Our Vision

The Southern Tier of New York and Broome County in specific has a remarkable lack of conserved natural areas when compared to neighboring areas to the north and the east. The limited nature of conserved land in Broome County is a challenge for preserving sensitive habitats, managing endangered and threatened species, increasing forest growth and carbon sequestration, mitigating the threats of flooding, maintaining heritage activities such as farming, hunting, and fishing, as well as serving as a rich pool of basic open space. But more than the basic need to preserve natural areas, the lack of conserved lands means that the residents of the region have relatively few natural areas to visit that do not require hours of driving. In this way, increasing the availability of natural areas in our backyard brings benefits to everyone: increased property values, vibrant outdoor features to attract new residents to the region, accessibility to nature for all our community members, and healthy opportunities for everyone to enjoy the outdoors.

As a starting point, the STLC has prioritized natural areas for land conservation using the Broome County Natural Areas inventory developed by local biologist and Binghamton University professor, Dr. Julian Shepherd.

The map above shows many parcels (in red) scattered across Broome County that feature areas that Dr. Shepherd has identified as having important and sensitive habitats. These areas offer a starting point for locations that would potentially serve as important land areas for conservation.

The blue areas that are shown in the map identify areas of Broome County that have been identified by the Nature Conservancy and DEC as offering natural "corridors" across which species can migrate. Preserving properties in these corridors offers an opportunity to facilitate changes taking place in the natural systems due to climate change. The area in yellow shows a region of Broome County that has a particularly sensitive and rich habitat.

In our vision, we would like to work with our neighbors and community leaders to facilitate the conservation of land across the county. Ideally, we will target the particularly sensitive natural areas identified by Dr. Shepherd but also work to develop a diverse system of conserved lands around the county.

These areas could include land preserved along the river margins to help mitigate flooding events. Or properties that combine sustainable farming and extensive woodlots to serve as important open space areas that contribute to the economy of the community.

Other target areas might include a swath of properties that would combine current sustainable forest and hunting practices but also enable public access via hiking, snowmobiles, and ATV trails where appropriate. Imagine being able to hike from Binghamton to the Finger Lakes Trails or from Jones Park to Aqua Terra Park!

Broome County is already a special place but together we can bring our community and set a vision for the future that will be second to none.

If you are interested in working with us - to conserve a property, introduce us to potentially interested neighbors, help us raise funds, or simply talk to us about the STLC vision, please let us know!

“The hope of the future lies not in curbing the influence of human occupancy – it is already too late for that – but in creating a better understanding of the extent of that influence and a new ethic for its governance.”― Aldo Leopold