LAND TRUST PROTECTS OPEN SPACE IN GILBOA
The Schoharie Land Trust recently reached agreement with landowner Franklin C. Clapper to protect his 97 acre parcel of land in the Town of Gilboa by limiting its development in the future.
The parcel includes a variety of wildlife habitats, including second growth woods, open fields, and a sizeable hemlock stand. “The property has a nice mix of land cover types, and drains to the Schoharie Creek, thus protecting water quality,” said land trust president, Andy Mason.
The conservation agreement does not allow public access to the site, and the landowner retains all the rights to use of the property, except those specifically included in the easement, and can sell the land or pass it on to heirs. The easement continues with future owners, however.
The property has been in the Clapper family since the 1800s and is adjacent to the Clapper family cemetery, said Mason. “We commend Frank Clapper for his vision and commitment in protecting this land for future generations. It takes a special person to preserve such an irreplaceable resource in perpetuity.”
Mason also noted that there are tax benefits to the property owner from the easement. “NY State provides a 25% property tax credit on all lands protected in this way,” he said. “This includes town, county and school taxes, and provides a substantial savings each year.” Landowners are also eligible for a federal income tax deduction for the difference in property value before and after the easement.
In recent months, the land trust also protected a 250 acre parcel in the Town of Conesville that includes the highest point in Schoharie Co. on Huntersfield Mt., an elevation of 3423 ft. on the border with Greene Co.
The Clapper acquisition brings the number of properties protected by the land trust to twenty-two, covering over 2500 acres. “We are very pleased that Frank has the foresight and concern to set aside this land for those yet to come,” Mason said. “We will monitor the property to ensure that the terms of the easement are respected by future owners.”
The Schoharie Land Trust is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to protect the beauty, land heritage and rural character of Schoharie County. In addition to easement-protected lands, the group owns two properties in the county, including the 342 acre Paulson Preserve in Summit and Jefferson that is open to the public.
Landowners and others interested in the land trust’s work can contact Mason at (607) 652-2162, or via its website, www.schoharielandtrust.org.