GENESEE VALLEY — United States Representative Chris Collins joined Representative Tom Reed this week as a co-sponsor of the Conservation Easement Incentive Act, H.R. 2807.
Reed and local politicians have sponsored the Act for some time now, but with the new support of Collins the program has really gained momentum. Collins’ commitment to the program follows a recent visit to Washington by Executive Director of the Conservancy Ben Gajewski. “As soon as I sat down with [Collins] it was an almost instantaneous ‘yes,'” said Gajewski. “He was very receptive. He shows a lot of interest in helping these groups protect the local landscape.” The Act is designed to allow farm and forest owners to protect important farms and forests with the help of the Genesee Valley Conservancy, while keeping the land itself in private ownership.
This protects both the economic viability of agriculture and natural habitats in the Genesee Valley, while allowing the land to remain in private hands, as landowners wholeheartedly prefer.
The Genesee Valley Conservancy is a nationally accredited conservation organization working to protect habitats, working lands, and open space in the Genesee River watershed. Founded in 1990 as a not-for-profit, over 14,400 acres of natural habitat and productive farm and forest land have been conserved by Genesee Valley Conservancy to-date. The organization also owns preserves open to the public year-round for low impact recreation.