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OSI deal protects 9,300 Adirondack acres

Includes 4,970 in Black Brook, Dannemora, Saranac

Boeslager Black Brook on the ground and aerials

ALBANY — The Open Space Institute on June 24 celebrated the permanent protection of nearly 9,300 acres of forested land in the Adirondacks.

The project, achieved in partnership with private landowners, is said to support sustainable timber practices in the region and expand recreational opportunities.

Under the terms of the “Boeselager Working Forest” agreement, OSI secured conservation and recreation easements on two properties owned by the Ketteler-Boeselager family, which has a long-standing commitment to conservation in the Adirondacks and its native Germany. The two newly eased properties in the Clinton County towns of Black Brook, Dannemora and Saranac total 4,970 acres and will be managed as working forest using sustainable timber practices.

The easements also allow for sections of the properties to be available for camping, hiking, walking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling. In addition, one of the newly eased properties features a 16-mile railroad bed that connects to an existing trail network, providing an opportunity to expand multi-use recreational corridors in the region and eventually allowing users to connect to Saranac Lake, Malone and beyond.

With the proceeds from the secured conservation easements and donated funds, the Ketteler-Boeselager family purchased the 4,338-acre “Hans Creek” property, located in the Saratoga County towns of Edinburg and Providence, which OSI acquired in 2018. Located in the southern Adirondack Foothills, the Hans Creek property offers expansive seasonal vistas of Great Sacandaga Lake. The property is within the watershed that provides drinking water for the city of Amsterdam.

Altogether, the three properties total more than 9,300 acres of privately-owned forested land in the Adirondacks that are now permanently protected.

The Ketteler-Boeselager family will continue to manage the properties for long-term timber returns with a plan that calls for multiple-age and species stands of timber and wildlife habitat management.

The “Ketteler-Boeselager Working Forest” properties are next to state Forest Preserve lands and are comprised of healthy timber forests, waterways, ponds and wetlands. One of the newly eased “Ketteler-Boselager Working Forest” properties in the towns of Dannemora and Saranac links two previously unconnected sections of the Forest Preserve and includes the northern slope of Lyon Mountain, a popular hiking mountain with an historic fire tower at the peak.

The conservation of these properties for public access was specifically identified as a high priority in the New York State Open Space Plan.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation expects to use the Environmental Protection Fund to obtain and manage the conservation easements on the Boeselager Working Forest land and Hans Creek property.

OSI was founded in 1974 to protect significant landscapes in New York state and has been a partner in the protection of nearly 2.3 million acres in North America. In the Adirondacks, OSI has protected the historic Tahawus property, the village of Adirondac and the Split Rock Wildway wildlife corridor, and helped add the Finch Pruyn Lands and Mount Treambleau to the Adirondack Forest Preserve. OSI is based in New York City and has offices in Albany, Orange County, Maine and South Carolina.

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