and his family helped to establish the Hand Hollow Conservation Area in New Lebanon, containing critical wildlife habitat including one of the few Great Blue Heron rookeries in Columbia County. The Rickeys donated 135 acres to the Conservancy for this conservation area, as well as two additional tradelands totaling 117 acres. The sale of these protected properties served to endow a stewardship fund for the Hand Hollow Conservation Area’s long-term care and management, as per the Rickey’s wishes. After the site work is completed, this publicly accessible area will be the only one of its kind in the Town of New Lebanon. George Rickey’s legacy lives on in both the sculptures he created and the landscapes he helped protect. The board and staff of the Columbia Land Conservancy send our deepest condolences to his family and friends. —Michael Polemis Public Land Protection—A community treasure is now protected and CLC needs your help to complete the Sutherland Pond project as the county’s newest public conservation area. Land Protection with Conservation Easements—Farmland, wetland, and open space protection take center stage in CLC’s most recent conservation easements. Find out what’s happening in your community. Endowment Campaign—Local conservation takes a giant step forward with the generous donation of a Charitable Remainder Trust from a long-time CLC supporter. Educational Events and Programs—More than 2,000 people so far have taken advantage of a diverse array of educational programs in 2002. Take a photo tour of this year’s programs and events. Resources—CLC’s latest publications provide excellent resources for Columbia County residents. Conservancy Supporters—Thanks to the generosity of our volunteers and supporters, CLC continues to partner with local landowners, organizations, and towns to protect the county’s irreplaceable open space resources. On the cover: With your help, we can establish a new 180-acre public conservation area at Sutherland Pond in Chatham. Photo by Tom Crowell CONSERVANCY NEWS Columbia Land Conservancy, Inc. P.O. Box 299 • 49 Main Street Chatham, NY 12037 Phone: (518) 392-5252 Fax: (518) 392-3099 Email: • BOARD OF TRUSTEES Michael Polemis, Chair Tony Cashen, Vice Chair Jonathan L. Schor, Vice Chair Wendy Power Spielmann, Vice Chair Sheldon Evans, Treasurer Ruth Piwonka, Secretary • Frank Assumma Nancy Clark Jean-Paul Courtens Michael S. Gruen Sven Huseby Josephine Lea Iselin Henry H. Livingston Donald L. MacLean Peter R. Paden G. Stewart Ray Leslie Scanlan Douglas Thorn John Walston Elyn Zimmerman • STAFF Judy Anderson, Executive Director Renee Bouplon, Senior Project Manager Heather Carroll, Summer Membership Intern, part-time Joyce Carroll, Membership and Outreach Assistant, part-time Tony Colyer-Pendás, Project Manager Thomas Crowell, Senior Project Manager Carissa Haberland, Project Associate, part-time Kristina Kwacz, Membership and Administrative Manager Fran Martino, Environmental Educator Amy Siedsma, AmeriCorps Member Emily Warrington, Cartographer/Outreach Associate • CLC CONSULTANT Fran Sindlinger, Bookkeeper, part-time

CONSERVANCY NEWS Fall 2002 Long-time Chatham Landmark, Sutherland Pond, Protected as a Public Conservation Area Drive down Rock City Road in Old Chatham on any given day and you’re likely to see people fishing Sutherland Pond. Panoramic vistas of the Taconic and Catskill mountain ranges frame the view, and meadowlarks, goldfinches, and red-winged blackbirds dart about the edges of the pond and across the wide open fields. Generations of local anglers have cast their lines for bass and sunfish in the picturesque 35-acre pond on the Chatham-based Ooms family farm. Now, thanks to joint efforts of the Open Space Institute (OSI) and the Columbia Land Conservancy, the open door policy of the Ooms family has become a permanent welcome The 180-acre property is now protected and, with funding from the community, will become a public conservation area for future generations to enjoy. “I’ve always allowed people to fish on the property,” said Adrianus Ooms, “but I couldn’t guarantee that forever. Working with the Columbia Land Conservancy and the Open Space Institute gave me the opportunity to sell the land, yet ensure that it wouldn’t be divided into 20-acre lots. This place is simply too special to lose.” Indeed, the pond, large open fields, and sloping hillsides can now serve as a place for local residents to relax, as well as provide important habitat for a wide variety of birds. Where to Find Birds in New York State: The Top 500 Sites lists Sutherland Pond among its finest places to view migratory waterfowl each spring and fall. Osprey and Northern Harrier, two species singled out on NYS Department of Environmental Conservation’s List of Endangered, Threatened and Special Concern Species of New York State, frequent the property, as do numerous species of grassland birds. “On my first visit to Sutherland Pond, I was impressed, not just by the spectacular scenery and setting, but by the habitat value. As we walked through the fields, there were bobolinks everywhere,” recalled OSI President Joe Martens. “Bobolinks, and other grassland birds, such as With your help, CLC is preparing the Ooms Conservation Area at Sutherland Pond to become Columbia County’s newest public conservation area. (View facing east; Rock City Road is seen on the left.) Eastern Meadowlarks and Field Sparrows, are declining throughout their ranges as grasslands are developed or revert to woodlands. Protecting the Sutherland Pond property is significant in part because it sustains a vital part of the Hudson Valley’s natural heritage.” There are very few public conservation lands in Columbia County—only about 3%—and no other public conservation area in the southern Hudson River Valley contains large open fields, a 35-acre pond, and sweeping vistas like that of Sutherland Pond. By managing the property as a public conservation area, CLC will provide the public with continued nonmotorized recreational opportunities, including fishing, horseback riding, hiking, and canoeing, and free environmental education programs. The fields will be managed for bird habitat. “Public conservation areas serve as outdoor classrooms for children and adults, become places of inspiration for artists and residents, provide important habitat, and enrich our communities’ quality of life,” remarked CLC Executive (continued on page 4) Judy Anderson Public Land Protection 3

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