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News stories tagged with "land-conservation"

The Marion River in Hamilton County, a tract that will be preserved by OSI.  (Photo:  OSI website)
The Marion River in Hamilton County, a tract that will be preserved by OSI. (Photo: OSI website)

Marion River Carry in Adirondacks preserved by OSI

An environmental group based in New York City has purchased an iconic parcel of land in Hamilton County known as the "Marion River Carry."

The Open Space Institute purchased the 295 acres in a deal that will help protect a popular canoe-carry trail linking Raquette Lake and Utowana Lake.

OSI president Kim Elliman released a statement this week saying that "the potential for development made the Marion River a higher, more immediate priority for conservation."  Go to full article
Governor Andrew Cuomo (R) with Bill Ulfelder, Executive Director of the Nature Conservancy in New York, signing the Finch Pruyn deal Sunday in Lake Placid. Photo:  Brian Mann
Governor Andrew Cuomo (R) with Bill Ulfelder, Executive Director of the Nature Conservancy in New York, signing the Finch Pruyn deal Sunday in Lake Placid. Photo: Brian Mann

Local government review board blasts $47 million Cuomo land deal as "irresponsible"

A state funded watchdog group is blasting Governor Cuomo for his decision to purchase tens of thousands of acres of Adirondack land, to be added to the Park's forest preserve. The $47-milllion deal was unveiled on Sunday.

A group called the Adirondack Park Local Government Review board is calling the decision irresponsible. Brian Mann has details.  Go to full article
Indian River Lakes Conservancy region (Source: IRLC website)
Indian River Lakes Conservancy region (Source: IRLC website)

Indian River Lakes Conservancy expands, builds bridge to Canada

On Friday, North Country Public Radio reported that some small land conservation deals are still moving forward in the Adirondack Park, despite the state's cash crunch. Groups outside the blue line are also working to protect key parcels of open space.

This spring, the Indian River Lakes Conservancy in the St. Lawrence Valley bought another parcel of wetlands and shorelines around Grass Lake, using a major grand from the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The group now owns more than 1500 acres.

As Brian Mann reports, the land could serve as part of a key wildlife corridor between the Adirondacks in New York and Algonquin Park in Canada.  Go to full article
Mays Pond, an inholding in the Pigeon Lake Wilderness, will likely sell to a private landowner (Photo: LandVest)
Mays Pond, an inholding in the Pigeon Lake Wilderness, will likely sell to a private landowner (Photo: LandVest)

Small Adirondack land deals may slip through NY's fingers

This week, the Cuomo administration paid out roughly $1.5 million to land trusts across the state. The money will mostly go to help with administration costs and to fund internships.

In the Adirondacks, much of the land conservation debate over the last few years has focused on historic large-scale deals orchestrated by the Adirondack Nature Conservancy.

The Finch Pruyn and F ollensby projects could lead to the expansion of the Park's forest preserve by tens of thousands of acres.

But while those projects draw the spotlight, and the controversy, green groups say they're worried that smaller but important parcels of land are going unprotected. Brian Mann has our story.  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
The Domtar conservation deal is drawing new scrutiny, including an Attorney General probe.  (Source:  TNC)
The Domtar conservation deal is drawing new scrutiny, including an Attorney General probe. (Source: TNC)

DEC-Nature Conservancy land deal in Clinton County draws new scrutiny

This week, North Country Public Radio is looking in-depth at the big conservation land deals that are reshaping the Adirondack Park.

The New York Post has raised allegations that one of those deals, in Clinton County, was mishandled. According to an article published earlier this month, the Department of Environmental Conservation overpaid for land near Lyon Mountain by millions of dollars. The paper's sources described the 2008 sale as a "sweetheart" deal designed to benefit the Adirondack Nature Conservancy.

But as Brian Mann reports, it appears that the land sale included a series of checks and balances designed to insure a fair deal.

We'll conclude our series on major Adirondack land conservation deals tomorrow with a look at the Adirondack Local Government Review Board and its role.

Note: The audio of journalist Fred Dicker talking about the Domtar deal comes from his radio program on the Albany station Talk 1300.  Go to full article
DEC Commissioner Peter Grannis has worked closely with Nature Conservancy leaders
DEC Commissioner Peter Grannis has worked closely with Nature Conservancy leaders

DEC, Nature Conservancy partnership on land deals reshapes Adirondacks

This morning we begin a three-part series looking at the major land acquisitions that are reshaping the Adirondack Park. Hundreds of thousands of acres have changed hands in the Adirondacks, bought from private owners by New York State. This week we'll look at how those sometimes controversial deals are made, and who makes them.
Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli announced earlier this month that they will investigate the 2008 purchase of 20,000 acres in Clinton County, and tomorrow we'll look at that current controversy.

Today, we start with the big picture.
Many of these big land deals have resulted from a close partnership between the state Department of Environmental Conservation and one environmental group: the Adirondack Nature Conservancy.
Supporters praise the partnership for facilitating protection of prized lakes, mountains and open space. Critics say the relationship is too close and warrants more scrutiny. Brian Mann has our story.  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
Will future Follensby Pond deals be derailed by a lack of taxpayer funds?
Will future Follensby Pond deals be derailed by a lack of taxpayer funds?

Imploding state budgets complicate land conservation efforts across Northeast

As we heard yesterday, plummeting land values mean there are new opportunities for conserving open space, in New York and across the Northeast. Forests and farms that would have sold at premium prices two years ago are sitting on the market and in many areas prices are dropping. But state officials in the region are struggling to find money for conservation projects as their own budgets implode. As part of a collaboration with Northeastern stations, Brian Mann has our story.  Go to full article

Will a new bottle deposit bill pay for Adirondack conservation?

Governor David Paterson wants to cut tens of millions of dollars from the Environmental Protection Fund. That's the pool of money that pays for big environment projects in New York, including land conservation in the Adirondacks. Governor Paterson also wants to change the way the EPF is paid for, using new revenue that he hopes to create by expanding the state's bottle deposit law. Green groups say the new plan isn't reliable and bottling companies are promising to fight what they call a new tax on their businesses. Brian Mann reports.  Go to full article

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