Protecting our cherished parkland and preserving open space is vitally important for the health and well being of our environment.
In New York State, a monumental breakthrough occurred over the weekend as Governor Cuomo announced the state’s acquisition of 69,000 acres of the former Finch Pruyn and other Nature Conservancy lands throughout the Adirondacks.
This marks the largest single addition to the Adirondack State Forest Preserve in more than a century. It also complements the 2010 acquisition of 89,000 acres of conservation easements on the former Finch Pruyn lands that protect working forests in communities across the North Country.
From my own personal experience of visiting the Adrinodacks, I can tell you that the region is breathtaking in its own right. It is one of the most sought after destinations for paddlers, hikers, hunter, sportspeople and snowmobilers. These lands contain a variety of mountains, cliffs, wilderness lakes, ponds, swamps and white-water rivers.
The property itself that the state includes 180 miles of rivers and streams, 175 lakes and ponds, not to mention five percent of the Upper Hudson River watershed.
The agreement will ensure that the owners of the pristine landscape are the people of New York, and create an economic boon for tourism and for regions upstate that rely on year-round tourism.
Under this agreement, the property will be sold to the State by The Nature Conservancy, which until now was the owner of this piece of land.
The State will purchase the land in a phased five-year contract beginning this year, using funds dedicated from the state’s Environmental Protection Fund. The State will pay a total of $49.8 million dollars for the property over five years with $13 million to be paid in this fiscal year.