(WSYR-TV) — New York State has purchased the largest privately owned undeveloped lake shoreline in Finger Lakes, Governor Kathy Hochul announced Wednesday. 

The 470-acre Bell Station, previously owned by New York State Electric & Gas Corp. (NYSEG), was previously up for auction before NYSEG cancelled it. Now, the state will create a public wildlife management area on the lakeshore portion of the property. 

“The purchase of this land will guarantee its protection and preservation for future generations – making environmentally conscious decisions like this allow us peace of mind knowing our children and their children will have access to green space and a beautiful lakeview in the Finger Lakes,” Governor Hochul said. “I am proud of the hard work and collaboration between our state agencies, NYSEG, and the Finger Lakes Land Trust to quickly move ahead with the sale agreement that will pave the way for the transfer of ownership of Bell Station.” 

Cayuga Lake, which the state says surrounding land is 90% privately owned, is designated by the New York Audubon as an important bird area. With the 3,400 feet of shoreline becoming open to the public, recreational opportunities will become available to the east side of the lake. The state also says the easternmost portion of the property will be used as a renewable solar energy site. 

“Bell Station is across Cayuga Lake to the north from Taughannock State Park. Under the leadership of Governor Hochul, this acquisition will both protect that lakeview, as well as the water quality of the creeks and streams that flow from Bell Station into the lake. We look forward to working with DPS and DEC on this important conservation effort,” State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said