Spring Has Arrived! Time to get outside and get involved!
We invite you, your friends, and family to come to the CATS Grand Hike to the Essex Inn on May 14! REGISTER NOW! Begin in Wadhams and hike to the Essex Inn. Enjoy the BLOCK PARTY with live music, food and drinks, and restorative yoga and massage! Facebook your friends to spread the word about this great local event.
The Coot Hill Bird Walk & Hawk Watch on Saturday morning, April 23 is one of our most spectacular outings. You’ll see fabulous views and migrating hawks coasting along the thermals. Click here for more information and to register.
Also on Saturday April 23, Pok-O-MacCready Outdoor Education Center and the Town of Willsboro are celebrating Earth Day by hosting the 2nd annual Green Up Willsboro Day. Meet at the Willsboro Town Hall at 10:00 a.m. Don’t live in Willsboro? Feel free to start your own Green Up Day and then come to the picnic starting at 3:00 p.m.!
On Monday, May 2 at 6:30 pm, the Boquet River Association’s annual meeting is at the Hand House in Elizabethtown featuring CATS board member Dr. Danielle Garneau, associate professor in earth & environmental science at SUNY Plattsburgh. She will give a presentation on microplastics pollution in Lake Champlain. The meeting is open to the public and all are invited to attend.
Trail of the Week
This week we suggest Rattlesnake Mountain Trail. The trailhead is located on Rt 22, 5 miles south of I-87 Exit 33 or 3 miles north of Willsboro. The Trailhead isn’t marked with a CATS marker, so check your mileage and look for cars parked in the parking lot on the east side of Rt. 22 across from the Long Pond Cabins. The 3 mile round trip trail follows an old road and then turns left and climbs steeply to the summit, where you will look out over Willsboro Point and enjoy fabulous views of Lake Champlain.
Part 10 – Conservation Easement Success Stories
CE Success Story #1 – Dick and Leanna DeNeale wanted to conserve their 318-acre property just north of Essex on Route 22 but the potential costs were a deterrent. Then the federal government renewed a tax incentive to encourage people to donate conservation easements—but for just two years. That gave us a brief window to work with the DeNeales so they could deduct 50% from their gross adjusted income instead of just 30% and have sixteen years to make those deductions instead of six. So, if they earned $50,000/year and the easement was worth $300,000, they could deduct $25,000 from their gross adjusted income and do that for twelve years to gain the full benefit of their donated CE (using the old formula, they could deduct $15,000 for six years which would allow them to deduct only $90,000 of the $300,000 donated value).
Another benefit is the donated CE allows them to get a New York State income tax credit of 25% of their property taxes every year. That credit applies to them and all subsequent owners of the property. It does not lower the property taxes paid on the property but allows them to deduct that amount from their New York State income taxes.
Then we received a “transaction grant” from NYS Conservation Partnership Program administered by the Land Trust Alliance that covered our legal and staff costs plus the DeNeale’s survey cost. So, these great programs enabled the DeNeales to protect their beautiful property and allowed us to build the Ancient Oaks Trail. Final good news—the temporary federal tax incentives that benefited the DeNeales were just made permanent.
CATS Executive Director