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State adds 156 acres of Lake Champlain wetlands

August 1, 2012
By the Enterprise Staff , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

The state has acquired 156 acres on southern Lake Champlain in the Town of Dresden, Washington County that will be added to the state Forest Preserve, the state Department of Environmental Conservation announced Tuesday.

Known as the Chubbs Dock property, the land features 2,140 feet of undeveloped shoreline and 70 acres of wetland communities that support rare plants and falls within an area that provides critical breeding, staging and migration habitat for thousands of waterfowl species, according to a press release. It was donated to the state by the Adirondack Chapter of The Nature Conservancy.

"Chubbs Dock conserves excellent wildlife habitat along the narrow headwaters of Lake Champlain," DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said in a press release. "The property will be added to the Forest Preserve and serve as part of a travel corridor for wildlife between the Adirondack and Green Mountains. Thanks to our partners TNC, Washington County and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for making this land preservation possible."

With funding through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's North American Wetland Conservation Act grant program, the Conservancy purchased the property for $500,000 in November 2009. The property was then donated to New York state in May 2012. The Conservancy has previously used North American Wetlands Conservation Act grants to protect Mill Bay Marsh and Huckleberry Marsh in the Lake Champlain watershed.

"This is a great example of strategic, high leverage conservation work of regional and national importance," said Michael Carr, executive director of the Conservancy's Adirondack Chapter. "Not only is New York state keeping intact some of the largest wetlands on Lake Champlain, but doing it in a way that will also secure public access for hunting, fishing, boating, and wildlife-oriented recreation -?all of which contribute to the state's outdoor recreation economy."

The NAWCA grant application was supported by Washington County and included a commitment by the county to transfer an adjoining 283-acre tract on Maple Bend Island. Both transfers happened this year, adding a total of 439 acres with significant wetlands to public ownership.

As part of the Forest Preserve, DEC will pay taxes on both properties. Public access to Lake Champlain and its shoreline is limited because most of the shoreline is privately owned. State acquisition of Chubb's Dock will provide for new public access.



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