Your Stories Q&A: Clearing up confusion on land being cleared near the Canalway Trail

MANLIUS, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) – You ask, we answer!

Several viewers have emailed the Your Stories Team curious about land being cleared not far from the Canalway Trail, near the Manlius/DeWitt line.

Viewer Question: Why are they clearing land off Cedar Bay Road, Near Cedar Bay Park?

A section of tall reeds, known as phragmites, have been cleared on the wetland.

Viewers also noticed the property was flooded at one time. The water has since receded, but two small boats remain on muddy property.

“The company GL Assets, LLC owns the property and to the best of my knowledge is proposing rice farming which is under the purview of the NYSDEC and USDA,” Town of Manlius Code Enforcement Officer, Tom Poitras said in an email.

According to Onondaga County property records, the LLC that owns the 24 acres off Cedar Bay Road, lists an address to that of Gianforte Farm near Cazenovia.

According to its website, “Gianforte Farm produces up to 13 different organic food-grade grains and beans in its planned crop rotation. We sell wholesale to mills and organic dairies and sell direct to customers from South Carolina to Maine.”

Luke Gianforte said his family is clearing the land on Cedar Bay Road to see what they might be able to grown on the property.

As for the flooding that viewers noticed on the property, that is a method used to clear phragmites. Some publications refer to it as “cut-to-drown management.”

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation said the property owner consulted with them in 2019 for guidance on what is allowed on wetlands, “including cutting off non-woody vegetation like Phragmites.”

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