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Conservation easement donation helps protest Rochester’s drinking water supply

The Finger Lakes Land Trust (FLLT) today announced it has permanently protected 55 wooded acres in the town of Springwater, Livingston County. The property is contiguous with the 1,550-acre Harriet Hollister Spencer State Recreation Area and located in the Hemlock Lake watershed, a source of drinking water for the city of Rochester.

Featuring approximately 3,030 feet of forested frontage on Reynolds Gully Creek, a tributary of Hemlock Lake and a New York State classified trout stream, the property is also directly upstream from Hemlock-Canadice State Forest.

The property is owned by Rochester resident Bob Good who purchased the first 11-acre parcel in 1982 with his late wife Sue Schickler. With the help of family, they built a rustic cabin on the site and, over time, made two additional land purchases with conservation in mind.

Four generations of the Good/Schickler family have spent many years on their land producing maple syrup, playing in the creek, and relaxing at what they call “Tommy’s Camp.” After Sue passed away in 2016, Bob made the decision to donate a conservation easement to protect the property in honor of Sue and their family’s connection to the land. “We loved it from the beginning,” said Bob. “The idea that the conservation is permanent to generations beyond us that I will never meet, that’s kind of special.”

Protection of the Good property will safeguard the water quality of Hemlock Lake, provide an important buffer from development to nearby protected lands, and maintain wildlife habitat connectivity in the area.

Conservation easements are voluntary legal agreements that permanently limit future land use in order to protect the land’s conservation value. Lands subject to conservation easements remain in private ownership, on local tax rolls, and available for traditional uses such as farming and hunting.

By working cooperatively with landowners and local communities, the Finger Lakes Land Trust has protected over 28,000 acres of the region’s undeveloped lakeshore, rugged gorges, rolling forest, and scenic farmland. The FLLT owns and manages a network of over 45 nature preserves that are open to the public and holds perpetual conservation easements on 170 properties that remain in private ownership.

The FLLT focuses on protecting critical habitat for fish and wildlife, conserving lands that are important for water quality, connecting existing conservation lands, and keeping prime farmland in agriculture. The organization also provides programs to educate local governments, landowners, and residents about conservation and the region’s unique natural resources.

Information on the region’s premier destinations for outdoor recreation, including Harriet Hollister Spencer State Recreation Area and Hemlock-Canadice State Forest, may be found at, a resource created by the FLLT to encourage people to get outdoors. Additional information about the Finger Lakes Land Trust may be found at