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A 40-acre property in Chautauqua, NY has been donated to the Foundation for Sustainable Forests (FSF), a land trust based out of northwestern Pennsylvania. The donors, Chautauqua residents Subagh Singh Khalsa and Linda Winkelstern, want to see the property forever protected as a healthy, working forest.
The Winkelsterns, who retired recently as long-time Co-Directors of the Mystic Heart Meditation Program at Chautauqua Institution, acquired the property about twelve years ago. “Right after finishing the house where we live in Chautauqua, Subagh was struck with the notion that he needed to build a cabin in the woods,” says Linda. “Two years of searching finally turned up the perfect piece of land, just three miles from our home.”
“As soon as we acquired the land, we began to dream of its preservation after we were gone. When we finally met up with the wonderful people at the Foundation for Sustainable Forests, we knew who we wanted to adopt our 40 acres.”
Under the stewardship of the Foundation for Sustainable Forests, the property, to be known as Subagh Preserve, will become an asset for the local community. Sustainable forest management will provide jobs and support the local timber economy. Later this year, much of Subagh Preserve will be opened to the public for passive recreational opportunities, such as hiking and bird-watching. Subagh and Linda will continue to enjoy a portion of the property on which they built their off-grid cabin and garden.
“We imagine and hope for the land to be wisely used for generations to come. We picture, and are grateful for, the careful and sustainable harvesting of valuable timber, management of invasive species, improvement of wildlife habitat, and all the other benefits of the long-term stewardship the Foundation can provide,” says Subagh.
According to FSF Executive Director Annie Maloney, “The Foundation for Sustainable Forests is excited to be expanding its impact in the Chautauqua region. We are awed by the Winkelsterns’ generosity and vision in ensuring the long-term conservation of the land. We look forward to stewarding the property towards our shared objectives and engaging the surrounding community in our efforts to foster more diverse, resilient forests in the region.”
The Foundation for Sustainable Forests is a 501(c)(3) charitable land trust working throughout western Pennsylvania, western New York and northeastern Ohio. The mission of FSF is to conserve forested lands, promote healthy ecosystems, support rural communities through working forests, and highlight sustainable forestry practices. The conservation of Subagh Preserve is their second project in Chautauqua County.