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News stories tagged with "open-space"

The confluence of the Hudson River, at right, and the Cedar River, bottom, is on the 18,300-acre Essex Chain of Lakes tract in the towns of Minerva and Newcomb. Photo: Carl Heilman II, courtesy of the Adirondack Chapter of The Nature Conservancy
The confluence of the Hudson River, at right, and the Cedar River, bottom, is on the 18,300-acre Essex Chain of Lakes tract in the towns of Minerva and Newcomb. Photo: Carl Heilman II, courtesy of the Adirondack Chapter of The Nature Conservancy

Historic Finch lands decision near in Adirondacks

The Adirondack Park Agency has begun final deliberations into the future of the Finch Pruyn timberlands.

Roughly 40.000 acres in the central Adirondacks are slated to be classified tomorrow, with state officials pushing for creation of a big new wilderness area along the upper Hudson River. Also in the works is a new motor-free paddling area on the Essex Chain of Lakes.

At the start of yesterday's session, APA executive director Terry Martino called the conservation effort "historic." She praised the Adirondack Nature Conservancy, which engineered the massive deal, first unveiled in 2007.

Some aspects of the Finch classification plan remain controversial, including a plan to build a snowmobile bridge over the wild Cedar River. But the big story this week may be how amicable this process has been, with far less drama and bitterness than in previous years.  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

DEC chief focused on stewardship in lean times

Governor Paterson's proposed budget would vastly rein in what New York can do with its environmental resources. The plan would slash the Environmental Protection Fund by a third. It would put a moratorium on new land aquisitions. And it would cut the Department of Environmental Conservation budget by 11%. Many observers say the DEC never recovered from deep cuts in the 1990s. DEC Commissioner Pete Grannis was in Clayton last Friday to mark the completion of a brownfield clean-up on the St. Lawrence River. He told David Sommerstein his agency does face big challenges.  Go to full article

Lewis farm case goes before appeals court in Albany

New York's Attorney General's office faced off in court again yesterday with Essex County farmer Salim "Sandy" Lewis. The AG's office is representing the Adirondack Park Agency in a case that could set important precedents for farming-regulation in the Park. Brian Mann has this update.  Go to full article
Follensby Pond is one of the parcels at the heart of the Open Space debate (Source: Nature Conservancy)
Follensby Pond is one of the parcels at the heart of the Open Space debate (Source: Nature Conservancy)

NY shifts focus away from big Adirondack land purchases

Governor Paterson's administration has unveiled its new Open Space Plan for New York state. This is the document that shapes much of Albany's conservation agenda. The new draft plan aims to shift the focus away from major land purchases. The 2009 version puts more weight on climate change and healthy communities. The new document comes at a time when two landmark conservation deals are still being hammered out in the Adirondacks. They include the Follensby Pond tract near Tupper Lake and the massive Finch, Pruyn project--both spearheaded by the Adirondack Nature Conservancy. Adirondack bureau chief Brian Mann talked about the Open Space plan with Martha Foley.

Note: Public hearings on the Open Space plan will be held in the North Country this month, with sessions in Ray Brook and Watertown on January 22.  Go to full article

Critics Crowd Open Space Hearing

Critics of the state's efforts to protect more land in the Adirondacks turned out last night for a public hearing in Ray Brook. Martha Foley reports.  Go to full article

New DEC Chief Plans More Open Space

Governor Pataki says acting Conservation Commissioner Denise Sheehan will lead the state's leading environmental agency until his term in office ends in 2007. Sheehan has been the acting DEC chief since February. As Brian Mann reports, she plans to help the state acquire at least eighty thousand more acres of conservation land.  Go to full article

Farm Advocates In Adirondacks Say the Future is Local

On Wednesday, a group of farmers and local leaders from the Adirondacks traveled to Quebec. They made the trip to learn about strategies for developing and marketing local produce, everything from organic wheat to apple wine. Tom Both is supervisor in the town of Keene and heads a group called Adirondack Harvest. He spoke with Brian Mann about what he describes as a renaissance for the region's farms and orchards.  Go to full article

NY Enviros Call for More Green Funds

Last week a coalition of environmental groups called on Governor Pataki and the state legislature to double New York's fund for environmental preservation. They point to a recent Cornell University study that found while Upstate's population has remained steady, urban sprawl is gobbling up more forest and farmland. But as David Sommerstein reports, the state faces a multibillion dollar deficit next year and the environmental fund helps fill out the budget.  Go to full article

State Land Deal Unveiled: 4,000 Acres Protected Near Long Lake

Governor George Pataki has quietly agreed to spend more than two million dollars buying recreation and conservation easements on a chunk of land near Long Lake. The deal will protect most of the Cedarlands Boy Scout Camp from development. As Brian Mann reports, the four thousand acre project was finalized more than two weeks ago, without any public announcement.  Go to full article

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