Forests—and the water and wildlife that run through them—don’t start and stop at property lines. They extend beyond human boundaries, providing habitats, waterways, and vast stores of carbon across their varied and vibrant landscapes. That’s why Winnakee works with both public and private landowners across those boundary lines—to conserve and sustain whole forests, connecting land corridors that optimize the benefits forests provide and all life depends on.
Many private forest owners have tended the lands they love for many decades and wish to see their lands protected beyond their own lifetimes. Winnakee’s Legacy Forest program was established to enable donors to leave a lasting legacy in their family name.
When you gift your land to Winnakee for conservation, you can be certain that for years to come it will be protected and stewarded, making it one of the most generous legacies a landowner can give future generations in the Hudson Valley. Your donation, whether outright or as a bequest in your will, is one of the most impactful things you can do to help ensure a thriving and sustainable future for wildlife and our region’s environmental health.How to Save Your Land
In some instances, a forest owner wishes to retain ownership and use of their land, while protecting its conservation value in perpetuity. For these landowners, a conservation easement is an effective, voluntary legal agreement that permanently protects special natural values of a forest property—while ensuring good forest management and sustainable flows of the ecosystem services our region needs for its future. This model protects land from subdivision and development forever while guiding forest management to achieve habitat protection and restoration. Easements can be a way for landowners to make a measurable impact on our region’s ecological health when a fee acquisition might not currently be possible or desirable and can be particularly effective in bridging connective corridor forest blocks and buffers to significant neighboring environmental resources across the landscape.Easement Stewardship
We work with landowners to conserve well-managed forests, building resilient landscapes. We prioritize lands for conservation based on their intact habitat and ability to serve as corridors for migrating wildlife, and contiguous forests to sustain the Hudson Valley’s natural legacy into the future. Below is a summary list of this land protection strategy. For more details visit Winnakee’s Conservation Strategy.
Prioritize fee acquisition of high value conservation lands & forests:
Use easements for land protection when: