The state is on track to buy more than nineteen thousand acres of former Finch, Pruyn lands by the end of the year, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
Karyn Richards of DEC’s Division of Lands and Forests outlined the department’s plans to the Adirondack Park Agency on Thursday afternoon.
Over the next five years, she said, the state will purchase sixty-nine thousand acres from the Adirondack Nature Conservancy for $49.8 million. The land will be purchased in four stages and added to the forever-wild Forest Preserve.
In the first stage, DEC will acquire the 18,318-acre Essex Chain Tract and the 944-acre Outer Gooley Tract. The larger parcel contains a series of connected ponds for paddling. The smaller parcel is located at the confluence of the Hudson and Indian rivers and will serve as a takeout for trips down the Hudson starting in Newcomb.
All told, the lands to be acquired in the first stage contain eleven lakes and ponds, 14.7 miles of Hudson shoreline, and 8.5 miles of Cedar River shoreline.
However, even if the state buys the land this year, most of it will not be open to the public until next fall.
When the Nature Conservancy purchased the Finch, Pruyn lands, it agreed to allow hunting clubs to continue leasing tracts of timberlands through 2018. The annual leases can be modified to allow public access; however, in the case of the Essex Chain Tract, the changes in the leases will not take effect until next fall.
Conservancy spokeswoman Connie Prickett said some land along the Hudson—including the takeout at the Indian River—is not leased the public and will be open to the public earlier.
Lands to be acquired in the other stages are:
- Boreas Ponds, 22,081 acres that includes Boreas Pond, Boreas Mountain, and Ragged Mountain.
- MacIntyre Works, 11,950 acres, including ten miles of Hudson shoreline and 13.5 miles of Opalescent River shoreline.
- Southern & Smaller Parcels, 15,865 scattered parcels, including OK Slip Falls, the tallest waterfall in the Adirondacks, and two miles of Hudson shoreline.
Richards said DEC doesn’t know which lands will be purchased next.
Click here to read a detailed account of the Finch, Pruyn deal in the September/October issue of the Adirondack Explorer.