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State to "Protect" Domtar's 104,000 Acres

On January 4, 2005, Gov. George E. Pataki announced that the State will acquire by a combination of outright purchase and conservation easements 104,000 acres of forest land in Clinton and Franklin Counties that was owned until recently by Domtar Industries, a Canadian plywood and paper-manufacturing company. A few days before, the company had sold 20,000 acres for $6.26 million to The Nature Conservancy, which intends to sell this land outright to the State in the next few years for an undisclosed sum. At the same time as the Conservancy deal, Domtar had sold 84,000 acres to Lyme Timber Company of Hanover, N.H., for $17.47 million. According to reports, the State intends to acquire conservation easements on the Lyme company land and allow logging and lease-holding hunting clubs to remain. The announced two-part deal will bring Gov. Pataki's deeded "protections" by fee simple acquisition and conservation easements in private land in the Adirondacks to approximately 900,000 acres. Since the beginning of the Cuomo Administration, the proportion of fee simple private land to the total of 6,000,000 acres within the so-called "Adirondack Park" has shifted from about 60 percent to only about 40 percent, with Pataki accomplishing the greater part of this shift, applauded by environmentalists.

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