Monday, February 15, 2010

Two New Land Deals:Finch Re-aquires TNC Lands, OSI Aquires Land at Pok-O-Moonshine

Two new land deals were announced this week closing to the public 1,700 acres returned to Finch Pruyn, and protecting 1,400 acres in an Open Space Institute (OSI) conservation easement deal.

In a deal announced late last week, Finch Paper re-acquired from The Nature Conservancy (TNC) a 1,700-acre tract in Indian Lake, Hamilton County that was part of the 161,000 acres TNC purchased in 2007. Finch retained the right to re-acquire the parcel as a condition of the 2007 agreement. The land will not be open to the public.

In a second deal, also announced late last week, the OSI acquired through donation a conservation easement on 1,400 largely wooded acres in the northeast corner of the Adirondack Park from the Johanson family. The parcel includes lands along the shoreline of Butternut Pond and on Pok-O-Moonshine Mountain, a popular destination for rock climbers, hikers and cross-country skiers.

The conservation easement on the Johnanson’s land restricts all commercial and residential development on the property, and restricts forestry practices to those that are environmentally responsible and sustainable. The Johanson family retains ownership of the land and may pass it on or even sell the land, although the terms of the easement must be adhered to by future owners.

According to a Nature Conservancy press release the land returned to Finch Pruyn “was transferred subject to a conservation easement that restricts development, prohibits future subdivision, and permits sustainable forestry and recreational leasing.” Finch will manage the forest according to the responsible forestry standards of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) program, but they will be closed to the public.

The lands border the Sargent Ponds Wild Forest to the west and state Routes 28N & 30 (the Adirondack Trail Scenic Byway) to the east, the tract includes most of Minnow and Mud Ponds and wetlands and forests at the headwaters of the Raquette River. As it will now be again a privately owned Finch property, the Minnow Pond tract is not open to the public.

Illustration: Nature Conservancy Lands, 2009

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