In 2007, The Nature Conservancy purchased 161,000 acres in the Adirondacks for $110 million. Since then, we’ve been working tirelessly to move forward a complex conservation plan for those properties, which touch six counties and 27 towns.
As part of the plan, New York State in December of 2010 acquired a conservation easement protecting 89,000 of those acres now owned by ATP Timberland Invest.
From an ecological conservation perspective, it’s important that these forests and the natural processes they sustain can persist and change over time.
In designing the conservation easement tailored specifically to this land, we started with the science and collaborated with New York State DEC staff, professional foresters and other stakeholders to round out the ecological protections with other public benefits and practical concerns.
The conservation easement, which permanently removes the threat of inappropriate development and requires sustainable forestry practices going forward, stays with the property in perpetuity.
This is the first landscape-scale conservation easement in the state to address climate change threats. It requires biological monitoring and management guidelines to be reviewed and approved by an ecologist every 15 years and allows for course-corrections to be made if species composition changes in the future.
Under conservation easement, this working forest will bolster the local economy through the multi-billion dollar forest products and outdoor recreation industries. And, ecologically, the forests will continue to provide priceless benefits like water filtration, carbon storage, flood control and wildlife habitat.December 20, 2011