WARREN COUNTY – The state has acquired the 1,263-acre Huckleberry Mountain property in the town of Johnsburg for addition to the Adirondack Park Forest Preserve, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Friday.
The state is paying $770,000 to the Open Space Institute to buy the property, which sits immediately northeast of Crane Mountain, a popular hiking destination in the southern Adirondacks.
Huckleberry Mountain is an elongated peak that tops 2,400 feet, with spectacular cliffs on the ridge’s south and southwest face, state officials said.
“Through the Environmental Protection Fund, New York state continues to invest in land acquisitions that conserve open space and preserve the natural beauty of this great state for future generations to visit and enjoy,” Cuomo said. “Preservation of the spectacular Huckleberry Mountain lands will benefit the region for generations to come, providing new opportunities for visitors to explore the outdoors.”
The newly protected land adjoins the 111,000-acre Wilcox Lake Wild Forest, which includes Crane Mountain.
The state said the Huckleberry Mountain parcel contains a wide range of wildlife habitats, including a high-quality cold-water stream – Crystal Brook –– that is excellent for brook trout, cliff faces that are a preferred nesting place for the endangered peregrine falcon, and a wetland complex home to an active heron rookery.
“The Huckleberry Mountain parcel is a renowned area in the Adirondack Park and DEC is proud to preserve and protect this irreplaceable piece of New York’s natural landscape,” said Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos. “Protecting this pristine parcel will connect more hikers and outdoor enthusiasts to the outdoors and ensure future generations of visitors have the chance to experience the scenic wonder of this mountain area, while also preserving sensitive habitats for wildlife. We commend the Open Space Institute for their partnership on this important acquisition.”
The OSI acquired the property in 2017 with the expectation the state would buy it when funding became available. The Huckleberry Mountain property was a priority acquisition under the New York State Open Space Conservation Plan and the Wilcox Lake Wild Forest Management Plan.
Plans for trails and recreation access are still to be developed.
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