Scenic Hudson receives grant to purchase land for preservation


Scenic Hudson receives grant to purchase land for preservation

A $2.3 million grant aimed at preserving the picturesque Hudson River landscape will go a long way to combating climate stresses on the region’s ecological resources, according to Scenic Hudson officials.

The grant, from The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, is for land purchases and coordination and implementation of a conservation initiative, targeting areas where climate change and extreme weather are or could potentially have an adverse effect on ecological resources. The conservation group is required to raise $10 million as a match to receive the grant.

Scenic Hudson’s conservation strategy encompasses an 11-county area, including Dutchess and Ulster. Since 1963, Scenic Hudson said, it has created or enhanced more than 65 parks, preserves and historic sites along the Hudson River and conserved more than 35,000 acres.

According to the foundation, climate change and extreme weather are already having an adverse effect on the region’s ecological resources. Preservation groups are also struggling to keep up with climate change, according to the organization. But, funding from the charitable foundation will go a long way.

Using a computer-generated model, Scenic Hudson’s new Hudson Valley Conservation Strategy identifies properties in need of preservation that will enable the region to withstand climate stresses. The organization will target “sweet spots,” or areas in which multiple conservation goals can be met with specific investments.

In a news release, the organization says it is sharing its strategy with state and local governments and other conservation groups to “ensure conservation investments to maximize benefits.”

“The Hudson Valley is the ideal place for such a bold approach,” Scenic Hudson Land Trust Executive Director Steve Rosenberg said in the news release. “It has strong land conservation groups that know how to work together, and the region’s mix of mountains, plains, farms and the Hudson River with its ocean influence makes it an ideal testing ground.”

The Hudson Valley is home to 85 percent of the state’s vertebrate species despite being just 15 percent of the state’s land area.

“We are grateful to the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation for its vision and generosity in supporting a land conservation roadmap for the Hudson Valley,” Scenic Hudson President Ned Sullivan said in a statement. “The foundation’s investments have enabled Scenic Hudson to continually advance its science-based land analysis and ramp up successes in achieving on-the-ground results that help make the valley vibrant and resilient in the face of climate impacts.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Amanda J. Purcell: apurcell@poughkeepsiejournal.com, 845-437-4807, Twitter: @amandajpurcell

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Source: Poughkeepsie Journal
Scenic Hudson receives grant to purchase land for preservation

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