Nature Conservancy Purchases Moose River Parcel
Conserves Critical Forest and Freshwater Resources
Lyonsdale, NY | December 20, 2016
The Nature Conservancy’s Adirondack Chapter today announced that it purchased 753 acres of forest with two miles of wild riverfront on the Main Branch of the Moose River in the southwest corner of the Adirondack Park. This strategic acquisition bolsters climate resilience and seizes an opportunity to protect free-flowing rivers and large intact forests at the same time.
Several years ago, the sellers reached out to the Conservancy to explore options to protect the land, which they had been using primarily for recreation. Prior to the purchase, the Conservancy evaluated the parcel from multiple perspectives to assess its conservation values, which include:
- It secures undeveloped, forested shoreline on the Moose River, the primary freshwater system of the southwest Adirondacks. Keeping natural shoreline intact provides habitat for wildlife and moderates erosion and stream flow—natural functions that can help protect water quality and prevent floods.
- It’s at the edge of one of the largest blocks of intact forest in the East, ranking highly among places likely to remain climate-resilient for the long term. The parcel provides habitat for 17 different natural community types, ranging from northern hardwood forest to emergent wetland.
- It buffers a major corridor for wildlife between the Adirondack Park and Tug Hill Plateau, helping to keep pathways open for wide-ranging animals such as moose and bobcat.
“The Moose River with its intact shoreline, free-flowing water and mosaic of habitats stands out as highly resilient to climate change, not just in the Adirondacks, but in the entire Northeastern United States. This purchase demonstrates how we can use large-scale climate-resiliency science to help us decide where to invest in land protection,” said Dirk Bryant, The Nature Conservancy’s Director of Conservation Programs in the Adirondacks.
The Moose River is also known for seasonal whitewater rafting adventures offered by professional guides. Hundreds of people visit every spring to take the 13-mile wild trip that passes through the two-mile section now owned by the Conservancy. “It is nice to know that this section of the Moose River will be preserved in its wild state,” said Garry Staab, outdoor guide and owner of Adirondack River Outfitters.
The latest draft of the New York State Open Space Conservation Plan identifies the Moose River Corridor as a high-priority conservation area. The plan also emphasizes the importance of riparian buffers and wetland protection projects as a first line of defense in protecting communities from increased storm intensity and flooding.
The Nature Conservancy paid $880,000, and will hold the land until it can find a conservation owner to manage the property under a perpetual conservation plan that protects ecological values.
The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.