The state hoped to buy the 20,760-acre Boreas Ponds Tract this fiscal year, which ended today (March 31). Although it didn’t happen, the acquisition is still in the works, according to the Department of Environmental Conservation.
“DEC remains committed to the purchase of the Boreas Ponds and is in the final stages of the acquisition,” said Lori Severino, a spokeswoman for the agency.
The purchase will be the last phase in a multi-year deal to acquire 65,000 acres of former Finch, Pruyn lands from the Adirondack Nature Conservancy.
One of natural gems of the former Finch property, Boreas Ponds is expected to become a destination of paddlers, hikers, and backpackers. The ponds (which are really one large body of water with three lobes) offer breathtaking views of the High Peaks, including Mount Marcy, the state’s tallest summit, and much of the Great Range.
Environmental groups want most of the tract to be added to the High Peaks Wilderness, a move that would prohibit mountain biking and the use of motors. Town officials want the tract designated Wild Forest to facilitate public access and allow a wider range of recreation.
Also at issue is the future of a former corporate lodge that overlooks Boreas Ponds. Environmentalists want it removed, but North Hudson Supervisor Ron Moore wants it to remain for possible use as ranger outpost or as lodging in a hut-to-hut trail network.
Severino said “DEC is working with the towns and stakeholders to resolve the lodge issue.”
Aerial photo of Boreas Ponds by Carl Heilman II.