Sep 24, 2007 — Today, we continue our occasional series examining the rapid spread of conservation easements in the North Country. Over the last decade, pro-environment groups and the state of New York have bought easements on more than 700,000 acres of private land in the Adirondack Park. Many pro-environment groups see easements as one of their best tools for preserving ecosystems and open space. This summer, the Nature Conservancy announced the purchase of another 160,000 acres from the Finch, Pruyn timber company. But many local government leaders have expressed alarm about the easement movement. Fred Monroe is town supervisor in Chester and heads the Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board. Monroe told Brian Mann that the proliferation of massive conservation deals threaten to stifle economic development in small mountain towns that are already struggling to survive.
Program Note: Next week, we'll talk in-depth with Mike Carr, who heads the Adirondack Nature Conservancy. Carr is the architect of some of the biggest conservation purchases in North Country history, including the recent Finch, Pruyn deal.