Gov. Andrew Cuomo today announced a state land classification to preserve 42,000 acres of land in the Adirondack Park, the largest addition in 118 years.
The land was acquired from Finch Pruyn & Company and includes 180 miles of rivers and streams, 175 lakes and ponds, 465 miles of undeveloped shoreline and six mountains taller than 2,000 feet, Gannett’s Ashley Hupfl reports.
“I am thrilled to approve this land classification plan that will allow the State to both preserve the Adirondacks’ magnificent natural resources and provide public recreational and tourism opportunities that will help grow the region’s economy,” Cuomo said in a statement. “The addition of thousands of acres of land to the State Forest Preserve is a major step in both protecting and preserving the Adirondack Park for future generations.”
The approved classification has wilderness, primitive and wild forest classifications to ensure the protection of fisheries, wetlands and endangered plants, but also allows for recreational use from hiking and hunting to mountain biking and snowmobiling.
The land classification was endorsed by the Adirondack Park Agency in December, and the deal has been in the works for more than a year.
“This is truly an extraordinary moment in the history of the Adirondack Park and Forest Preserve. On behalf of the Adirondack Park Agency, we extend our appreciation to Governor Cuomo for his leadership throughout this complex process,” Leilani Ulrich, Adirondack Park Agency chairwoman, said in a statement. “Together we succeeded in finding common ground amongst diverse stakeholders and the Adirondack Park will benefit from these actions.”