TNC/DEC Land Transfer Update – Oct 2013
2014 will be a pivotal year for the Club as the land we lease will become owned by the State of New York. As of this week we have been informed by the The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and Finch Pruyn that the land transfer will likely occur within the next one to three months and at the absolute latest will be completed by the end of this State fiscal year (March 2014).
What this means for members:
SMBA members will continue to have exclusive access to the land prior to the DEC acquisition. TNC is requiring that SMBA sign a short-term lease that will expire once the land transfer occurs.
Associated with this lease is one half of the yearly lease fee that SMBA pays. Should the lease terminate in December, the cost of the lease will be prorated and SMBA will be paid back the remainder of the fee.
To reflect the removal of one half of the lease cost, the yearly cost for all SMBA memberships will be reduced by $5.
Once the land transfer occurs, the land will be open to the public for multiple uses similar to other property managed by NYS Department Environmental Conservation. This means the trails will remain open (this is a good!).
The SMBA Executive Board will continue their coordination and contact with NYSDEC regarding the transfer including SMBA’s continued maintenance of the trails. SMBA intends to enter into a Volunteer Stewardship Agreement with DEC identical to the one we have in place at Pittstown State Forest. More information will be available at the year-end meeting.