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DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. Photo: Matt Ryan for Innovation Trail
DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. Photo: Matt Ryan for Innovation Trail

State assembly to vote on Adirondack land swap

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State Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens says he hopes the state Assembly will approve a land-swap deal for the Adirondacks that would help NYCO Minerals continue operating in the towns of Lewis and Willsboro.

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“It really is a win-win proposition. The community benefits because NYCO is a good company and they employ about a hundred full-time people, about fifty part-time."

Environmental groups are split on the deal, which would allow NYCO to mine roughly 200 acres of forest preserve land.

In trade, NYCO has agreed to purchase roughly 1500 acres of land that would be added to the Park's "forever wild" land.  

Martens says he thinks that will improve recreation and conservation in the Adirondacks.

“The 1500 acres that we would get back that would go into the forest preserve are exceptional properties. They adjoin two wilderness areas and one forest area and they have about six miles of trout streams and significant water bodies on them."

If the Assembly approves the deal in this final week of the session, the land swap still needs approval by voters next November.

We'll hear more from Brian Mann's interview with DEC Commissioner Joe Martens tomorrow morning during the 8 O'clock Hour.

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