This site is one of the largest high elevation forested areas in the region.
Much of area was marginal farmland purchased by the state in the
1930?s and 1940?s and allowed to reforest. A historic 10-year study of
the population ecology of Ruffed Grouse occurred here. The area is
traversed by a number of dirt roads and by the Finger Lakes hiking
trail. The core property is administered by the NYS DEC (over 11,000
acres) and the surrounding lands are privately owned. According to the
NY GAP land cover data, almost 95% of site is forest habitat, which
includes Appalachian oak pine, sugar maple mesic, oak, successional
hardwood, evergreen northern hardwood, evergreen plantation, and
deciduous wetland forests.
This extensive forest habitat supports characteristic species, including
the Sharp-shinned Hawk, Black-billed Cuckoo, Northern Flicker,
Eastern Wood-Pewee, Least Flycatcher, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Wood
Thrush, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler,
Louisiana Waterthrush, Hooded Warbler, Canada Warbler, Scarlet
Tanager, and Rose-breasted Grosbeak. At-risk species breeding include
the Cooper?s Hawk (confirmed), Northern Goshawk (confirmed),
Red-shouldered Hawk (confirmed), American Woodcock (probable),
Willow Flycatcher (probable), Wood Thrush (probable), Blue-winged
Warbler (possible), and Canada Warbler (probable).
Regular bird monitoring should be encouraged. Permanent protection
of the remaining privately owned portions is needed to prevent their
development and conversion to non-forest uses. Options include
public or land trust acquisition, purchase of conservation easements,
and sustainable forestry agreements.