Talk swirled around notable parcels, while smaller tracts went toward improving connectivity
Although a few notable large land tracts made headlines in 2021, it was smaller properties that actually changed hands.
In October, the Explorer reported The Nature Conservancy was engaged in talks with the state about the 14,600-acre Follensby Park near Tupper Lake, a property it has owned since 2008. The private talks have led to speculation the pristine lake could be protected with a conservation easement.
Further to the southwest, Whitney Estate owner John Hendrickson said he’s planning to subdivide his 36,000 acres, after announcing in 2020 he didn’t want to sell it to the state. That plan concerns environmentalists who want the land added to the forest preserve.
Meanwhile, land trusts and the state continued to buy key inholdings to connect protected lands.
The state bought a 1,285-acre tract on Huckleberry Mountain from the Open Space Institute in Warren County. Located in Johnsburg, the purchase opens up access for rock climbers. Hikers and climbers are also expected to benefit from the state buying 242 acres on Moxham Mountain from Adirondack Land Trust in the central Adirondacks. The purchase is expected to lead to a new trailhead and trail.
In the southeastern Adirondacks, the Lake George Land Conservancy secured three new properties: 154 acres on Sucker Brook in Putnam, 150 on Prospect Mountain in Lake George, and 150 acres in Bolton.
In mid-December, Adirondack Mountain Club secured a $500,000 state grant to help it purchase Cascade Ski Center and its 200 acres outside Lake Placid. ADK Executive Director Michael Barrett told the Explorer using that grant would require ADK to put a recreational easement on the Cascade property. The nonprofit is hoping to close on the property later this year.
— Mike Lynch