photo: Kent Quirk
This past Thursday, the state of New York purchased a conservation easement for $30 million to protect 89,000 acres of Adirondack forest. Development will be prohibited on the land, and public rights to roughly 30 miles of fishing access, and snowmobile and hiking trails will be permanent. There will also be a new 15-mile route between Indian Lake and Newcomb. Timber production will still continue. In 2007, the Nature Conservancy paid $110 million for 161,000 acres of former Finch, Pruyn & Co. timberland. In 2010, the Conservancy sold 92,000 of those acres to ATP Timberland Invest. This week, the Conservancy sold rights on most of that land to New York State and plans to sell an additional 65,000 acres for forest preservation. New York State currently owns 2.5 million acres of the Adirondacks, with 600,000 acres already under conservation easements. The Adirondack Park Agency regulates other development.
NYSDEC Executive Deputy Commissioner Stuart Gruskin said the purchase will support sustainable forestry and economic development, that it protects critically important land, and that it creates new eco-tourism and recreational opportunities. Some locals shared his view and were hopeful that there would be economic benefits associated with timber production, as well as tourism opportunities due to the new trails. Other residents fear that additional conservation acreages will be an obstacle for business development.
Having enjoyed the Indian Lake area in the past, I'm looking forward to the extra miles of trails. The state purchasing new land for conservation during tough times is good news to hear at the start of the New Year!
More on Conservation
Chamber of Commerce Wasn't Always So Short-Sided- Used to Back Large Conservation Efforts
New Grants to Protect 2 Million Acres of Forest Land in 33 States
Walmart Adds 218,000 Acres to Wildlife Habitat Protection Program