State purchases 9,300 acres in the Adirondacks

The state closed today on the purchase of 9,300 acres of former Finch Pruyn lands in the southeaster

The state closed today on the purchase of 9,300 acres of former Finch Pruyn lands in the southeastern Adirondacks, including OK Slip Falls in the Hudson River Gorge.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced the state had completed the second in a series of acquisitions of former Finch Pruyn lands from The Nature Conservancy, paying $6.3 million.

The properties acquired today include the OK Slip Falls tract in Hamilton County; the Casey Brook tract in Essex County; the Spruce Point tract in Washington County; the Saddles tract in Washington County; the Hudson Riverside/Ice Meadow Tract in Warren County; and the Indian River tract in Essex and Hamilton counties.

“There is not a more fitting way to celebrate Earth Week than protecting spectacular property in the Adirondack Park that will create tourism opportunities and bring more visitors to this magnificent place,” Cuomo said in a press release.

The acquisition is part of a complicated land acquisition deal that’s been taking shape for years.

The Nature Conservancy purchased a 161,000-acre property from Finch Pruyn, then sold 90,000 acres to a private timber-management company. The state acquired conservation easements on those lands in 2010.

Under an agreement Cuomo announced last summer, the remaining 69,000 acres are being sold to the state over a five-year period. The first acquisition, of more than 12,000 acres in the Essex Chain of Lakes area, closed in December.

Once complete, state officials said the acquisition of the former Finch lands will be the largest addition to the State Forest Preserve in 118 years.

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