Champlain Valley Conservation Partnership Project (CVCP) is our land trust that allows CATS to protect farms, forests, and clean water, promote local farming, sustainable forestry, and historic hamlets, and develop outdoor education and outdoor recreation-based tourism initiatives. Thus, CATS focuses on trails and through its CVCP program, it conserves land, increases understanding of nature, promotes outdoor recreation, and enhances economic vitality. Our conservation priorities in the Champlain Valley include Split Rock Wildway, Boquet River Valley, Essex Highlands and the Long Pond Watershed.
CATS/CVCP Conservation Projects
CATS First Project – The Johnson Farm and Forest; 77 acres – On December 30, 2011 CATS completed its first land protection project when Ray and Lola Johnson donated a conservation easement to protect their beloved property in Clinton County. Our partnership with the Johnsons conserved productive farmland, biologically diverse woodlands, a large wetland, and the shoreline of Corbeau Creek, an important tributary of the Great Chazy River. Read full press release here
DeNeale Property/Essex Highlands; 319 acres – On December 27, 2012 Dick and Leanna DeNeale donated a conservation easement to CATS that conserves their 319 acres property on Rt. 22 between Essex and Willsboro, fulfilling their long-held dream of conserving their forest, protecting clean water, and ensuring the farmland stays in farming. The easement also provides for a hiking/skiing trail which will showcase the forest and be part of a trail CATS envisions that links Willsboro to Essex. The property is in an area called the “Essex Highlands,” which is the first ridge people see when traveling to New York on the Essex Ferry and provides beautiful scenery for those driving along Lakeshore Road and Route 22. It is an area of productive farmland, healthy forests, and scenic vistas.Read full press release here
Wildway Passage/Beaver Bend Properties; 99 acres – March 9, 2013 CATS purchased two parcels of land from the Lewis Family Farm that conserve important wildlife habitat and provide for public hiking trails. The larger 87-acre tract, located between Lakeshore and Angier Hill Roads in Westport, is the key woodland parcel linking Split Rock Mountain Wild Forest and Coon Mountain Nature Preserve. This secures essential habitat connectivity in the Split Rock Wildway wildlife corridor that connects Lake Champlain to the Adirondacks. The transaction also involved a 12-acre property in Essex with extensive frontage on the Boquet River. It contains riverside forest, riparian wildlife habitat, and an old farm field reverting to woods. Conserving these lands will protect the habitat and remove the threat of runoff from logging and farming too close to the river. Read full press release here
Duca Conservation Project, Essex, NY; 122.9 acres – In April of 2016, CATS purchased a coservation easement on property owned by Tom Duca in Essex, NY. The property is roughly triangular-shaped with 3530 feet (0.66 miles) of frontage on Sherman Road. It has one 110-acre lot and four smaller 3.2-acre subdivided lots. The area, zoned 5.5 acres per building right, has twenty-two building rights. The property is mostly forested with a 25-acre field, divided by a small brook, in the northeast quarter. The property is part of the Split Rock Wildway connecting Split Rock Wild Forest and the Westport Woods portion of the Adirondack Mountains, The property is also a key section of the proposed CATS trail that connects the Westport Train Station to Coon Mountain and on to Essex because it provides the only route that can cross the railroad tracks running through the Champlain Valley.