By Mike Lynch
The Open Space Institute has purchased 3,387 acres just outside the southwestern border of the Adirondack Park in the Herkimer County towns of Salisbury and Norway.
The Spruce Creek property is named for a creek that flows through the land and is a tributary to East Canada Creek, and ultimately, the Mohawk River. The property includes several miles of Spruce Creek and almost 900 acres of wetlands.
OSI purchased the Spruce Creek property for $3 million from Datum 9 Forestry LLC, and plans to sell it to the state, it announced. Ten acres of the property will be added as an addition to the Ferris Lake Wild Forest and the remaining land will become a new state forest, according to a press release.
Until that happens, OSI will make the Spruce Creek property open and available to the public for hiking, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, wildlife viewing, and nature photography.
The protection of this land “secures a source of clean water, protects wildlife habitat, creates additional space for recreation, and stores carbon to help fight climate change,” said Kim Elliman, president and CEO of OSI, in a prepared statement.
About 25 percent of the land is wetlands, which provide habitat for animal and plant species and filters rainwater before it drains into the Mohawk River.
The property is home to white-tailed deer, black bear, bobcats, river otters, beaver, mink, varying hare, red fox, grey fox, fisher, pine martins, and ruffled grouse.