“We have enjoyed our slice of heaven here in Otsego County over the years and have always tried to do what is right for the land." Larry Leahy said.
"Entering into a conservation easement with Otsego Land Trust felt like the right thing to do in order to ensure that our vision for the land would continue into the future. Knowing that the property will always be kept open and available for agriculture and wildlife habitat after we can no longer look after it makes us extremely satisfied,” Larry and Carole affirmed.
Otsego Land Trust recently partnered with local landowners and dedicated conservationists Larry and Carole Leahy to conserve 145 acres in the Town of Laurens, along the State Highway 23 corridor, with a conservation easement.
Almost 90% of the property is classified as containing prime or statewide important agricultural soils by the USDA, making the property a valuable piece to conserve for the benefit of the local agricultural community. The property is currently in the production of various field crops with a local farm operation. Larry is also an active beekeeper, managing numerous hives and producing his own honey on the land.
Larry and Carole have lived on the property for nearly 50 years, since purchasing the land in the early 1970s, and have always managed it with great care and vision for the future. They had previously protected its nearly 10 acres of wetlands in partnership with the local Natural Resource Conservation Service’s (NRCS) office and have plans to improve the forest portion of the property with habitat improvement programs also incentivized though the NRCS. The property also contains frontage on Harrison Creek, classified as a trout stream by the DEC and an important tributary to the Otego Creek.
“We are extremely happy to have been able to assist the Leahy’s with the conservation of their property,” stated Otsego Land Trust’s Project Manager, Ethan Rubenstein. “It is a property with diverse habitats and contains valuable and productive agricultural soils. Its protection with a conservation easement will help ensure that it will continue to be open space forever.”
Conservation easements are tools by which private landowners can conserve their land and our important natural resources. Lands under conservation easement can continue to be farmed, hunted and timbered or used for outdoor recreation and remain on local tax rolls. Landowners who donate conservation easements may be eligible for both state and federal tax benefits.
Otsego Land Trust is a donor and grant supported nonprofit organization. For more information visit www.otsegolandtrust.org or call (607) 547-2366.