‘Deal Of Century’ to Open 70,000 Adirondack Acres to Public Hunting

by John Haughey, OutdoorLife  |  published on December 24, 2013

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The “deal of the century” has outdoorsmen throughout the Northeast eagerly planning forays into nearly 70,000 acres of Adirondack wilderness teeming with deer, moose, and bear that, in some areas, hasn’t been hunted since the Civil War as New York State proceeds with its $50 million acquisition of former Finch, Pruyn & Co. timberlands by 2017.

The Adirondack Park Agency voted 11-0 on Dec. 13 to classify 161,000 acres of former Pruyn lands in New York’s vast Adirondack Park. More than 69,000 acres in more remote, interior areas suitable for backcountry activities will be classified as wilderness, while more than 89,000 acres in more accessible areas will be classified as wild forest, allowing snowmobiling and vehicular access.

Public hearings will be held on the proposed classifications in 2014. Once the designations are approved, the New York Department of Conservation (DEC) will develop unit management plans, which will include input garnered during public hearings.

In 2007, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) purchased the entire 161,000-acre property from Pruyn and has been managing it since, allowing limited access. In 2010, the TNC and DEC completed a “working forest conservation easement” on 89,000 acres, which would allow the Pruyn mill at Glens Falls, which employs more than 700 people, to remain open for at least 20 years.

In 2012, TNC agreed to sell the remaining 69,000 acres to the state for $49.8 million in a phased five-year contract beginning with $13 million for 27,618 acres in 2013. The remaining 41,382 acres will be purchased in phases over the next three years.

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