Protect the Adirondacks cheers the state’s acquisition of the Boreas Ponds in the Town of North Hudson, Essex County, in the southern High Peaks. This 20,000-acre tract was part of the historic purchase of over 161,000 acres by the Adirondack Chapter of the Nature Conservancy in 2007 of the former Finch, Pruyn & Company lands. The state paid $14.5 million for the Boreas Ponds lands form the NYS Environmental Protection Fund.
The purchase, completed on April 5th, marks the end of a 5-year agreement by the state to purchase 69,000 acres announced in 2012. These lands included tracts in the southern Adirondacks around the West Stony Creek Valley, the Hudson Gorge, the Essex Chain Lakes, and the MacIntyre tracts on the flanks of the southern High Peaks. In 2010, the Nature Conservancy sold a 95,000 conservation easement to the state.
The Boreas Ponds have long been on the top of the state’s acquisition list in the Open Space Conservation Plan. Purchase of the 69,000 acres of lands for the Forest Preserve is the highlight of Governor Cuomo’s environmental accomplishments in the Adirondack Park.
Read an update on the Adirondack Almanack here.
Now that these lands are in state ownership, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Adirondack Park Agency (APA) will begin formal classification proceedings. These will probably start in late 2016 or 2017.
In the fall of 2015, PROTECT released our Campaign for Wilderness recommendation for the classification of the MacIntyre and Boreas Ponds tracts, among other lands.
PROTECT has called upon state leaders to act boldly to expand Wilderness lands in the Adirondack Park. The completion of the state’s purchase of the former Finch lands from The nature Conservancy creates a major opportunity to significantly expand the High Peaks Wilderness area. Three tracts from this land purchase border the High Peaks Wilderness — the MacIntyre East Tract, the MacIntyre West tract, and the Boreas Pond tract, which total nearly 35,000 acres. Over 25,000 acres of these lands are ripe for Wilderness classification.
See a letter to Governor Cuomo and the Acting-Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation.
Click here to read more about PROTECT’s Campaign for Wilderness.