On April 5th, the Boreas Ponds tract, a 20,758-acre tract in the Adirondacks, was sold by The Nature Conservancy to New York state for $14.5 million. This purchase is the final part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to buy 69,000 acres of Adirondack forest land and put them under state protection.
Located on the outskirts of the Adirondack High Peaks Wilderness, the Boreas Ponds tract was included in The Nature Conservancy’s 2007 purchase of 161,000 acres of Finch timber company land. The Boreas Ponds tract contains 50 miles of rivers and streams surrounded by mountains, forests, and old logging roads.
New York state now owns 69,000 acres of the 161,000 owned by The Nature Conservancy, and the other acres are protected by conservation easements. Frances Beinecke, trustee of The Nature Conservancy’s Adirondack chapter, stated in an Associated Press article published on Morning Times.com, “this project is a model of how to keep large landscapes conserved and connected, to sustain both wildlife and people for future generations.”
As a result of this purchase, the Boreas Ponds tract will be protected by the state constitution under its Forever Wild Program, meaning the state will maintain the land’s wildlife preservation and recreational use.
Although environmental groups have campaigned for the Boreas Ponds tract to be added to the High Peaks Wilderness in order to end motor vehicle access, local officials would prefer greater freedoms so people could drive and ride on the logging road network.
What are your thoughts about the future of the Boreas Ponds tract and other protected state-owned tracts?