ALBANY, NY Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced on Thursday more than $2.2 million in New York State Conservation Partnership Program grants awarded to 47 not-for-profit land trusts across the state. The grants are funded through New York’s Environmental Protection Fund.
According to a press release, “a total of 70 grants will leverage an additional $2.2 million in private and local funding for projects that protect water quality and farmland, provide public access for outdoor recreation and conserve open space and wildlife habitat.”
“Land trusts make a real difference in local communities, maximizing public and private dollars to protect and preserve New York’s natural resources,” Governor Cuomo said. “New York is bolstering our extensive network of land trusts that provide support for environmental and open space programs, generating revenue, creating jobs and ensuring a cleaner and healthier New York.”
DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “As we celebrate Earth Week… we recognize that land conservation is essential in providing endless environmental and economic benefits for New Yorkers and visitors alike. DEC partnerships with land trusts are crucial to achieving our conservation goals, and we look forward to continuing to work together to protect and enhance our environment.”
Andrew Bowman, the Land Trust Alliance’s president and CEO said, “New York has long been a leader in land conservation and these new grants affirm the state’s commitment to protecting water sources, boosting public access and providing many other benefits… the investments we make today with these grants will do as much for us as they do for the land…”
Grassland Bird Trust was awarded a $35,000 grant to expand conservation of critical habitat for state endangered Short-eared owls and other at-risk grassland bird species in the Washington County Grasslands Important Bird Area (IBA) and across New York State.
Grassland Bird Trust (GBT) Executive Director Laurie LaFond said, “The IBA supports ten of eleven of New York’s most imperiled grassland bird species. It’s prime habitat for grassland breeding birds and a known hotspot for wintering raptors, including Short-eared owls, Snowy owls, Northern harriers and Rough-legged hawks. It attracts thousands of visitors to the area.”
LaFond said GBT will use the funds to hire a full-time Communications and Development Specialist to help expand the land trust’s conservation program.
Other local land trusts receiving NYSCPP grants include: Agricultural Stewardship Association, Battenkill Conservancy, Lake George Land Conservancy and Saratoga PLAN.
About the Land Trust Alliance
Founded in 1982, the Land Trust Alliance is a national land conservation organization that works to save the places people need and love by strengthening land conservation across America. The Alliance represents 1,000-member land trusts supported by more than 200,000 volunteers and 4.6 million members nationwide. The Alliance is based in Washington, D.C., and operates several regional offices. More information about the Alliance is available here.