Land Trust Steps Up The Pace Of Land Protection With Lta Award

James L. Seward

April 28, 2008

A $51,000 grant from the New York State Conservation Partnership Program announced April
16 puts Otsego Land Trust on a fast track to protect more working landscapes, wildlife habitat
and open space than ever before in 2008. The program is funded through an appropriation
from the Environmental Protection FUnd in the 2007-2008 state budget, and is strongly supported by State Senator James L. Seward of Milford in Otsego County. "One of the largest conservation partnership grants announced today was for Otsego Land Trust, which does an excellent job preserving open space for generations to come. Congratulations to the Otsego Land Trust."

This grant, the Land Trust's third NYSCPP grant dedicated to capacity building, will leverage privately-raised, matching funds to underwrite an additional full-time land protection specialist in highly threatened and valuable landscapes, and to meet its ambitious goal of 20,00 acres protected by 2010. In addition to accelerating the pace of land protection in priority conservation areas in our region, this grant will enhance the trust's stewardship and community outreach efforts, and enable improved documentation of conservation values and public benefits associated with protected land.

This year's highly competitive matching grants program, jointly administered by the Land Trust Alliance and the NYS Department of Environmental Protection, resulted in an unprecedented investment in New York's land trusts: a total of $825,000 and 52 capacity-building and conservation grants to land trusts across the state. The NYS Conservation Partnership Program's land trust grants and technical assistance programsare supported by a $1 million appropriation in the 2007-2008 Environmental Protection Fund. Since 2002, New York State has invested $3 million in this pioneering public-private initiative. More than 60 different local and regional organizations have received funding and technical assistance , building one of the strongest statewide networks of local and regional land trusts in the country.

Otsego Land Trust protects the distinctive rural character of the Otsego region by securing lands and waters of significant scenic, historic, ecological value, including forests and farmlands.