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OK Slip Falls, considered one of the prizes of the Finch, Pruyn deal Photo: C. Heilman, courtesy Adirondack Nature Conservancy
OK Slip Falls, considered one of the prizes of the Finch, Pruyn deal Photo: C. Heilman, courtesy Adirondack Nature Conservancy

NYS confirms big expansion of Adk forest preserve

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State officials are moving forward with two land purchases in the Adirondacks totaling nearly 10,000 acres.

State Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens will be on Prospect Mountain near Lake George later this morning unveiling one of the deals.

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Reported by

Brian Mann
Adirondack Bureau Chief

Both of these conservation efforts have been in the works for years.

OK Slip Falls in summer. Photo: C. Heilman, courtesy Adirondack Nature Conservancy
OK Slip Falls in summer. Photo: C. Heilman, courtesy Adirondack Nature Conservancy
The biggest, involving roughly 9,300 acres of the former Finch, Pruyn timber lands in the Adirondacks, includes parcels of land in Essex, Hamilton, Warren and Washington counties — including the famous ice meadow along the upper Hudson River and OK Slip falls.

The state paid roughly $6.3 million for the properties.

Governor Andrew Cuomo (R) with Bill Ulfelder, Executive Director of the Nature Conservancy in New York, signing the Finch Pruyn deal last summer in Lake Placid. NCPR file Photo: Brian Mann
Governor Andrew Cuomo (R) with Bill Ulfelder, Executive Director of the Nature Conservancy in New York, signing the Finch Pruyn deal last summer in Lake Placid. NCPR file Photo: Brian Mann
In a statement, Governor Andrew Cuomo praised the project, describing it as a "fitting way to celebrate Earth Week" that "will create tourism opportunities."

Land deals brokered by the Nature Conservancy are reshaping the Adirondack Park. Photo: The Nature Conservancy
Land deals brokered by the Nature Conservancy are reshaping the Adirondack Park. Photo: The Nature Conservancy
The Adirondack Nature Conservancy brokered the deal. According to state officials, the group agreed to grant the state half a million dollars to support "community connections and economic development in towns affected by this expansion of the Park's forest preserve.

In a statement, the Conservancy's Adirondack director, Mike Carr, said the "scale of this project" will mean "significant ecological protections" for wildlife and habitat.

One question going forward is how these lands will be classified and what kind of recreation will be allowed. Indian Lake Supervisor Brian Wells said in a statement that the project "could lead to a resurrection in the park" if classifications are handled "with local input from the communities."

A separate land deal, unrelated to the Finch Pruyn project will also be announced today in the Lake George area. DEC commissioner Joe Martens will be at a ceremony later this morning on the summit of Prospect Mountain to unveil a land aquisition with the Lake George Land Conservancy.

 

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