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 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, making their conservation a high priority.

Our Role

As part of the Fund’s ongoing efforts to conserve working forests in the Northeast, we’ve worked with a number of partners to protect more than 400,000 acres in Adirondack Park. Our work at the park began in 1999 with the conservation of nearly 145,000 acres. In 2005, we completed a multi-year effort with the Lyme Timber Company and the State of New York to acquire conservation easements on an additional 257,000 acres of working forestlands in the park—one of the largest land conservation projects in New York history.

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. The Richard King Mellon Foundation and the ACE Group provided private support for this effort.

Why This Project Matters

The protected lands conserve sensitive wildlife habitat, safeguard water quality and serve as sustainably managed, working forests to benefit the Adirondack region’s economy. The forests remain largely in private hands, and are managed according to Sustainable Forestry Initiative standards. The agreement restricts future development and subdivision on the property and:

  • Maintains open space in the park;
  • Creates new camping, hiking and other public recreation opportunities;
  • Protects major river corridors, including the St. Regis, Kunjamuck and Sacandaga, and
  • Conserves critical wildlife habitat for spruce grouse, endangered bats and several rare plant bogs.

Why Do Forests Matter?

At The Conservation Fund, we believe that well-managed forests can be both economically viable and ecologically sustainable, but like all other necessary parts of our national infrastructure, they need to be invested in and maintained. That's why, since 1985, we've protected more than a million forest acres across America. Protecting and maintaining working forests, and the communities that depend on them, remains one of our top conservation priorities.

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Adirondack Park