The Nature Conservancy’s Bill Ulfelder and Gov. Andrew Cuomo sign off on the land deal to transfer 63,000 of former Finch Pruyn land to the state.
There will soon be a lot more to the Adirondack Park experience for tourists and sportsmen.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo made a trip to the Lake Placid Conference Center Sunday, Aug. 5, to officially sign off on the state’s acquisition of 69,000 acres of land formerly owned by Finch Pruyn for inclusion into the Adirondack Park Forest Preserve.
The state will partner with the Nature Conservancy to conserve the land as well as provide access to areas previously off-limits to many.
“This is a stellar accomplishment and a beautiful gift that we can leave to our children,” Cuomo said. “This is going to make the park even better if that is possible.”
Cuomo and others touted the deal as a win from both an environmental and economic standpoint.
“This is a place of preservation and of conservation and this acquisition highlights that again,” Cuomo said. “We also need to have an infrastructure that is functional, where there are going to be economic and commercial experiences that were not available before. There are now more ways to enjoy the park while conserving it, but also generating revenue for the area.”
“This deal will permanently protect the outstanding natural resources of the park while enhancing and expanding economic opportunities,” Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens said.
“This is a record commitment to a grand conservation project,” Bill Ulfelder, Executive Director of the Nature Conservancy, said. “This is a project that benefits all New Yorkers and is the most ambitious undertaking that we have ever performed at the Nature Conservancy.”
“I have been a part of groups that have been trying to get this deal done since Tim Barnett started this movement,” conservationalist John Ernst said. “This deal puts together the protection of a world-class caliber place with the possibilities of economic development.”
Cuomo said that he was aware that there have been many disputes and disagreements that have gone along with the acquisition.
“This has been large, complicated and not without controversy,” Cuomo said. “But big things that are worth doing in the long run take dialogue and time and have differing opinions.”
One of those topic is the future of numerous hunting camps that were leased out through the Finch Pruyn company and will now have to shut down.
“There are several leases for hunting clubs that were made over 10 years in length as this has been worked out,” Martens said. “As these leases come up and expire, they will be phased out over time.”
The full land acquisition will take place over the next five years, but Martens said that they hope to create accessibility to a majority of the lands involved in the deal “within the next few months.”
The purchase includes numerous tracts inside and outside the Adirondack Park’s “Blue Line,” including the McIntyre Tracts in the town of Newcomb, the Boreas Ponds Tract in the towns of North Hudson and Newcomb, the Essex Chain Tract in the towns of Minerva and Newcomb, the OK Slip Pond Tract in the town of Indian Lake, the Ice Meadows Tract in the town of Chester, and the Benson Road Tract west of Northville.