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March 5, 2016

Tompkins aids preservation project

LandJoe McIntyre/staff photographer
Marilyn and Theodore Petkov, of Dryden, take a walk Friday on the125 acres of land they are selling to the Finger Lakes Land Trust.

By LEANN HLEBICA
Staff Reporter
lhlebica@cortlandstandardnews.net

DRYDEN — Theodore and Marilyn Petkov plan to retire to New Mexico and they are planning to downsize — starting off with selling their 140 acres, most of which will be preserved as forever wild.
Marilyn Petkov said Friday that their plans are to head to New Mexico in April.
The Tompkins County Legislature voted Monday to allocate $25,000 to help the Finger Lakes Land Trust with the purchase of 125 acres along Six Mile Creek and Midline Road from the Petkovs.
The couple have lived at 471 Midline Road for 20 years and wanted a large portion of their 140 acres to stay wild, Marilyn Petkov said.
“We raised our two boys here and we have kept the land exactly as we got it,” Petkov said. “We didn’t use it for logging, or growing anything in its fields and we want it to remain that way.”
The Petkovs have been under negotiations with Finger Lakes Land Trust since November for the 125 acres.
“We are selling our house and 20 acres will be kept with it — the rest is going to the Finger Lakes Land Trust,” Petkov said. She said she and her husband are confident that the Finger Lakes Trust will maintain the land in its original state.
The 125 acres are being sold for $2,000 an acre, or a total of $250,000, to the Finger Lakes Trust.
The area includes 11,000 feet of frontage along Six Mile Creek, and 12 acres of wetlands. The property has a portion of hiking trails that the public has been using for decades, but was technically not public.
Marilyn Petkov said that she and her husband let people hike, swim and snowmobile on the property. The couple only discouraged hunters from using the land after having remains of animals left in their yard, she said.
The property is adjacent to a Cornell Plantations natural area and is located close to the Roy H. Park Preserve and Hammand Hill State Forest.
The Finger Lakes Land Trust asked for a resolution of support from the town of Dryden, town Supervisor Jason Leifer said Thursday. Leifer said the Land Trust was not looking for any financial contribution from the town.
During its Feb. 18 meeting, the Town Board unanimously approved the letter, Leifer said.
“Part of the property is a host of a gorge — Dryden has its own gorges,” Leifer said. “I’ve actually been there and it’s really cool.”
Marilyn Petkov said the land also includes multiple forests, ridges and a swamp with beautiful orchids located along the bottom.
Any Zepp, executive director of Finger Lakes Land Trust, was unavailable by deadline to give comment.

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