The Nature Conservancy’s Adirondack Chapter and Northern Frontier Camp April 8 announced a private land transaction in the town of Indian Lake, New York. The camp, which has owned 38 acres in the center of the Conservancy’s 2,940-acre OK Slip Falls-Blue Ledge tract since 1993, purchased 130 adjoining acres from the Conservancy for $452,000. The remainder of the surrounding property, 2,800 acres, is scheduled to be transferred by the Conservancy to New York State at a later date.
One hundred acres of the camp’s newly acquired property, including all of OK Slip Pond, are protected by a conservation easement now held by The Nature Conservancy. The easement does not allow for public access. Northern Frontier retains the right to access its land via a private right-of-way over the Conservancy’s property.
“Our purchase of this property for addition to our existing ownership at OK Slip Pond will ensure Northern Frontier’s ability to continue its ministry safely and privately,” said Ralph Essery, Director of Northern Frontier Camp. “The Nature Conservancy’s eventual sale of the balance of the surrounding land to New York State will afford those members of the public who have long desired to see the lovely OK Slip Falls and Blue Ledge the opportunity to do so.”
“Of all of the properties involved in the Conservancy’s initial 2007 purchase of 161,000 acres of former Finch lands, the OK Slip-Blue Ledge property was the only one with a private inholding in the center. The land sale to the camp in advance of transferring the rest of the property to public ownership makes sense for Northern Frontier from a business perspective and for the public from a recreational use perspective. Boundaries and uses will be more clearly delineated for everyone,” said Michael Carr, Executive Director of The Nature Conservancy’s Adirondack Chapter.
Northern Frontier Camp, which offers summer camp programs for boys 8 – 16 years old and Father/Son programs for fathers and sons ages 6 and up, has been in operation since 1946. Keeping 100 acres of its land in a predominately natural state enhances the camp’s outdoor recreation curriculum and protects ecological values by prohibiting development. As part of this transaction, the camp granted a right of first offer to the Conservancy, which can be exercised in the future only if the camp decides to sell the property. A related subdivision permit to allow for two ownerships was approved by the Adirondack Park Agency in 2010.
Of the 161,000 acres purchased by the Conservancy in 2007, 95,000 acres, now owned by timber companies, have already been protected by working forest conservation easements, keeping the properties available for sustainable timber harvest operations. Nearly 1,000 acres have been set aside for community purposes in three rural towns. As previously announced, a total of 65,000 acres1—some of the most spectacular lands in the Adirondacks—will be transferred in stages from the Conservancy to New York State and made available for public access for the first time in more than a century. The 18,300-acre Chain Lakes-Hudson River Tract in the towns of Minerva and Newcomb was the first to transfer, in December of 2012. (Please check with NYSDEC on sequencing of public access to that property in 2013.)