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For Release: Wednesday, June 8, 2016

DEC Acquires Conklin Gully

70 Acres Adjacent to High Tor Wildlife Management Area Ontario County

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently purchased approximately 70 acres of land to protect the northern half of Conklin Gully immediately adjacent to the state's High Tor Wildlife Management Area in the Town of Italy, Yates County, DEC Regional Director Paul D'Amato said. This parcel of land is completely surrounded by existing State land and considered desirable as an addition to the High Tor Wildlife Management Area.

"I am pleased to announce this acquisition of an inholding at the High Tor Wildlife Management Area. This completes a project described in the State's Open Space Plan, and we appreciate the Finger Lakes Land Trust's willingness to partner with DEC by buying this parcel to help the State conserve this property," said Regional Director D'Amato.

The land transfer paid for by the state using Pittman Robertson Funds was completed in March 2016, a final part of a seven-year effort that began when Finger Lakes Land Trust negotiated and acquired the property from the Murray Estate in April 2009 on behalf of DEC.

Conklin Gully is known as one of the region's premiere gorge walks. It is a place of natural and historical interest and beauty which provides the public with passive recreational opportunities including, where appropriate, fishing, hunting and trapping, opportunities that are compatible with protecting the ecological significance, historic features and natural character of the area.

Andy Zepp, Finger Lakes Land Trust Executive Director said, "This acquisition secures one of our region's popular destinations for outdoor recreation. The Land Trust is delighted to have the opportunity to work in partnership with the Department of Environmental Conservation to protect this iconic natural area."

Finger Lakes Land Trust will roll over the funds obtained from this sale into the Land Trust's Forever Fund, a special land protection account that allows the organization to move quickly to acquire at-risk properties when they appear on the market.

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