Findings to be presented on Niagara Escarpment

Date(s) - Wednesday, May 28, 2014
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Pekin Fire Hall


The Western New York Land Conservancy will present important findings from the Niagara Escarpment Legacy Project from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 28 at the Pekin Fire Hall, 3024 Upper Mountain Rd., Sanborn.

“The escarpment holds flora, fauna, fossils, soils, waterways, and wetlands in an astonishing variety for so small an area of land,” said Nancy Smith, executive director of the Land Conservancy. “The escarpment is a geological marvel, a treasure trove of ecological diversity, a scenic wonder, and a living history exhibit. ”

The project paints a detailed portrait of the escarpment from scientific and historical perspectives, and creates an argument for preserving the important cultural and natural heritage that exists there.

The presentation is the culmination of over a year of work and is part of the Land Conservancy’s efforts to increase awareness of the importance of the escarpment, and also to find ways to protect its important resources.

The Niagara Escarpment is a unique geologic formation that extends from Wisconsin, through Ontario, and into Western New York.

The Niagara Escarpment Legacy Project is the first comprehensive study of the cultural history and ecological features of the portion of the Niagara Escarpment in Niagara County. The project, which included field surveys of 20 properties along the escarpment during 2013, was funded by a $316,673 grant from the Niagara River Greenway Ecological Standing Committee and was completed in partnership with Ecology & Environment, Inc., with support from members of the Niagara Frontier Botanical Society. The project was also supported by stakeholders that formed the project’s Steering Committee.

“The completion of this project is an important milestone for conservation on the Niagara Escarpment,” said Tim DePriest, chair of the Niagara River Greenway Ecological Standing Committee. “The Canadian side of the escarpment has been well-studied, and even internationally designated as a Biosphere Reserve because of its ecological diversity. We now know much more about the escarpment in Niagara County, and have a strategy for protecting its most important resources.”

Over the centuries, the Niagara Escarpment has played host to human activities from groups as varied as Native Americans, European settlers, armies, escaping African-American slaves, farmers, manufacturers, entrepreneurs, miners and commercial shippers. Despite the constant and sometimes destructive activity of its human inhabitants and visitors, the escarpment has shown itself to be forgiving, resilient, and constantly awe-inspiring. However, the escarpment needs careful stewardship if it is to remain such a valuable and timeless resource.

The project sets goals for the conservation, restoration, and future stewardship of this unique landscape, including the identification of specific properties that will be considered for future preservation, and then outlines strategies that stakeholders from the private and public sector can use to reach those goals, and recommends funding sources. The Land Conservancy has already begun working with owners of priority properties to find voluntary and mutually beneficial ways of preserving their land.

For more information, contact the Land Conservancy at (716) 687-1225 or

The full Niagara Escarpment Legacy Project report will be available on the Land Conservancy’s website soon.