Sunlight showing through the trees

New York’s forest at a crossroads

Critical for wildlife, water, recreation and economy

Some of New York’s most important wildlife habitat resides in large expanses of forest land. Tug Hill’s forests are no exception.

The “Core Forest, the Heart of Tug Hill,” that encompasses over 45,000 acres provides critical migration corridors for black bear, moose, and bobcat, and is the headwater supply for drinking water in the cities of Rome and Oneida.

These lands are part of a larger regional conservation effort spanning from Pennsylvania up to Canada. With extreme weather on the rise, wildlife now face challenges related to drought, heavy rains and flooding, and habitat fragmentation. The conservation of New York’s woodlands is central to the survival of resident and migratory birds, like the Scarlet Tanager, as well providing safe migration route for the shy lynx.

Data has shown that lynx require as much as 30 square miles for food, shelter and raising their young. Yet development unchecked in many forested regions put’s the land—and the wildlife—at risk.

When factoring in how important forests and woodlands are for improving water quality and reducing flooding, as well as the multi-billion dollar recreation and forest economy, it’s clear that conserving these lands couldn’t be more timely.


raccoon resting in a treeNew funding program advances forest conservation

The Forest Conservation Easements for Land Trusts Program is a new opportunity for private landowners looking to conserve their forested properties. The program is funded by the NYS Environmental Protection Fund and was expanded this year to $1.35 million statewide.

New York State has a long history of land protection yet this program is unique in how it supports local forest owners to conserve their land.  Accredited land trusts raise money and apply for matching funds to support projects that address water conservation, wildlife habitat, support local forest-based economies, and slow down the pace and impact of climate change.

Your support is critical as our match for completing the overall project assessment and related documentation.If awarded this year, Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust will assist two families whose properties encompass 500 acres of forestland in the “Core Forest.”