Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Discussion time: Follensby Pond

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After waiting since The Nature Conservancy (TNC) bought the. property in 2008, the state and TNC have announced an agreement for protecting Follensby Park.

New York state and The Nature Conservancy have reached a “novel” compromise for both protecting and providing public access to parts of Follensby Park, the 14,600-acre property near Tupper Lake where Ralph Waldo Emerson held his historic philosophers camp. The announcement was made during a virtual press conference on Tuesday.

The state is under contract for two conservation easements. One provides recreational access to lands on the western side of the Raquette River, including the Moose Creek watershed. The other protects the 970-acre Follensby Pond, with limited access permitted for “scientific, educational and cultural purposes.” The final terms of the easement are not currently available and the property remains closed for now.

Read the story here and weigh in with your thoughts. Should Follensby Pond be open to the general public?

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Melissa is a journalist with experience as a reporter and editor with the Burlington Free Press, Ithaca Journal and Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. She worked as a communications specialist for the Adirondack North Country Association and is currently digital editor for Adirondack Explorer, overseeing both the Explorer's website and its community forum the Adirondack Almanack. She enjoys hiking, camping and other outdoors activities, and spending time with her husband, their twin daughters, and rescue animals -- two dogs and two cats.

7 Responses

  1. Joan Grabe says:

    For a century the wilderness which is the property that includes Follensby Pond has been in private hands. It is a living laboratory of clean water and air, fish and wildlife, climate change and Native American history and will remain so under these 2 easements. They were carefully worked out by the Adirondack Council of the Nature Conservancy, the current owner, and the DEC. There has been no public access and if we consider what we have, there should be no public access going forward. Only scientists, researchers and Native Americans at regulated times will be allowed. It is another gem that abuts the Town of Tupper Lake, the Lake, the Wild Center, the rail trail and now this. I don’t see much to discuss.

  2. Duke says:

    If public money is being spent then the public should have access.

  3. Boreas says:

    For the FP parcel, I personally think it would be unwise to allow unlimited public access, and I doubt this will ever happen. I would think limited, perhaps guided access to the public would be acceptable. Limited access with conservation easements is nothing new. The state has no choice but be sensitive to the owner’s easement criteria. If it is unreasonable or otherwise unacceptable to the state they should not enter into the agreement. And I also believe taxpayers understand the need to preserve particularly sensitive land or landmarks without general unlimited access.

  4. Steve B. says:

    Public money buying, then allow public access.

    Add the Follensby property to the HPW and treat it the same way they treated Lake Lila. Public road (which exists) access to a boat launch site, as likely exists currently. Primitive campsites along the shore.

  5. Lorraine Duvall says:

    The pond needs continued protection. How about modeling the “Borrow a Boat” program on Minnow Pond through Adirondack Experience.

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