Land Trust Adds to McIlroy Bird Sanctuary

Near the headwaters of Fall Creek, Cayuga Lake’s largest tributary, the Finger Lakes Land Trust has acquired 86 acres of wetlands and uplands...

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Lake Como, Fall Creek and Dorothy McIlroy Bird Sanctuary. ( Bill Hecht / provided Photo)
Lake Como, Fall Creek and Dorothy McIlroy Bird Sanctuary. ( Bill Hecht / provided Photo)

Staff report via the Ithaca Journal, 11/11/13

Near the headwaters of Fall Creek, Cayuga Lake’s largest tributary, the Finger Lakes Land Trust has acquired 86 acres of wetlands and uplands.

The property is an addition to the Dorothy McIlroy Bird Sanctuary, around Lake Como, which is now a 250-acre wildlife habitat.

The property was acquired as part of an ongoing effort to secure an area of particularly rich habitat for fish and wildlife recognized as a priority project within New York State’s Open Space Plan, according to the Land Trust. The acquisition links two existing portions of the McIlroy Bird Sanctuary and includes extensive frontage on Fall Creek as well as Peth and Lake Como Roads.

The wetlands filter runoff to Fall Creek and harbor rare plants, including 18 native orchid species. The area is recognized by the National Audubon Society as one of New York State’s Important Bird Areas.

The new area will be open to the public, but no new trails or parking areas are planned. The area already has existing infrastructure, Land Trust Executive Director Andy Zepp said.

The area in the Town of Summerhill is part of the Cayuga Lake Watershed. The property will be added onto the land trust’s 198-acre McIlroy Bird Sanctuary.

The easternmost portion of the area hosts several hundred acres of high-quality wetlands located just east of Summer Hill State Forest.

The land trust holds more than 100 conservation easements on lands that remain in private ownership and on the tax rolls. Information: www.fllt.org.

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