Western New York Land Conservancy Protects Aquatic Habitat

Western New York Land Conservancy Protects Aquatic Habitat

Western New York Land Conservancy Acquires First Klydel Wetlands Parcel, East Aurora, NY – After more than three years of planning, negotiating, and fundraising, the Western New York Land Conservancy (WNYLC), a regional land trust serving the eight counties of Western New York State, has closed on the purchase of its first acquisition within the City of North Tonawanda’s “Klydel Wetlands”, according to WNYLC President and N. Tonawanda resident, Paul Lehman. The 17.2 acres assembly of parcels was purchased from Wanda and Edward Padlo. “This conservation acquisition was made possible through contributions from a number of sources, but still would not have been feasible had the Padlos not been willing to sell the property for significantly less than the appraised value,” said Lehman. “We very much appreciate their ‘bargain sale,’ which also has potential for charitable contribution tax benefits. The Padlos’ generosity allowed us to acquire the property at approximately one-third of its appraised value,” Lehman added.

“A grant from the Niagara County Environmental Fund, administered by the New York State Center for Hazardous Waste Management at the State University of New York, funded many of the transactional costs, including appraisals, environmental audits, surveys, and title searches,” said Lehman.

Funds to purchase the property came from many sources, including the Buffalo Audubon Society, local fundraising (including two grants totaling $3,500 from E.I. DuPont de Nemours’ corporate office and its Niagara Falls plant), and mitigation contributions required of a number of different developers in the region as conditions of wetland disturbance permits issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“We are pleased to support the wetland protection and conservation education work of the Citizens for a Green North Tonawanda and Buffalo Audubon”, said Lehman. “Our plan for the property is to turn it over to the Buffalo Audubon Society to manage as an outdoor education area and wildlife preserve. We will retain a conservation easement on the property to ensure that it can never reenter the market for residential, commercial, or industrial development”, added John Whitney, co-chair of the WNYLC’s conservation committee. William McKeever, Executive Director for Buffalo Audubon, noted that the parcels represent the nucleus of a hoped-for Audubon Nature Preserve to protect the wetlands and keep them accessible for public enjoyment and nature study.

The Western New York Land Conservancy is working on a variety of projects throughout the region including farmland protection projects in the towns of Amherst and Marilla in Erie County, and development of the Kenneglenn Scenic Preserve in the town of Wales. As a membership-based organization, the Western New York Land Conservancy is also hoping to increase the number of members involved in and supporting its conservation efforts. Membership information and project updates can be seen on the WNYLC’s web page: www.wnylc.org.

According to Amy Holt, Land Protection Manager for the Western New Land Conservancy, a number of other transactions are in the final stages of negotiation. Owners of land in the Klydel Wetland or other areas of Western New York who may be interested in donating or selling their land to the Western New York Land Conservancy or establishing conservation easements with the WNYLC for permanent conservation purposes may contact the WNYLC office at 21 South Grove Street, Room 120, East Aurora, NY, 14052 phone 716-687-1225, e-mail: wnylc@wnylc.org.


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Images courtesy of Steven Huyser-Honig,
West Grand Boulevard Collaborative, & Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve.