The Nature Conservancy Makes Investment in Adirondack Conservation
Grant to Adirondack Land Trust Is Next Phase in 25-Year Partnership
Keene Valley, NY | April 20, 2017
The Nature Conservancy in New York is making a grant to the Adirondack Land Trust (ALT) to provide $498,000 in funding to increase ALT's capacity and scope of operations.
For over 25 years, The Nature Conservancy and ALT—separate organizations—have worked closely together on land conservation projects in the Adirondacks, with the Conservancy providing staffing services to ALT. This grant represents a new phase in their partnership while helping to expand and diversify conservation capacity in the Adirondacks. The funding will strengthen ALT's work as it establishes a new office and builds staff capacity.
"The Adirondack Park is a special place and a globally significant conservation priority. The Nature Conservancy is proud of its record of success protecting more than half a million acres of significant lands and waters in the Adirondacks, as well as our belief in the power of partnerships and collaboration to achieve great things in the future—which this grant represents. We are pleased to invest in our long-standing partnership with ALT," said Bill Ulfelder, Executive Director of The Nature Conservancy in New York.
Stu Gruskin, The Nature Conservancy in New York's Chief Conservation Officer, said, "ALT is already an accomplished land trust with 33 years of achievements. This grant will expand land conservation capacity in the park by positioning ALT to operate for the first time in three decades with its own full-time staff. It also positions the Conservancy to focus its staff resources to continue to build on its 46 years of success in the Adirondacks."
"Successful conservation requires a multitude of strategies and actions at different scales. Whether the goal is to keep farmland as farmland, forest as forest, or improve recreational access, there are many reasons to protect land. This path forward allows ALT and the Conservancy to pursue their respective missions and maximize their positive contributions to the Adirondack Park and its communities," said Connie Prickett, The Nature Conservancy's Director of Communications and Community Engagement in the Adirondacks.
The Nature Conservancy is integrating its land protection work around broad strategies that will fortify previous accomplishments and bolster climate resiliency. Its recent purchase of 753 acres with two miles of wild Moose River in the southwestern Adirondacks, for example, demonstrates how the Conservancy uses large-scale climate-resiliency science to determine where to invest in land protection. Along those lines, the Conservancy is identifying key habitat stepping stones between core forests to ensure wildlife have places to move through and move to as they adapt to climate change.
Keeping waterways connected is also essential to the long-term conservation success of the Adirondacks. In the past several years, the Conservancy and partners have reconnected 90 miles of river habitat by replacing or retrofitting seven culverts in New York's Lake Champlain Basin with climate-ready, fish-friendly designs. (Ninety miles exceeds the linear distance between Keene Valley and the U.S./Canada border.) By the end of this summer, the Conservancy will have field inventory data for road-stream crossings for all of the major Adirondack watersheds feeding directly into Lake Champlain. Of the culverts inventoried last summer, 73% are not large enough to withstand flooding or provide passage for fish. This information helps to identify where upgraded culverts can provide win-win solutions for people and nature by reducing flooding risks, minimizing road damage and allowing brook trout to reach cool headwater streams.
The Nature Conservancy's mission is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. The Adirondack Park provides remarkable opportunities as the Conservancy provides solutions to the most important environmental challenges of our time—including land and water protection, reducing the causes of climate change, and utilizing nature to adapt in a climate changing world. The Conservancy will continue to serve as a leader in the Adirondacks. The grant and partnership with ALT will result in more conservation success in the Adirondacks.
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.