The Nature Conservancy has announced the purchase of 14,600 acres in New York's Adirondack Mountains for $16 million.
Situated southwest of Lake Placid on the boundary of the High Peaks Wilderness Area, the property had been among more than 2.6 million acres of unprotected, privately owned land in the six-million-acre Adirondack Park. The land, which has been owned by the McCormick family of Manchester, Vermont, since 1952, will not be open to the public immediately because of leases for recreational hunting and fishing that remain in effect for several more years.
The tract includes mixed northern hardwood forests, more than ten miles of meandering frontage on the Raquette River, and thousand-acre Follensby Pond, the site of a famous 1858 gathering known as the Philosophers' Camp where Ralph Waldo Emerson and other Boston-area intellectuals spent a month fishing, hunting, painting, and writing. In the early 1980s, bald eagles were also successfully reintroduced to the area after decades on New York State's endangered species list.
"The sheer size of Follensby Pond, the undisturbed quality of the wetlands, and the vastness of the surrounding forest landscape make this tract of land extremely memorable and important for conservation," said Nature Conservancy president and CEO Mark Tercek. "This striking area will now be protected for future generations, thanks to the McCormick family's many years of stewardship."