Gov. Cuomo at Boreas Ponds
Watch a video made by the Governor's office to showcase his visit to Adirondack State Park.
The Nature Conservancy hosted a visit from Governor Andrew Cuomo and members of his senior staff and cabinet and local officials on Sunday, September 23, 2012, at Boreas Ponds in the town of North Hudson in Essex County, New York. The trip was designed by the Governor’s office to help promote tourism in the Adirondacks, which boasts some of the most scenic landscapes in the nation.
The Boreas Ponds tract is part of a historic conservation project that in its entirety includes the conservation of 161,000 acres, including 92,000 acres of commercial timberlands already secured through a conservation easement. In August, Governor Cuomo announced the state’s five-year commitment to purchasing 69,000 acres of forests with more than 180 miles of rivers and streams, 175 lakes and ponds, and six mountains taller than 2,000 feet for addition to the Adirondack Forest Preserve.
The properties have high ecological and recreational values and there will be a planning process to determine the nature of public use following each purchase. The first transaction is anticipated to take place this calendar year. The lands are not currently open to the public.
“We are thrilled that Governor Cuomo, his cabinet and staff, and local officials had an opportunity to preview Boreas Ponds, which is a truly magnificent area,” said Bill Ulfelder, Executive Director of The Nature Conservancy in New York. “In addition to Governor Cuomo and DEC Commissioner Joe Martens, The Nature Conservancy is grateful to the many private supporters whose generosity is enabling the Conservancy to work with New York State to move forward this visionary conservation project,” Ulfelder continued.
Boreas Ponds is a 22,000-acre tract with extensive wildlife habitat, abundant water resources, and spectacular views of the High Peaks Wilderness. After it is transferred to New York State, it will become a big draw for outdoor recreation, offering opportunities for hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, wildlife watching, and more. Funding for the purchases will come from the Environmental Protection Fund, the state’s dedicated source of funding for environmental and conservation programs.
“We were honored to offer a preview of this property to so many dignitaries,” said Michael Carr, Executive Director of the Conservancy’s Adirondack Chapter. “It was very inspiring to see Governor Andrew Cuomo, NYSDEC Commissioner Joe Martens, State Senator Betty Little and so many others enjoying the Adirondacks on such a beautiful fall day.”
Conserving these forests and their vast water resources adds immeasurable value to the region as a major travel and recreation destination. Ten million people already visit the Adirondacks annually, supporting one out of every five jobs in the area, and visitors spend more than $1 billion at local inns, restaurants, convenience stores and outdoor outfitters. The North Country Regional Economic Development Council included this project in its most recent report to the Governor, calling it a “transformational project” noting Governor Cuomo’s “investment in the asset” that is the Adirondack forest.
The following officials were scheduled to join the Governor for this special visit hosted by The Nature Conservancy to the Adirondacks. From the Executive Chamber: Lt. Governor Robert Duffy, Secretary to the Governor Larry Schwartz, Executive Deputy Secretary Joe Percoco, Director of State Operations Howard Glaser, and Counsel to the Governor Mylan Denerstein. From various agencies: Darrel Aubertine, Ag & Markets; Arlene Gonzalez-Sanchez, Office of Alcoholism & Substance Abuse Services; Robert Megna, Division of the Budget; Brian Stratton, Canals Corporation; Gladys Carrion, Office of Children & Family Services; Brian Fischer, Dept of Corrections and Community Supervision; Ken Adams, Empire State Development Corporation; Joseph Martens, Department of Environmental Conservation; Matthew Driscoll, Environmental Facilities Corporation; Ben Lawsky, Dept. of Financial Services; Roann Destito, Office of General Services; Nirav Shah, Dept. of Health; Jerome Hauer, Homeland Security; Darryl Towns, Homes & Community Renewal; Peter Rivera, Dept. of Labor; Michael Hogan, Office of Mental Health; Joseph Lhota, Metropolitan Transit Authority; Barbara Fiala, Dept. of Motor Vehicles; Gil Quiniones, New York Power Authority; Rose Harvey, Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation; Courtney Burke, Office of People with Developmental Disabilities; Pat Foye, Port Authority; Joseph D'Amico, State Police; Cesar Perales, Dept. of State; Nancy Zimpher, SUNY; Thomas Mattox, Tax & Finance; Tom Madison, Thruway Authority; Joan McDonald, Dept. of Transportation. Local elected officials: Betty Little, NYS Senate. Ron Moore, North Hudson Town Supervisor. From the North Country Regional Economic Development Council: Garry Douglas, Anthony Collins. From Adirondack Regional Tourism Council: Michele Powers, Kate Johnson, Carol Joannette.
Also in attendance were about two dozen members of the media.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.