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News stories tagged with "easement"

All these towns were effectively trying to negotiate the best deal they could, knowing that they had in effect a gun to their head...

Some Adirondack towns say they were pressured to support Finch conservation deal

Yesterday, NCPR reported that local governments in the Adirondack Park are deeply divided over the future of the Finch conservation project.

That land deal would add roughly 60,000 acres to the "forever wild" forest preserve.

One reason that the project is still so controversial, four years after it was unveiled, is that many community leaders feel that they were strong-armed into accepting it.

Other town supervisors say they felt the negotiations were fair and productive.

In part two of his special report, Brian Mann looks at the politics and the backroom talks that shaped the Finch deal.  Go to full article
You know, we’re a willing partner and we remain a willing partner in the [Finch] project

Local government leaders divided over Finch conservation deal

In his budget unveiled earlier this month, Governor Andrew Cuomo maintained the state's Environmental Protection Fund at more than $130 million. Green groups praised the decision and say they hope some of the money will be used this year to expand the Adirondack forest preserve.

The Nature Conservancy wants to sell tens of thousands of acres to the state, lands that were once part of the Finch timber property. Now one of the most prominent local government groups in the Park is trying to rally opposition to the plan.

The Adirondack Local Government Review Board passed a strongly-worded resolution last month. The resolution urges the Governor to cancel additional land purchases in the Park until the state's fiscal crisis is over. But the Review Board's campaign represents a break with the stance taken by dozens of local communities in the Park, which have supported the project for years.

In the first of a two-part special series, Brian Mann reports that some town leaders say they still want the Finch conservation project to go forward.  Go to full article

Finch Paper Reacquires 1,700-acre Tract in Indian Lake

Three years after the Nature Conservancy bought tens of thousands of acres of timberland from the Finch Pruyn paper company, the company is buying some of the land back near the town of Indian Lake. The sale is part of a complex plan to return some of the land to private ownership, or to ownership by local towns. Chris Morris has our story.

Also yesterday, an environmental group called the Open Space Institute announced that it had acquired a conservation easement on 1400 acres in Essex County.
The deal will prevent future commercial or real estate development on a section of forest that includes the shore of Butternut Pond and part of Poke-O-Mmoonshine Mountain.
The land will remain in private ownership. But the conservation easement was donated to the green group by the family of Eric Johansen. Logging will still be allowed on the property.  Go to full article
Follensby Pond (Source: Adirondack Nature Conservancy
Follensby Pond (Source: Adirondack Nature Conservancy

With Follensby Pond deal, Adirondack environmentalists score prize

The Nature Conservancy announced yesterday that it has purchased another 14,000-acre parcel in the Adirondacks. The property, which lies on the outskirts of Tupper Lake, includes a pristine lake called Follensby Pond and more than ten miles of shoreline along the Raquette River. It is also the site of the fabled "Philosopher's Camp," visited by Ralph Waldo Emerson in the 1850s. The Conservancy will pay $16 million to the McCormick family, who live in Manchester, Vermont. As Brian Mann reports, green groups and outdoor recreation advocates have been chasing this deal for more than a decade.  Go to full article

State adds Tahawus tract to forest preserve

Less than a week after the state unveiled a plan to add more than fifty thousand acres of the former Finch, Pruyn land to the Adirondack forest preserve, the Spitzer administration has unveiled the purchase of another big chunk of land. State officials say New York has acquired nearly 7000 acres of land around Tahawus, in the Essex County town of Newcomb. Brian Mann has details.  Go to full article
The Boreas Ponds are one of the gems of the Adk Nature Conservancy deal (Source: ANC)
The Boreas Ponds are one of the gems of the Adk Nature Conservancy deal (Source: ANC)

In-depth: Finch deal protects Adk lands, shifts debate

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.  Go to full article

Critic: conservation easements threaten Adirondack towns

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.  Go to full article

DEC Truck Crashes on Vandalized Bridge in Disputed Champion Lands

State officials are investigating the vandalism of two bridges in the Champion Easement lands near Santa Clara in the northern Adirondacks. One of the bridges collapsed earlier this month, causing a state Environmental Conservation dump truck to roll into the St. Regis River. The driver of the truck wasn't injured. As Brian Mann reports, the Champion lands are still controversial, five years after the state signed one of the biggest conservation deals in New York's history.  Go to full article

Domtar Deal Raises Questions About State Management of Vast Adk Lands

During his state of the state address, Governor Pataki praised a new land deal with Domtar Industries that will preserve more than a hundred thousand acres of timber land in Clinton and Franklin Counties. The 23-million dollar deal follows closely on the heels of other land purchases, involving International Paper and National Lead. Much of the land will be protected by conservation easements. Logging will continue, but sprawl and housing development are banned. Pro-environment groups say easements are an important tool for preserving open space and improving recreation. But as Brian Mann reports, some critics wonder if the state has the resources to manage these complex land deals over the long haul.  Go to full article

Critics: Area Conservation Lands ?Hammered? By Logging

State officials are investigating claims of improper logging on timberlands in St. Lawrence County. The 19,000 acre parcel - which straddles the north branch of the Grasse River -- is protected by a state conservation deal. As Brian Mann reports, critics say problems with the project raise questions about bigger easement deals signed with International Paper and Champion.  Go to full article

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