Monday, June 3, 2019

2,400-Acre Eagle Mountain Preserve Established

Sunset at Copper Pond by Brendan Wiltse PhotographyAn expanse of 2,434 acres of Adirondack foothills at the headwaters of the Boquet River, including streams, ponds, and mature forest, has been protected.

The new Eagle Mountain Wilderness Preserve part of a large, intact forest that connects the High Peaks to lower elevation lands near Lake Champlain. Surrounding protected areas include New York State’s Jay Mountain Wilderness and Taylor Pond Wild Forest (home to the local landmark, Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain), as well as other privately conserved lands.

Partnering with Northeast Wilderness Trust, Adirondack Land Trust will hold a conservation easement on the property, and will be responsible for ensuring that the terms in the easement are upheld in perpetuity.

The dramatic cliffs of the property’s namesake summit offer nesting habitat for Peregrine Falcons. These New York State-listed endangered birds have been documented successfully nesting within the boundaries of the Preserve for the past several years.

The property also includes more than five miles of headwater streams that feed into the North Branch of the Boquet River. These streams support native brook trout habitat and are home to Eastern Pearlshell, a rare freshwater mussel found in only a few locations in New York State and at risk throughout its historic habitat due to water pollution and dams.

Champlain Area Trails, Northeast Wilderness Trust, and Adirondack Land Trust are expected to develop a footpath that showcases the property’s beauty while respecting rare plant and animal communities. In addition to hiking, fishing, wildlife watching, snowshoeing, and skiing, hunting with some restrictions will be allowed by permission. Hunting permits are free and can be obtained online.

The purchase of Eagle Mountain Wilderness Preserve entailed a year of fundraising towards a total project budget of $1.8 million. Major funding support came from Sweet Water Trust, Conservation Alliance, Gallogly Family Foundation, Open Space Institute, and Cloudsplitter Foundation.

Although sufficient funding has been raised to complete the purchase of Eagle Mountain, there are funds still needed to support long term stewardship of the property. If you would like to support the Eagle Mountain Wilderness Preserve with a tax-deductible gift, click here, or call (802) 224-1000.

Photo of Sunset at Copper Pond by Brendan Wiltse Photography.

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3 Responses

  1. Avon says:

    The picture is worth more than words –
    but a map would help me a whole lot more. The two branches of the Boquet River run an almost-preposterous course (at least, unless I’m looking at a topo map). So it’s hard to follow how the landmarks mentioned are located with respect to them. Even to picture where, or how large, the 2434 acres are compared to their course is complicates since only miles of undescribed “headwaters” are actually within the preserved acreage.

    I’d also love to know who owns the land (we know the Land Trust will have the conservation easement), and whether the reported funding enabled purchasing the land or just the easement.

    This is an area I’m generally familiar with, and I look forward to hiking the land! If I can suss out where it begins and ends …

  2. Tim says:

    How’s the swimming?

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