For us, the Bethlehem Conservation Easement Exemption program was a no-brainer. We enjoy looking out our window and seeing this 11-acre forest, unencumbered by houses, street lights, driveways and cars, knowing that the land is home to countless wildlife and plant species, a pristine creek, wetlands, and tranquil solitude...We decided to conserve our forest in perpetuity, which gave us a 90% tax exemption on this land.”
- Bethlehem Conservation Program participating landowner
Questions about the Town’s voluntary landowner conservation programs? Please contact: Robert Leslie, Director of Planning at 518-439-4955 x 1157, firstname.lastname@example.org
What are these maps and their purpose? The first step in identifying and prioritizing open space lands in town was to conduct an open space inventory that included natural and cultural resources in Bethlehem. Using data collected from over 20 public data sources (including town, state and federal); inputting more than 70 data sets into a GIS mapping system; and reviewing community open space values stated in past surveys, focus groups and public meetings; the town developed the above four Open Space Conservation Values maps. These maps, along with field verification when needed, will be used on an ongoing basis to help inform town conservation decisions. Reviewing these maps, and the relationships they show, is a useful step in considering any land in town for conservation purposes. The many open space values and benefits illustrated within these four maps are summarized in the Open Space Plan linked above.
To view the presentation delivered by town planning staff at the 2017 Open Space Conservation Public Workshop, please see the following: