LAKE GEORGE — The Lake George Land Conservancy has purchased 12 acres along East Brook in the town of Lake George, preserving the land from development.
The property on the west side of Bloody Pond Road and east of Lake George Elementary School, south of Million Dollar Beach, includes 500 feet of East Brook, which the conservancy said is one of the lake's top 10 tributaries. The conservancy plans to address soil erosion problems, caused by road runoff, along the stream. The property also includes wetlands.
The land is zoned for high-density residential development and has topography that would allow up to five homes to be built near the stream, according to the conservancy.
"Although the [conservancy] is not anti-development, the protection of this sensitive land for the benefit of water quality made it a high conservation priority," the organization said in a prepared statement.
There is evidence of soil erosion on the property from stormwater coming from the Adirondack Northway and other roads, and the conservancy plans to work with the Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District to assess the property and determine what can be done to improve the stream's condition. It is the first time the conservancy has worked with the conservation district to address erosion issues on one of its properties.
The property "has both the main stem and a tributary located on it," said Jim Lieberum, the soil district's manager. "The property is heavily forested and has some impressive hemlock, white pine, ash and sugar maples scattered throughout. Walking the site reveals there have been impacts to the streams and their channels, as eroded banks and collapsed trees are found at various sections of the streams."
The property was owned by the McPhillips family, which sold it to the conservancy at below market value in an effort to preserve the land. Warren County land sales records list the price as $75,000.
"We are grateful to the McPhillips family both for their generosity in selling the land to us through a bargain sale as well as their conservation ethic and wonderful stewardship of this land over the years," said Jamie Brown, the conservancy's executive director.
The private non-profit conservancy has worked to protect around 10,800 acres around the lake since 1988, including 6.5 miles of shoreline. It owns or manages 22 preserves or parks comprising more than 37 miles of trails.