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The Heart of the Adirondacks: Epic Conservation, Enduring Results


Follensby Pond

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Preserving the Heart of the Adirondacks

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The Nature Conservancy’s Heart of the Adirondacks project is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to protect ecologically and economically important lands and waters within New York’s Adirondack Park for people and nature. The forests include 161,000 acres formerly owned by Finch, Pruyn & Co. and the iconic 14,600-acre Follensby Pond tract.

This globally important forest and freshwater conservation effort balances ecology and human economy within a landscape that offers hope for meaningful preservation of a forest type that historically has suffered more abuses than any other on earth.

Properties of exceptional ecological and recreational value (65,000 acres of Finch lands and the Follensby tract in its entirety) will be protected as additions to the state’s Forest Preserve, making them available for all to enjoy. Huge tracts (more than 92,000 acres) have already been protected by conservation easement and dedicated to sustainable forestry. And some smaller parcels have been identified for community enhancement opportunities in three rural Adirondack towns.

The plan not only sustains vital economic activity associated with timber management, it also unlocks potential for additional economic benefits to be gained by local communities and businesses. The Adirondacks are within a day’s drive of 92 million people and draw 10 million visitors each year.

This project is a testament to the effectiveness of public/private partnerships. While experts at the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation are playing a vital role in shaping and implementing the conservation plan for these properties, private individuals and foundations have contributed more than $35 million to date (as of Dec. 1, 2011) to support this compelling effort.

 

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