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State, developers barred from buying Whitney estate

LONG LAKE — The owner of a historic 36,000-acre estate in Long Lake says he will not sell the $180 million property to the state or people looking to develop it.

John Hendrickson, the widower of Saratoga philanthropist and socialite Marylou Whitney, inherited the property following her death last year. He told the Adirondack Explorer he is being “picky” with who he sells to.

Conservation groups had advocated for the state to buy it, and state Department of Environmental Conservation leaders were excited to look at the property.

However, Hendrickson told the Adirondack Explorer he does not believe the state is well-staffed enough to take care of his land. He doubts the state’s ability because in the 1990s he saw MaryLou sell 15,000 acres of the property — including Little Tupper Lake — to the state. Bass were then introduced into the lake, which practically drove heritage brook trout there extinct. This has left a bad taste in Hendrickson’s mouth regarding state wildland management.

He also said if the property becomes forest preserve the historic buildings there would be torn down, which he is avoiding.

He told the Explorer he has turned down six offers from developers so far and has signed non-disclosure agreements with “pretty famous people” looking into his property.

(Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly said New York state introduced bass into Little Tupper Lake; the bass were introduced by other people after the state opened the lake up to public recreation. The Enterprise regrets the error.)

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