April 2016
Your trusted source for protecting farms, forests, land and water.
From the fields and forests of the Watershed, our staff is working hard to help participants obtain success. Watch our newest We Are Pure Catskills video featuring Main Street Farm as they continue to expand and reach a diverse market. The Nutrient Management Team has developed a new guide to help large and small farms with everything from waste management and grazing, to soil health and crop production. The forestry program is looking for healthy living chestnut trees to aid a study in New York State, and the easement program is gaining insight straight from the source as they conduct annual monitoring and stir conversations with local farmers.

For these stories and more, read below!
Economic Viability
We Are Pure Catskills- Main Street Farm
Check out the newest member video!
The Guide to Nutrient Management Planning is designed to be a resource guide on basic nutrient and crop management. It covers a variety of related topics- everything from waste management, and grazing, to soil heath and crop production. The Guide was developed as a means to provide a more valuable and practical product for our farm participants that may not yet be collecting and/or spreading manure, but still have manure that should be managed.

In addition to being used as a Nutrient Management Plan, the guide in itself is being used as an informational booklet for participating landowners throughout the New York City Watershed. If interested in a guide contact your planner or download an electronic version HERE. For questions or  more information on Nutrient Management Planning call our Nutrient Management Team at: 607-865-7090 or visit our website here.  
REWARD for Large, Live, Healthy American Chestnut Tree
Dr. Powell, from the State University of New York is working to restore the American chestnut tree after it's decimation by an invasive blight fungus. To help Dr. Powell find these chestnuts and encourage landowners to let him collect pollen from their trees, The American Chestnut Foundation of New York (TACFNY) is sponsoring a contest in 2016. The contest will pay landowners $50 to provide TACFNY access to healthy American chestnut trees 14 inches wide or larger on land in New York State. Your tree will NOT be harmed, though TACFNY researchers may collect pollen or seeds from it.

To qualify, the tree needs to be healthy and more than 14 inches "DBH," or "diameter at breast height" (the width of the trunk at 4 and a half feet off the ground). The largest healthy chestnut tree in New York State will win its landowner a $200 prize.

Conservation Easements
On a recent Friday in Stamford, a local farmer and easement landowner was just finishing up chores after the morning milking when his easement steward arrived to conduct the Annual Monitoring Visit (AMV). When the steward walked into the milking parlor, the large registered Holsteins were chewing contentedly on their feed and the farmer offered the steward a cup of coffee to help make the meeting match the contentment of the cows. "There's nothing better than barn coffee," said the farmer.
The meeting proceeded with talk of family, farming, land conservation and preservation, as well as the WAC easement on his land. Through the conversation, the steward learned that the family milks a relatively small herd of 25 cows. However, where the farm is low on quantity, it is high on quality. Their cows have some of the lowest somatic cell counts in the county and the family prides itself on the health of their herd. In fact, the farmer compared the care he gives his cows to the care he would give his family.
With family and farming in mind, two of the landowners' sons are also reputable area farmers, in addition to his daughter and son-in-law who manage the home farm. The land covered by WAC easement, which supports the family's farm operation, ensures that the land will be available for farming in perpetuity.
It is the protection of such places and practices - the gifts of good land and practices of good stewardship - as well as clean water, farmland, family, and community well-being within the NYC Watershed where we begin to uncover more of the story behind a WAC easement. The future is unclear, but with a WAC easement, we can be confident that high-quality goods and clean water will continue to be produced in this region. For more information on Conservation Easements visit the website here.
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Heather Magnan | (607) 865-7090, ext. 217