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FL Land Trust acquires 1,000-acre property known as ‘Bad Bear Hill’

The Finger Lakes Land Trust announced the completion of its most significant conservation effort to date, acquiring nearly 1,000 acres along the Canisteo River in Steuben County. This landmark project, marking the Trust’s 35-year history, encompasses a vast expanse of natural beauty, including forested hillsides, streams, meadows, and a mile of river frontage, enhancing outdoor recreation and preserving wildlife habitat.


Nicknamed “Bad Bear Hill” due to its playful black bear visitors, the property boasts diverse ecosystems and is part of a crucial Habitat Linkage Zone. Its protection aims to support species like the black bear and Bald Eagle while maintaining water quality in the Canisteo River, contributing to the health of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Scheduled for public access in spring 2024, the land will eventually join the adjacent McCarthy Hill State Forest, significantly expanding its area. This acquisition was facilitated by the Trust’s revolving loan fund, emphasizing the importance of preserving the Finger Lakes region’s landscapes for wildlife and community enjoyment alike.

Photo credit: Chris Ray