Jan 07, 2008 — The Nature Conservancy deal with Finch, Pruyn, announced last summer, has drawn criticism and accolades. Local government leaders have questioned its impacts on communities, while green groups in the region heralded the acquisition as one of the biggest environmental coups of the last half-century. The architect of the project is Mike Carr, executive director of the Adirondack Nature Conservancy. Carr lives in Keene Valley and has deep family roots in the North Country. Overnight, the Finch, Pruyn deal made him into one of the most influential men in the region. The decisions he makes over the next few months will resonate far beyond conservation, affecting a half-dozen Adirondack communities, as well as local economies. Some of the 161,000 acres will go into the forest preserve, but other pieces will continue in timber production or be sold for private development. Mike Carr sat down recently to talk at length about his expanding role with Brian Mann. This is the first part of their conversation.