The Ninevah Foundation has implemented a multi-pronged strategy to conserve the Lake Ninevah area’s precious land and water resources. To inform this mission, we commissioned a comprehensive ecological inventory and mapping project, which was conducted in 2016-2018. See below to learn more.
FORESTS, MOUNTAINS, AND MEADOWS
In collaboration with a professional forester, the Ninevah Foundation manages its land using established conservation practices for forestry and wildlife habitat management. The Ninevah Foundation works with the United States Department of Agriculture’s local Natural Resource Conservation Service as well as the Farm and Wilderness Foundation on the following activities:
- Maintaining 12 acres of wildlife openings through controlled cutting and burning, and creating small canopy gaps that provide beneficial bird habitat
- Implementing a comprehensive strategy to control invasive plant growth. Click here for more information. Ninevah Foundation Land Invasive Plants 2018
- Organizing timely and targeted timber stand improvements, so that high-quality trees can grow faster because of reduced competition from less valuable trees, and timber harvests to ensure better-quality tree growth
- Nurturing the spread of sturdy blueberry bushes on Proctor Hill by using controlled burning and post-berry-season mowing
- Instituting preventative measures to reduce the chances of harm from the Emerald Ash Borer beetle, an invasive pest currently found in eastern New York state and in Quebec province
- Improving the growing conditions for wild apple trees, through apple tree release and pruning, in order to provide and maintain early-successional habitats. Click here to see information from the USDA on apple tree release programs (PDF, 318K).
To ensure perpetual conservation of its lands and broaden its reach, the Ninevah Foundation also owns land that is enrolled in public conservation programs (PDF, 36K) and holds conservation easements for landowners who retain the remaining property rights. The vast majority of the Foundation’s lands are managed according to a stewardship plan that is approved by the county forester.
LAKES, STREAMS, AND WETLANDS
The Foundation leads water quality maintenance for Lake Ninevah. By hiring scuba divers and training monitors to carry out surveillance and public education, the Ninevah Foundation has successfully contained infestations of Eurasian watermilfoil and maintains a vigil for other aquatic nuisances.
For the scientifically minded, the DEC website also offers a Google Earth map and lots of interesting data about Lake Ninevah through the Lakes and Ponds Management and Protection Section.
Using a variety of land protection tools — in keeping with the principles of America’s Great Outdoors Initiative — the Ninevah Foundation’s preservation work continues to expand.
This two-year inventory by biologist Brett Engstrom yielded surprising and remarkable results, revealing for the first time many rare and state-significant features on Ninevah Foundation lands. With information from Brett’s field work along with other sources, cartographer Andrew Toepfer created a set of four maps: Natural Features; Wetlands; Cultural Features (showing historic homesteads, old roads and contemporary and historic farms); and Rare, Threatened, Endangered & Uncommon Species and State-significant Upland Natural Communities.
You can watch a video presentation of Brett’s findings at okemovalley.tv/lake-ninevah-ecology
The full report is here.
A three-page summary of the report is here.
Downloadable maps are here:
Note: The PDF files are best for viewing on the computer screen. You can request maps in PNG format which is better for printing by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you appreciate these maps, please consider making a contribution to the Ninevah Foundation to support this project.