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News Release    

September 30, 2003


County “Closes” on Pulver Farm – 170 Acres at Stissing Mountain Saved

Pine Plains - For the third time, Dutchess County has leveraged its matching grant dollars to acquire a conservation easement on a key farm resource. Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus announced today that the County had closed on its acquisition of a conservation easement on Pulver Farm, a 171.6-acre property in Pine Plains.

County Executive Steinhaus said, “Conserving the Pulver Farm exemplifies two primary goals of our farmland protection program: protecting our rural resources and supporting the agriculture industry in Dutchess. We are not just trying to save our view sheds and rural landscape. Our farmland protection program is an economic initiative – our farm industry is vital to the Dutchess economy as well as its traditional character.”

Through the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets, Dutchess County was awarded $710,963 to purchase the development rights on the Pulver Farm. This grant required a County match of $236,987, or 25 percent of the total cost of the acquisition, giving the County a three-dollar return for each county dollar invested. The County’s first two projects, the Mead Farm in Red Hook and Silver Ledge Farm in East Fishkill, also included funding from the New York State Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF).

The Pulver Farm is the core of a three-generation agricultural operation on nearly 2,000 acres at the base of Stissing Mountain in Pine Plains. The family’s farm businesses include the cultivation of corn, hay, and soybeans, an on-site feed processing operation, and a milk distribution business.

“I commend Eleanor and Anthony Pulver, and their family, for their long-term commitment to farming as a business—these acres are as much a part of our industrial infrastructure as any factory,” added Steinhaus.

Gregg Pulver, son of Eleanor and Anthony Pulver and Supervisor of the Town of Pine Plains, said on behalf of the Pulver family, “We thank the County and County Executive Steinhaus for this opportunity, as well as Rebecca Thornton of Dutchess Land Conservancy for her organization’s assistance. This conservation easement secures the south entrance to our town, as well as the view shed for the Stissing Mountain area, and assists the Town in its overall goal to keep maintained open space—cultivated farmland—available for future generations.”

County Executive Steinhaus proposed the original Open Space and Farmland Protection Matching Grant Program in his 1999 State of the County Address and convened a task force of public and private sector partners to develop guidelines that would allow the County to protect its open space and agricultural resources. Key to the proposal was the matching grant concept, which allowed the County to leverage its investment in partnership with public and private funding programs.

To date, the County has received more than $1.8 million from the State to protect the Mead Farm in Red Hook, Silver Ledge Farm in East Fishkill, and the Pulver Farm. The NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets selected each of these acquisitions for funding assistance. All three projects were facilitated by the Dutchess Land Conservancy, which co-holds and is responsible for monitoring the conservation easements on these farms.

Since the establishment of the Matching Grant Program the Dutchess County Planning Board has recommended $1,825,966 in for open space and farmland proposals that would protect 1,206 acres. The Board anticipates an increase in applications as communities commit to local participation. The County Executive has committed $7 million to the program to date, with the expectation of protecting at least 10,000 acres of resources over the coming decade.


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