89,000 More Acres in Adirondacks Protected from Development

New York State has paid $30 million to preserve 89,000 acres in the Adirondack Park from development, news sources reported Thursday.

APNewsBreak and the New York Times said the conservation easement from the Nature Conservancy establishes perpetual public rights for the timberland, with several snowmobile trails and some new hiking and fishing access. Lumbering will continue.

“It’s a very exciting day for us, and I think a really strategic investment by the state of New York in the Adirondack economy, and really, the tourism economy of the state,” said Michael T. Carr, executive director of the Adirondack chapter of the Nature Conservancy, according to the New York Times.

The Nature Conservancy has worked over the past several years to protect swaths of Adirondacks land once owned by Finch, Pruyn & Co., a paper manufacturer. The environmental group paid $110 million in 2007 to buy 161,000 acres from the company.

Last year, the nonprofit sold 92,000 of those acres to a Danish pension fund in an agreement allowing selective logging to continue in some areas under strict environmental standards.

Stuart F. Gruskin, executive deputy of New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation, praised the new agreement as a solution to revitalize the North Country economy with tourism opportunities while protecting the lands under sustainable forestry development measures.

The Nature Conservancy plans to sell its remaining 65,000 acres to the state in increments over the coming years, AP said.

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