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Scenic Hudson sues New Baltimore woman over easement

Mar 29, 2022 1:45 pm

Larry Rulison reports in the Times Union that in 2019 the nonprofit environmental group Scenic Hudson filed a lawsuit against the Hohenstein family in New Baltimore. The family sold a conservation easement to Scenic Hudson in 2012 for $258,850, for the 59 acre former fruit farm. But in 2019 Anne Hohenstein was paid $68,000 by a forestry company to cut down hundreds of trees on the property, she says to allow the forest to replenish itself and regrow. Scenic Hudson considered that a commercial logging venture that violated the terms of the easement, and caused erosion and let invasive species to flourish. Scenic Hudson owns about 130 similar easements throughout the Hudson Valley, but rarely needs to litigate after the easements are created. "It's very rare that things end up in the courts," said Seth McKee, executive director of Scenic Hudson, based in Poughkeepsie. "Once we discovered the harvest, we had to intervene." A trial was scheduled to begin next month, but now Scenic Hudson has filed for summary judgment to have the judge rule in its favor, which Hohenstein opposes. What she did was for the long-term health of the land," Hohenstein's attorney Adam Schultz said about destroying the trees. Read more about this story in the Times Union.

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