The Open Space Institute (OSI) has announced their latest acquisition of over 3,300 acres of land in the Herkimer County towns of Salisbury and Norway. The land consists of hardwood forests, softwood forests, and wetlands which will be protected under the OSI, expanding their regional connectivity of land which they protect.
The acquired property, located just outside the southwestern boundary of the Adirondack Forest Preserve, includes Spruce Creek, as well as 900 acres of wetlands that exist within the watershed that provides drinking water for the City of Little Falls. The “Spruce Creek” property gets its name from the creek that passes through the 3,387-acre land and is a tributary to East Canada Creek that ends up in the Mohawk River. This makes the OSI property acquisition critical to the protection of the clean drinking water the wetlands provide.
The property was purchased for $3 million from Datum 9 Forestry LLC, effectively expanding the amount of protected wilderness within the Eastern US, and aiding in the fight for climate change by showcasing the benefits of land for clean drinking water and wildlife habitat. The OSI’s conservation here will improve wilderness connectivity between these protected lands and increase the total availability of protected land for recreation as well.
Kim Elliman, president and CEO of OSI, and NYS DEC commissioner Basil Seggos had the following to say respectively about the acquisition:
“The permanent protection of this largescale property represents a conservation homerun in that it secures a source of clean water, protects wildlife habitat, creates additional space for recreation, and stores carbon to help fight climate change,” said Kim Elliman.
“The protection of these 3,300 acres of forest land in the Adirondack Park provides countless benefits to our shared environment and safeguards this critical economic resource for generations to come. I congratulate OSI on this significant land acquisition and their ongoing work as our partner protecting New York’s forest resources and acting to combat climate change and help ensure clean drinking water for our communities.” Commissioner Basil Seggos said.
The size of the property, its location, and its home to a diverse array of wildlife make it an ideal outdoor recreational spot for public trails. The adjacent Ferris Lake Wild Forest property currently has marked foot trails, making the potential for future trail development on OSI’s Spruce Creek property an option that would provide new hiking opportunities.