Farmland overlooks Canandaigua Lake from Twitchell Road

GORHAM — Finger Lakes Land Trust and the town of Gorham announced that 50 acres of prime farmland will be permanently preserved through a conservation easement. The property, previously owned by Joe Christofferson, overlooks Canandaigua Lake and provides the public with scenic views from Twitchell Road.

The Land Trust and the town formed a partnership to conserve the property which will remain in agricultural use. The town provided over $85,000 in funding for the project, and the Land Trust agreed to hold the easement and monitor future compliance with the agreement.

The town “is committed to conserving farmland and scenic vistas,” according to the announcement, adding the town’s Farmland, Open Space, and Resource Conservation Plan and zoning ordinances limit subdivision and development in high priority open space areas.

“The Town of Gorham has been trying to protect the water quality of Canandaigua Lake, open space, and active farmland throughout the town for many years now,” stated Town Supervisor Fred Lightfoote. “This project accomplishes all three of these goals which are very important to the new and former owners of the property. They are to be commended. My hat is off to all who worked on this project, as well as the many past and present members of various town boards whose vision, determination, and persistence placed the town in a position to help bring the project to fruition.”

Land Trust Executive Director Andrew Zepp commended the town for its commitment and leadership in the project.

This is the second project with the Land Trust and town of Gorham partnering for land protection. They previously worked together with New York state to protect 95 acres of forest on the northern slope of Bare Hill.

Conservation easements are legal agreements that limit future development while allowing land to remain in private ownership and on the tax rolls. Landowners who donate conservation easements may be eligible for both state and federal tax benefits.

According to the Land Trust, it has preserved more than 21,000 acres of the region’s undeveloped lakeshore, rugged gorges, rolling forest, and scenic farmland through its partnerships with landowners and communities.


The Land Trust owns and manages a network of over 30 nature preserves that are open to the public and holds perpetual conservation easements on 136 properties that remain in private ownership.


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