Governor George E. Pataki has announced an historic agreement to preserve more than 26,000 acres of land in the Adirondacks, conserving natural resources, creating significant new recreational opportunities and ensuring the economic health of the surrounding region.
"Over the last six years we've demonstrated our strong commitment to the Adirondacks by preserving thousands of acres of open space, increasing public access and expanding recreational and business opportunities to ensure a vibrant economic future for the region," Governor Pataki said. "This agreement exemplifies our belief that sound environmental policy and economic development go hand in hand and will ensure that New Yorkers are able to enjoy these lands and the natural and recreational resources they support, for years to come."
Under the land preservation agreement, The Nature Conservancy in New York acquired from International Paper 26,562 acres of forest land in the heart of the Adirondacks, primarily in the Town of Long Lake in Hamilton County, for $10.5 million. The agreement protects four large lakes, more than 12 smaller ponds, over 4,000 acres of pristine wetlands, 85 miles of rivers and streams and intact northern hardwood and spruce-fir forests.
The acquisition will restore critical links in an historic waterway trail system and provides for the possibility to create a premier Northeast canoe route by linking Little Tupper Lake and Rock Pond with Round Lake, Low's Lake, the Lake Lila complex and the Bog River Flow.
The properties acquired include:
The agreement provides the opportunity to create new, long-distance snowmobile trails that are an important part of the economy of communities within the Adirondack Park, and allows for the conservation of timber resources in the region, ensuring the future health of the forest products industry in New York State.
DEC will work with The Nature Conservancy to include parts of the tracts in the Adirondack Forest Preserve, particularly those that protect major lakes and key ecological resources. The lands are expected to provide permanent protection for Clear Pond and Round and Bog lakes, protect important open space and natural resources and create important new public recreation opportunities including canoeing, hiking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. DEC will also work with the Conservancy to create a snowmobile trail on the Round Lake tract.
The agreement is also expected to provide public recreational access to a significant portion of the lands while preserving their status as privately owned lands managed for their timber values. The latter would be subject to conservation easements that restrict development and allow for ecologically sustainable forestry practices.