PROTECTING LANDS: CRITERIA OF ACCEPTANCE
CRITERIA OF ACCEPTANCE
To qualify for an acquisition or an easement held by the Woodstock Land Conservancy, the property in question must be located in the WLC service area, defined generally as northeastern portion of Ulster County, NY, and it must meet a minimum of 5 of the criteria below. Please note that if a landowner intends to seek a tax deduction for a donation or bargain-sale, under IRS Code and regulations the property must satisfy at least one of the underlined criteria in Appendix A while yielding a public benefit.
1. Contains or buffers relatively natural and undisturbed wildlife habitat, ecosystem, or other sensitive areas;
2. Contains or buffers areas of historic or archaeological value or contains a certified historic structure and/or is necessary to protect items of historical interest (e.g. stone walls);
3. Contains or buffers wetlands, floodplains, waterways or other geographic features that impact water resources;
4. Protects scenic views from public roadways, waterways, or recreation areas (especially protected land) and/or is highly visible from numerous points in town, especially when located at higher elevations;
5. Offers access for educational or recreational use by the general public, in particular when access to trails that form an important part of a trail system will be protected;
6. Land that is identified on Town, State, or Federal plans (such as the Town's Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Regulations, or the State's Open Space Plan) as important open space.
7. Preservation sets an important precedent for resource or open space protection in a targeted area, particularly when preservation could lead to the acquisition of additional easements or parcels;
8. Faces imminent threat of environmental degradation due to potential development, climate change or other man-made activities;
9. Land that contains prominent and/or unique natural features.
10. Land that has frontage on a public road.
11. Land that is adjacent to, or in proximity to, other protected lands (e.g. Town, State, NYC owned lands, land protected by a not-for-profit organization, or lands that WLC either owns or has easements on).
12. All or part of land is an environmentally sensitive area containing, among other features, freshwater wetlands, watercourses, flood hazard areas, steep slopes, high elevations designated as environmentally sensitive areas on mountain slopes of significance to the community, important plant or wildlife habitat, or other significant natural communities.
13. Land that contains endangered, threatened or rare species, or that protects bio-diversity.
14. Land that is valuable to the community as open space in an area currently experiencing, or which may in the future experience, significant development pressure.
15. Land that has a prominent position in how people perceive our community and/or is important in preserving the integrity of the landscape.
16. Land that has agricultural or forestry significance.
17. Land that has significance for its potential educational opportunities.
18. Land that is important for protecting and potentially using old historic paths and/or abandoned roads for use by the public.
The following external factors may also be considered to make a parcel more desirable for acquisition:
1. Can be acquired at a reasonable price relative to similar parcels;
2. Is likely to generate significant funds from a fundraising campaign;
3. Whether the WLC can be an effective steward of the property;
4. The results from an environmental assessment, survey and title report;
5. Cost considerations from the perspective of what the WLC will have to expend to acquire the land (if applicable), pay taxes (if applicable), and to maintain the land.
6. Assessment of tax and economic impacts on the community.
7. Whether there are public benefits to the community;
8. Whether the land is of significant value to the Town or Village which it is in.
9. The WLC retains the right to sell the land to another party, provided that the conservation resources on the property remain protected and the full Board approves this.
10. If there is no conservation value that the Board deems worthy of protecting, then the "Criteria for Evaluating Potential Trade-Lands" should be used as the appropriate guideline for Board review.
11. Whether there is direct access to a public road or there is a legal deeded Right-of-Way to a public road.