Otsego Land Trust Surpasses 11,000 In Protected Acreage
Published: December 28th, 2016

MORRIS—Cahoon Creek passes through southwestern Otsego County, meandering through forests and fields on the way to Butternut Creek. As the water flows past the old hamlet of Maple Grove along County Route 10, it slows down for the protected wetlands of Rick O’Keefe and John Chanik, watering the wild apple trees and providing wildlife habitat on the way south.

Thanks to their dedication, and in partnership with Otsego Land Trust, Rick and John have protected 105 acres of forests, prime farmlands, wetlands, and wildlife habitat forever. In addition to this, they are actively working with the Upper Susquehanna Coalition, Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and Otsego County Soil and Water to plant native trees and shrubs along the waterway to clean the waters, stabilize the creek, and improve wetlands and other wildlife habitats. John and Rick have also participated in the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program, protecting vital grasslands for birds that make their nests on the ground.

For Rick and John, conservation has become a way of life. Growing up in the Western United States, where water and arable land are invaluable, they consider the abundance of clean water and farmable land in this region an incredible resource. This drives their

work to protect the beautiful working landscapes forever.


The Evening Sun

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