The Question: Should the state pursue buying the Whitney Park estate?
YES By Peter Bauer
The 36,000-acre Whitney Park is up for sale. With 22 lakes and ponds and over 100 miles of undeveloped shore line, this extraordinary tract has been at the top of New York’s land protection priority list for 50 years. This sale raises serious issues for all who are concerned about the future of the Adirondack Park. First, the state of New York must buy Whitney Park and add it to the public forest preserve. Second, we should not heed the calls of those who want to cap the forest preserve and give up on the 125- year bipartisan and multi-generational success of the forest preserve.
John Hendrickson, owner of the 36,000 Whitney Park estate outside of Long Lake, announced his intentions last month to sell the property, setting off speculations of who the next buyer could be — or should be.
Hendrickson, the widower of philanthropist, thoroughbred owner and Saratoga Springs socialite Marylou Whitney, told the Wall Street Journal at the end of July he was listing the property for $180 million — $5,000 an acre.
The news had environmentalists calling for the parcel, which includes 22 lakes and one of the great Adirondack camps called Deerlands, to be part of the Adirondack Park’s forest preserve.
From the July/August 2020 issue of Adirondack Explorer, editors asked the question: “Is now the right time for New York to move forward with the Restore Mother Nature Bond Act?”
Below is the “YES” response, from John Sheehan of the Adirondack Council and “NO,” from Roger Dziengelski, retired woodlands manager, chief forester and senior vice president for Finch Paper in Glens Falls.
Weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section!
Editor’s note: As the coronavirus pandemic swept New York this spring, Adirondack Explorer staff asked those who know and love the Adirondacks for opinions on the upcoming season. Their timing spanned late-March to mid-April, and a roundup of online and emailed submissions were published in the May/June 2020 issue of the Adirondack Explorer magazine (subscribe here). What follows is some of the responses. With Memorial Day behind us, we feel this conversation continues to be one worth having. We welcome your thoughts in the comments below.
It’s Debatable: Should the Adirondacks discourage visitation during COVID-19?
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