Monday, January 11, 2021

OSI Protects Herkimer County Property Adjacent to Adirondack Park

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.

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5 Responses

  1. amy godine says:

    Awesome news!

  2. Bill Ott says:

    Dear Editorial Staff,

    First, I hope you have space and precautions in your offices to keep your staff safe.

    Second, sometimes you print an article that just ruins my whole day because that article raises questions. My first question is what exactly is the Open Space Institute. Here is their site – The OSI has been around since 1964, two years after Rachel Carsen’s 1962 book “Silent Spring” and well before federal environmental legislation passed in the early seventies.

    Third, where is the map? One can get an overview map from the OSI article about the Herkimer County property. Then find Norway, NY, on your map, and follow Dairy Hill Road to a sharp right bend, and you are there. Google Earth will let you drive it. I would spoon-feed this to other inquisitive readers, but I lost my spoon.

    Bill Ott

  3. Peter Brownsey says:

    Will timber harvesting be permitted on the property?

    • Lauren Watson says:

      This property has been logged over, wherever the skiders could get to, and almost to beyond, leaving deep ruts. Giant Huckleberry Swamp is in the middle of it. Why would the forestry company want to pay taxes on it anymore. When the DEC eventually acquires it and it becomes a state forest it will, theoretically, be available to timber harvesting with watershed protections (if any new growth becomes worthwhile).
      Town of Norway resident

  4. Tim says:

    “Acquiesced property”???