Thursday, July 2, 2020

OSI protects 9,300 acres in Clinton, Saratoga counties

The Open Space Institute (OSI) is celebrating the permanent protection of nearly
9,300 acres of forested land in the Adirondacks. The project, achieved
in partnership with private landowners, will support sustainable timber
practices in the region and expand recreational opportunities

Under the terms of the “Boeselager Working Forest” agreement, OSI secured conservation and recreation easements on two properties owned by the Ketteler-Boeselager family, which has a long-standing commitment to conservation in the Adirondacks, and their native Germany.

The two newly eased properties in the Clinton County towns of Black Brook, Dannemora, and Saranac total 4,970 acres and will be managed as working forest
using sustainable timber practices.

The easements also allow for sections of the properties to be available for camping, hiking, walking, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling. In addition, one of the newly eased properties features a 16-mile railroad bed that connects to an existing trail network, providing an opportunity to expand multi-use recreational corridors in the region and eventually allowing users to connect to Saranac Lake, Malone, and beyond.

With the proceeds from the secured conservation easements and donated funds, the Ketteler-Boeselager family purchased the 4,338-acre “Hans Creek” property, located in the Saratoga County towns of Edinburg and Providence, which OSI acquired in 2018.

Located in the Southern Adirondack Foothills, the Hans Creek property offers expansive seasonal vistas of Great Sacandaga Lake. The property is within the watershed that provides drinking water for the city of Amsterdam.

Altogether, the three properties total more than 9,300 acres of privately-owned forested land in the Adirondacks that are now permanently protected.

“The Open Space Institute is delighted to partner with the Ketteler-Boeselager family in keeping these large, working forested properties intact, while also opening up new recreational opportunities that could lead to an economic boon for the local towns,” said Kim Elliman, president and CEO of OSI. “I thank Ildik√≥ and Franziskus von Ketteler, Dr. Wolfhard Boeselager and their chief-forester Lars Schmidts for their leadership in responsible land management and for the commitment to making this complicated deal come together.”

The Ketteler-Boeselager family will continue to manage the properties for long-term timber returns with a forward-thinking plan that calls for multiple-age and species stands of timber and wildlife habitat management.

The “Ketteler-Boeselager Working Forest” properties are both adjacent to state forest preserve lands and are comprised of healthy timber forests, waterways, ponds, and wetlands. One of the newly eased “Ketteler-Boselager Working Forest” properties in the towns of Dannemora and Saranac links two previously unconnected sections of the forest preserve and includes the northern slope of Lyon Mountain, a popular hiking mountain with an historic fire tower at the peak.

The conservation of these properties for public access was specifically identified as a high priority in the New York State Open Space Plan.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) expects to use the Environmental Protection Fund to obtain and manage the conservation easements on the Boeselager Working Forest land and Hans Creek property.

Photo: Cranberry Pond in Black Brook, courtesy of OSI

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