New York has recently purchased 69,000 acres of land in the Adirondacks to add to the protected Adirondack Park.
“[This] is more than an investment in clean air, clean water and healthy forests for current and future generations: it also bolsters the Adirondack economy.” (The Nature Conservancy)
Within this large parcel of land are “more than 180 miles of rivers and streams, 175 lakes and ponds, and six mountains taller than 2,000 feet — primarily within the watershed of the Upper Hudson River”.
Enjoy this video of beautiful Adirondack scenes that this purchase is helping to preserve.
Adirondack Park & History
“The Adirondack Park, created in 1892, is the largest publicly protected area in the contiguous United States, greater in size than Yellowstone, Everglades, Glacier and Grand Canyon National Parks combined.
The park encompasses approximately six million acres, nearly half of which are publicly owned, and half composed of private farms, timberlands, businesses, homes and camps.” (NY Times)
The 69,000 acre tract purchased by New York State was previously owned by Finch, Pruyn & Co., a timber and paper company that predates the Adirondack Park’s creation 120 years ago. Finch still operates a paper mill in Glens Falls today.
“In 2007, Finch put 161,000 acres up for sale — a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to add ecologically significant lands to the 6-million-acre Adirondack Park and to protect them from development. The Nature Conservancy bought the land for $110 million and agreed to hold it until the state could figure out a way to buy it.
A conservation easement allows sustainable logging to continue on 89,000 acres, preserving jobs and tax base in North Country communities.” (Syracuse.com)
The timber and logging industry has been an integral part of Adirondack history. It was once perhaps the largest commercial venture in the area, and this occupation still employs many loggers in the North Country today. An easement on some of this land will allow the logging business to continue but in a sustainable way that will ensure the forests are healthy and survive.
Learn more about the history of logging in the Adirondacks and how conservation first developed in this area by watching the video below.
What will happen to the land?
The transaction between The Nature Conservancy and New York State will be stretched over a five year period.
“Using monies from the Environmental Protection Fund, the state will pay a total of $49.8 million for the property over five years with $13 million to be paid in this fiscal year. […] The state will pay full local property and school taxes on the land.” (Times Union)
This model of good stewardship extends to other future uses of the 69,000 acre acquisition as well. After being closed to the public for over a century, the land will become accessible for hiking, paddling, hunting, fishing, biking, some snowmobile paths, and other recreational uses. (The Nature Conservancy)
“Besides preserving it as a working forest, the Nature Conservancy said it intended to renew about 140 annual recreational leases with hunting clubs and other organizations that have a long tradition of using the land”. (NY Times)
For more information about the Finch lands project, including video links, press releases and news clips, visit www.nature.org/comingsoonadirondacks.