DUTCHESS COUNTY, N.Y. -- Duncandale Farms, a 158-acre farm in the Town of North East has been protected from future development with the purchase of the easement rights by several entities, including Dutchess County.
The state, the county, and two local land trusts worked together to purchase the conservation easement rights for $1,152,823, said Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro on Tuesday.
"Farms operating in Dutchess improve the quality of life in many ways — from our economy and environment to health and community character — and we are committed to promoting a vibrant future for agriculture," Molinaro said. "Duncandale Farm is a prime example of what makes Dutchess County such a special place for all who live and visit here, and this easement will preserve its majesty for generations to come.”
To purchase the easement, the state contributed $862,750, Dutchess County contributed $133,200, and the Scenic Hudson Land Trust paid the remaining amount. The Dutchess Land Conservancy, who served as the grant applicant, will manage the easement.
Owned by the Duncan family since the 1700s, the farm currently produces hay for beef and dairy cattle replacement. On average, about 7,000 square bales of hay are produced each year and sold to a range of horse, goat and sheep farms in the area.
The farm is a distinctive and prominent feature of the viewshed traveling north on Route 22, and almost the entire property is highly visible from the Harlem Valley Rail Trail.
The farmhouse on the property has a carved foundation stone, indicating it was first constructed in 1771. The farm lies in the western area of a chain of mostly connected, active farms totaling almost 2,000 acres, extending south of Millerton through the Harlem Valley within the Town of North East.