A Closer Look at the Bell Station Property
LANSING, N.Y.(WENY)-- Do you think you have seen every waterfall in the finger lakes region, well think again. Thousands of feet of Cayuga lake shoreline and hundreds of acres of land will soon be shifted from private to public.
The vast wooded area known as Bell Station was set to be auctioned off by its current owner, New York State Electric and Gas until Governor Kathy Hochul stepped in and now the land will be permanently protected from industrialization.
The Finger Lakes Land Trust, Assemblywoman Anna Kelles, and State Senator Pam Helming were strong advocates for the protection of this land and without their dedication, Gov. Kathy Hochul would not have stepped in.
“In addition to the shoreline the property features some beautiful mature Oak-Hickory forests as well as several waterfalls and they are really quite striking,” said Andrew Zepp, Executive Director of the Finger Lakes Land Trust.
In May it is expected that the FLLT will acquire the shoreline and the entire 470 acres of land and within a year and a half, the FLLT plans to turn the shoreline as well as 270 acres over to the DEC to become a wildlife management area. That leaves 200 acres of land that Zepp hopes will be used to give back to the environment.
“Based on interests of the town of Lansing we are looking at utilizing about 200 acres for possible solar renewable energy, that's on the land furthest away from the lake,” said Zepp.
Zepp said there are many factors at play and there is no guarantee that a solar field will be installed on the 200 acres but Assemblywoman Anna Kelles did guarantee that making this land a conservation area will protect the property for decades to come.
“This is one of the largest properties of forested lands, virgin forested lands that remain in the Finger Lakes area, thousands of feet of lakefront property, and these woods actually contain several species of plants that are endangered,” said Kelles.
Zepp said areas of land like Bell Station play a very important role in not only keeping various species of plants and birds in the Finger Lakes region but also keeping them alive. On the positive side industrialization helps to spur economic growth but with this comes consequences.; as humans expand their ‘concrete’ environment, the habitat for many bird species becomes smaller and in some cases, animals are even killed to minimize their presence.
“One of the significant values to this property is particularly for birds, we regularly see Bald Eagles using the property and as we develop our lakes, 90 percent of the shoreline is largely developed,” said Zepp.
While Bell Station has been saved from the threats of industrialization Camp Barton is still in need of the community's help, follow this link to learn more.