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Coy Glen - Ithaca

Posted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 11:15 am
by Matt
Does anyone know about Coy Glen in Ithaca?


Website referring to it: ... _glen.html

Some websites refer to it as a nature preserve. Not sure where to access it or how far it stretches.

Re: Coy Glen - Ithaca

Posted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 12:49 pm
by champy1013
mconheady wrote:Does anyone know about Coy Glen in Ithaca?


Website referring to it: ... _glen.html

Some websites refer to it as a nature preserve. Not sure where to access it or how far it stretches.
It appears to be a Critical Environmental Area - state owned, but not designated. According to this website and the attached PDF (great to download, on page 40 they have a great map of Tompkins county areas) Coy Glen is home to rare species and unique environmental areas...

Go here: ... ources.pdf
and scroll to page 46 for an overview. On page 48 - there is a map. Seems interesting....

Posted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 6:43 pm
by Matt
Seems to be property of Cornell, recognized by the state.
I may have to make a trip there this summer.

Posted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 9:51 pm
by cbobcat49
We stopped at Coy Glen on a trip to Ithaca last summer because the gully was actually labeled in my NYS Gazeteer. It seemed like it went down through a lot of topo lines too. Looked like good falls potential. We didn't go it because I think every access point seemed to have posted signs by it. I guess maybe those signs were actually something to do with Cornell? Maybe if I would have got out of the car and walked up to them and looked a little more closely! I found this link too. ... s/coy.html

Looks like an interesting place to visit. As if Ithaca wasn't gorge-s enough!

We'll have to check it out this summer.


Posted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 11:40 am
by Matt
More info:

Coy Glen, located in the northeastern finger of this Focus Area, is a particularly interesting and unique botanic and geologic area known for its numerous rare and scarce plants. The Town of Ithaca designated this site as a Critical Environmental Area because of its unusual and important qualities. The steep-sided rock walls and exposed bluffs of Coy Glen provide habitat for scarce liverworts, mosses, and ferns. Local geologic conditions and historic quarrying in the watershed have created unique formations throughout the Glen that include dripping cliffs and creekbed “potholes” and fossil ripple marks. Though smaller in scale, Lick Brook is known for many of the same geologic and botanic characteristics as Coy Glen.

About critical environmental areas: (as designated by Tompkins County in t he State of NY)

What are Critical Environmental Areas?

Under New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) Regulations, local agencies may designate, via local legislation, specific geographic areas within their boundaries as Critical Environmental Areas (CEAs). State agencies may also designate CEAs an state owned, managed, or regulated lands. For final approval, all CEAs must be mapped and announced through public notice and a public hearing.

Why are Critical Environmental Areas Important?
The designation of a Critical Environmental Area provides some regulatory protection for a site and functions as an indicator to developers, local officials, and other govemmental agencies that the site is of significant environmental value.

Coy Glen is the only CEA in Tompkins County. Coy Glen is an important botanic and geologic site, and is home to uncommon ecological communities and rare species. Many rare species reside in the hilltop forests of Coy Glen and the gorge walls provide habitat for scarce liverworts, mosses, and ferns.

Obviously this is a little known, very unique area.
The problem is, for me, that if creates a page, with photographs and info that would entice people to trek the gorge themselves, traffic would increase, putting the CEA at risk.
How can NYfalls showcase something like this without making it a weekend family fun spot, ruining the ecology like Stony Brook park has been put through? I call this the Olmsted Dilemma.
For Private landowners, I have always planned on an invite only policy, that if I’m asked to profile I would. Provide a gallery, location by county only, and a bit of a description and background info. One primary focus would be to register the location as private and that trespassing is not allowed. That way people don’t have to rely on hearsay before they drive to a private falls and be confronted with Posted signs, which if they drove all that way, may be more inclined to ignore.

This could be the policy for land such as these, as I can tell people generally where (county/city level) and instead of all the access details, provide more information about protected species, land, water and why it is important not to bring the whole family for a picnic here. Essentially classify it as “restricted access” and not promote visitation at all.

I’m still not sure what the public access policy of this area is yet though.

a thought

Posted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 11:56 am
by champy1013
I am thinking that perhaps it should only be featured if we contact the proper officials from Tompkins County and ask what their opinion of the area would be.....would they want attention drawn to it in order to secure funding for protection, and such. Obviously, if it is not managed in a way (for instance, like Chittenango Falls which has some very rare species but still maintains those habitats along with a high traffic load) - then having a bunch of people rushing all over the place isn't a great idea.

It is quite the dilemma - having the love of wilderness areas end up destroying them. I read 'Wilderness and the American Mind' by Roderick Nash - and he detailed nicely a historical study of the wilderness areas and these exact dilemmas

Posted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 4:41 pm
by Jennifer
Thanks for posting the link, Matt. I guess I never realized it was there. Looks like a nice little gorge. I'd be interested in hearing more about it's accessibility.

(P.S. Sorry I haven't been more active over here!)

Posted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 12:32 pm
by Jennifer
I was just looking around the 'waterfalls' section of the site and read the following:

This Critical Environmental Area is an important tributary ecosystem near the City of Ithaca. Access is restricted and because of the fragility of the system it is impotent that access remain limited. Property Access Restricted.

Don't ya mean "important" :lol: :lol: