New acquisition added to forest preserve
By Mike Lynch
The state has added more land to the Adirondack Forest Preserve in the town of Newcomb.
On Oct. 16, the Department of Environmental Conservation purchased 181 acres from The Nature Conservancy for $217,400.
The Essex County property is located in a remote area north of Route 28N and south of the Hudson River, just northwest of where 28N connects to the Blue Ridge Road.
The location is commonly passed by hikers and others in vehicles on the way to trailheads and hunting camps off of Tahawus Road, which dead-ends at the Upper Works trailhead, considered the southern gateway to the High Peaks Wilderness.
Immediately north of the new forest preserve property are private lands protected by easements.
Amanda Ely, of TNC, said the new forest preserve land is one of the few remaining properties it bought as part of the 2007 purchase from Finch, Pruyn & Co. that netted 161,000 acres for $110 million.
The Conservancy later sold 65,000 acres to the state for the forest preserve, 89,000 acres to a Danish pension fund with a state-held conservation easement, and several other properties to local towns.
Newcomb Supervisor Robin DeLoria said the Conservancy offered the 181 acres to his town in 2016, but the price was too high for property without development potential.
However, the Conservancy did work a deal with Newcomb to allow the town to have an easement on the property for a snowmobile trail. Terms of that transaction were unavailable. The state doesn’t hold ownership of that easement.
Snowmobile trail maps show there is a snowmobile trail that starts near the northwestern boundary line and runs in a westerly direction around Lake Harris.