The Finger Lakes Land Trust (FLLT) has announced its successful protection of 23 acres on the west side of Skaneateles Lake with a conservation easement. The easement, which was donated by siblings Tami, Debra, Reid, and Tara Renner, will ensure that the land remains untouched by development, keeping it safe for wildlife and preserving the natural beauty of the area.
Located off West Lake Road in the town of Skaneateles, the property borders a public boat launch managed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The property was originally purchased by Robert and Helaine Renner in the 1970s and features meadows and young forests dominated by birch trees, which provide erosion protection on the slopes leading down to the lake.
Robert and Helaine, who were wildlife rehabilitators, left their property to their children, who wanted to honor their parents by permanently protecting the land they cherished. The Renner siblings’ donation will safeguard habitat for birds and other wildlife in an area that is facing significant development pressure.
The Renner property is in close proximity to another 14-acre parcel also protected by an FLLT conservation easement. The connection between the two properties provides a critical corridor for wildlife. FLLT Executive Director Andrew Zepp expressed gratitude to the Renner family for their commitment to the land and the lake, noting that the easement and the nearby parcel provide a valuable buffer from development for Skaneateles Lake and habitat for a variety of wildlife.
Conservation easements are voluntary legal agreements that permanently limit future land use 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 29,000 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 178 properties that remain in private ownership. The organization 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. They also provide programs to educate local governments, landowners, and residents about conservation and the region’s unique natural resources.
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