Date: 1/10/21 3:28 am
From: John Gregoire <johnandsuegregoire...>
Subject: Re: [cayugabirds-l] Future of Lott Farm & Basin Upland Sandpipers?
Dave,
The state has a strong farmland trust which greatly benefit the owner in
cash which is in exchange for keeping it farmland. I have no further detail/
John

On Sat, Jan 9, 2021 at 8:17 PM Dave Nutter <nutter.dave...> wrote:

> As many of you know, the private Lott Farm, located on the NE corner of
> NYS-414 and Martin Rd on the south border of the Town of Seneca Falls, has
> long been the site for the August farm equipment fair called Empire Farm
> Days. Therefore it has fortuitously been managed as an extensive grassland.
> It is the only remaining breeding site in the Cayuga Lake Basin for Upland
> Sandpipers (They bred between Wood Rd & Caswell Rd in Dryden years ago,
> before a few houses went in there.) as well as a great place for many other
> breeding grassland birds, the occasional rare Dickcissel, plus fairly
> regular Snowy Owls in winter. Furthermore, the owner has been gracious in
> granting access, without charging any fee, to birders who simply request
> permission, describe their vehicle, and agree to remain on the gravel
> roads.
>
> In talking to Reuben Stoltzfus this evening I learned that we cannot take
> for granted the situation which had simply been the result of good luck and
> generosity. This past year, the Empire State Farm Days event did not take
> place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But also the event is now under new
> management who have chosen a different site for the future. This means that
> whatever profit and benefit which the Lott Farm gained from that event is
> gone. And they never got any benefit except good will from us birders.
>
> While Reuben has not talked to the farm owner and did not know of any
> plans for this land which had been managed as grassland, I think it’s safe
> to assume that there is a strong incentive for the owner to find some use
> which will pay the taxes or turn a profit, and that grassland bird habitat
> may not be in the picture unless action is taken quickly to encourage
> future management to allow these birds to continue, before decisions are
> made - if they have not been finalized already - for the plowing or
> construction season this spring.
>
> Is this something about which local bird clubs would want to work with the
> owner of Lott farm? Are there DEC programs which can reimburse landowners
> for maintaining such habitat? Would bird clubs want to help more directly?
> Would birders be willing to pay a small fee for the privilege of birding
> there or to become members of some organization for the pride of knowing
> they are helping some regionally rare birds survive where we can sometimes
> see them?
>
> These are just some ideas based on very limited information. I know there
> are people reading this who are far better than I am at organizing,
> networking, researching, and promoting these things. Please think about it,
> discuss it, and help ensure that come mid-April the Upland Sandpipers have
> a home to return to. Thanks.
>
> - - Dave Nutter
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