Feb 15, 2008 — State environment officials and the Nature Conservancy say they've struck a deal that will protect more than 134,000 acres of timberland in the Adirondacks. The plan, unveiled late Thursday, was described as historic by DEC commissioner Pete Grannis. It will affect most of the former Finch, Pruyn lands, which the Nature Conservancy purchased last year for $110 million. 57,000 acres will be added to the state forest preserve. Another 73,000 acres will continue to be logged, but all other forms of development will be blocked by conservation easements. Most of the land lies in the towns of Newcomb, Minerva, Long Lake, Indian Lake, and North Hudson. State officials say it's not clear how much taxpayers will pay for the massive preservation deal. Local government leaders have raised concerns about the impact on local economies and the lack of public hearings for the project. But backers of the plan say it strikes a balance between the needs of local communities and the environment.
Brian Mann spoke with Mike Carr, head of the Adirondack Nature Conservancy, and with DEC Commissioner Pete Grannis.