OSI protects 4,000 acres in southern Adirondacks

OSI deal
Hans Creek flows through the OSI property. Photo provided by OSI.

The Open Space Institute has acquired more than four thousand acres in the southeastern Adirondacks in a deal that will help protect the watershed for the city of Amsterdam.

Known as the Hans Creek property, the parcel contains land within the watershed of Amsterdam’s Steele and Ireland Vly reservoirs, including frontage on the Steele Reservoir.

It contains a network of forest roads that will serve as trails for hiking and snowmobiling and boasts views of Great Sacandaga Lake. In a news release, OSI describes the terrain as “a mix of well-drained ridges and valleys containing a mosaic of beaver ponds, seasonal creeks, and open marshes that serve as a sanctuary for local wildlife.”

Hans Creek map
OSI’s map of the parcel.

OSI paid $2.55 million for the 4,388-acre property.

“The Open Space Institute is delighted to have protected this large, connected, and scenic landscape in the southern Adirondacks. This significant acquisition is an accomplishment for OSI and critically important for the city of Amsterdam, whose residents will benefit from the clean, filtered water from this land for generations,” Kim Elliman, president and CEO of OSI, said in the news release. “The newly protected land will also provide new recreational opportunities and spur greater visitation to the area.”

Randy Gardinier, chief operator for the city of Amsterdam, applauded OSI’s purchase. “By ensuring the city’s watershed is protected, we are taking important steps to increase security of a clean supply of drinking water now and in the future,” he said.

OSI intends to sell the land to a conservation-minded timber buyer, allowing the property to remain a working forest. The property will be transferred with a conservation easement that prohibits development while allowing public recreation.

The Lila and DeWitt Wallace Endowment helped make the purchase possible. New York State is expected to use the Environmental Protection Fund to buy a conservation easement.

OSI has committed more than $23.5 million in the Adirondacks area over a span of 25 years, protecting more than 31,000 acres.

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About Phil Brown

Phil Brown edited the Adirondack Explorer from 1999 until his retirement in 2018. He continues to explore the park and to write for the publication and website.

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