Preserving the Heart of the Adirondacks
Watch a video about this landmark project.
In 2007, the Nature Conservancy purchased 161,000 acres of ecologically and economically significant forest land once owned by Finch, Pruyn & Company in the Adirondacks. The land provides essential habitat for wildlife and features 16,000 acres of wetlands, 300 lakes and ponds, 90 mountain peaks, and 415 miles of rivers and streams.
The Nature Conservancy’s local Adirondack Chapter and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, in consultation with a variety of interest groups and community leaders, have agreed to conserve and protect these lands as follows:
The lands touch six counties and 27 towns in the Adirondacks, with more than 80% of the property in these five towns: North Hudson, Minerva, Newcomb, Indian Lake and Long Lake.
Through this project we are conserving forest lands that are vital to our health and quality of life. Our local forests in general provide natural filters for our air and water, helping to ensure that we have clean air to breathe and clean water to drink. Protecting these forests helps to ensure that future generations can enjoy them and reap the same benefits we do.
This plan reflects a balanced and thoughtful approach that meets the needs of loggers, wildlife, local businesses, and the tens of thousands of local residents and millions of visitors who use our forests for recreation.
The carefully considered plan meets the needs of loggers and other forest professionals by ensuring that more than half of the land will continue to be available for sustainable timber harvest operations.
All of the property to be transferred to the state in the coming years has been closed to the public, but will become open and available to everyone for hunting, hiking, fishing and other recreational uses, and some new snowmobile trails will be created.
Yes, as of December 2010, the 92,000 acres of commercial timberlands have been protected by a land preservation agreement called a conservation easement. The easement keeps the land in sustainable forestry, allows for continued recreational leasing, and secures some public access to places identified as important to local communities, including snowmobile connector trails in nearly a dozen towns.
We anticipate key properties to transfer to NYSDEC in the coming years and would add that they are well worth the wait. In the meantime most of the land will continue to be leased for exclusive use by about two dozen private hunt clubs. Though they will have to relocate to privately owned forests, the plan ensures they will still have these lands to hunt on and offers new recreational opportunities for local residents and visitors currently shut out of the forest.
Yes, in part. The former Finch lands, combined with the 14,600-acre Follensby Pond property, make up The Nature Conservancy’s Heart of the Adirondacks project.April 03, 2012