Intervale Lowlands Conservation Easement

By Diane Fish, LPLC Board of Directors

Larry and Nancy Master of Lake Placid permanently protected their 133-acre Intervale Lowlands property along the West Branch of the Ausable River in Lake Placid in December 2011. By conveying a conservation easement to the Lake Placid Land Conservancy, the Masters ensured that land along one mile of the West Branch of the Ausable River will remain undeveloped in perpetuity.

Both Larry and Nancy have long-standing ties within the Lake Placid community, and Larry worked 27 years as a conservation biologist/zoologist for The Nature Conservancy and for NatureServe. “We know from scientific studies conducted by the Wildlife Conservation Society that a house has an adverse impact on wildlife extending out at least 200 yards from the structure. We wanted to restrict any future building on our property to a maximum of two additional homes for our children and grandchildren, homes that would be clustered in one corner of the property adjacent to our existing house so as not to fragment or degrade this amazing refuge for wildlife.” Under local subdivision regulations, as many as twenty three house sites could have been created on the property.

Intervale Lowlands’ forested areas, grasslands, and wetlands support over 200 species of birds (including rare forest breeding raptors) and the only known site in New York State for two rare dragonflies. The National Park Service has included the West Branch within the National Rivers Inventory, recognizing the river for its outstandingly remarkable values for scenery, geology, and fish that are of national significance. For more information about the Intervale Lowlands nature preserve, visit