save the allegany wildlands
We need to raise a minimum of $879,000 before year’s end to save the Allegany Wildlands. Fortunately, we are more than halfway there. We still need to raise $350,000 to meet our fundraising goal. Thanks to a generous challenge gift, the next $140,000 in donations will be matched 1:1, doubling your gift!
The Allegany Wildlands is a stunning 200-acre forest located only a few hundred feet from the Allegany Reservoir, on the opposite shore from Allegany State Park. The forest is home to some of the few surviving American Chestnut trees in the region, as well as incredible wildlife. Unfortunately, the forest is in danger of being logged and subdivided, its unique ecosystems lost forever.
Will you give to save the Allegany Wildlands?
The Land Conservancy needs donations of all sizes in order to save the Allegany Wildlands. For larger donations, naming opportunities include:
• ONE DONOR OF $200,000 can name the preserve (Reserved)
• ONE DONOR OF $100,000 can have the trail named in their honor (Reserved)
• DONORS OF $25,000 OR MORE can have a bench named in their honor.
• DONORS OF $10,000 OR MORE will have their name listed on a plaque placed at the preserve.
• DONORS OF $2,000 OR MORE will be recognized in the Land Conservancy newsletter.
A big thank you to our matching donors: the Gallogly Family Foundation, the Lenna Foundation, and one anonymous donor. To learn more about this matching gift, read the press release.
Watch this 2-minute video and see how spectacular the Allegany Wildlands is!
Refuge for Amazing Wildlife
The Allegany Wildlands is home to a spectacular diversity of plants and animals. During the last ice age, the glaciers never covered this forest, keeping intact an ancient plant community. In the early 1800s it was purchased by the Sluga family from the Holland Land Company. Generations of their family have been its stewards ever since. When they first purchased the land, it was covered by massive American Chestnut trees which had dominated eastern forests for 40 million years. By the early 1900s, a blight had killed off nearly every chestnut in North America, including those at this forest. Amazingly, one 50-foot-tall American Chestnut still survives, along with a few other smaller American Chestnuts. Large oaks, a threatened fern, and even a rare orchid also grow here. Underneath the forest canopy, black bear and bobcat roam the ridges and ravines. Majestic Bald Eagles soar overhead, colorful songbirds nest in the tall trees, and playful river otters search for fish in the nearby reservoir. The Sluga family has decided to sell their land, but for the next chapter of this forest’s story, they want it protected.
Read about the Allegany Wildlands in the Buffalo News.
The Western New York Wildway
Protecting the Allegany Wildlands will kick off an ambitious idea—creating the Western New York Wildway. The Wildway will be a connected corridor of protected lands that stretches from the vast forests of northern Pennsylvania to the Great Lakes, through to the Finger Lakes, the Adirondacks, and beyond. It will form part of the Eastern Wildway which runs all the way from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. The Wildway will allow plants and animals to migrate across the land as they once did, it will allow those that have disappeared from our region to return home, and it will allow those in need to move around to new homes as climate changes. The Allegany Wildlands is already connected to 10,000 acres of protected state land, nestled between Allegany State Park and South Valley State Forest, and it is a significant link in a future Western New York Wildway.
The Allegany Wildlands is threatened, but your gift will ensure that it is protected forever
What makes the Allegany Wildlands such a treasured forest also makes it vulnerable: it is prized for its rich hardwoods, and its location by the reservoir makes it ideal for new vacation homes. If we don’t protect the Allegany Wildlands now, it will be lost.
We have until December 31, 2021 to raise $879,000 to save the Allegany Wildlands. The Land Conservancy will purchase the land, maintain it as a forest, and open a walking trail so people can always experience this incredible place.