Adirondack State Park
Hiker in Adirondak State Park. Sebastian Cote/iStockphoto
As part of the Fund’s efforts to conserve working forests, we helped protect more than 400,000 acres in Adirondack State Park. Our work at the park began in 1999 with the conservation of nearly 145,000 acres and continued until 2005 when, with our partners, we conserved an additional 257,000 acres in one of the largest land conservation projects in New York state history.
Why Protect Working Forests?
In recent years, more than 10 million acres of private forests, including areas throughout the Northeast, have been placed on the market. Timber companies have increasingly sold their lands, making this forestland vulnerable to fragmentation and development for non-forest uses. In New York, these forestlands have formed the basis of the Adirondack economy for decades and provide critical habitat for wildlife.
The Fund’s Efforts
The Fund is a trusted partner in forest conservation, with a history of successful relationships with private and public partners and a proven track record in sustainable forest management. In 2005, we worked with the Lyme Timber Company and the state of New York to complete a multi-year effort to acquire conservation easements on more than 255,000 of working forestland in Adirondack State Park. We were the lead environmental partner on behalf of the state of New York to assess the forest’s natural resources, provide land-use recommendations and structure the conditions of the conservation easement. The Fund also provided financial risk capital to support the state’s purchase of the easement. Private support was provided by the Richard King Mellon Foundation and the ACE Group.
The protected lands conserve sensitive wildlife habitat, protect water quality and serve as sustainably-managed, working forests to benefit the Adirondack Region’s economy.The forests will remain largely in private ownership, and will be managed according to Sustainable Forestry Initiative standards. The agreement restricts future development and subdivision on the property and will maintain open space in the park; create new camping, hiking and other public recreation opportunities; protect major river corridors, including the St. Regis, Kunjamuck and Sacandaga and conserve critical wildlife habitat for spruce grouse, endangered bats and several rare plant bogs.