Friday, December 21, 2007

Nature Conservancy's 161,000 Acre Purchase

CBS News to air scenes of The Nature Conservancy’s
161,000-acre purchase in the Adirondacks

Keene Valley, New York - CBS News Sunday Morning, an acclaimed television newsmagazine, will air video footage of The Nature Conservancy’s Adirondack property highlighting tucked-away places that few people have seen or visited. It is expected to run on December 30, 2007 during the “nature” segment of the popular 9:00 – 10:30 a.m. morning newsmagazine anchored by Charles Osgood.

The footage is from The Nature Conservancy’s epic, 161,000-acre purchase of Adirondack forests in upstate New York—the largest single private conservation land buy in the United States in 2007. A treasure trove of natural bounty, the property had been under the private ownership of paper manufacturer Finch, Pruyn & Co. since the 1800s.

The beautiful places captured on video include:

  • The Boreas Ponds, with spectacular views of the High Peaks Wilderness
  • The Boreas River, a major tributary of the Hudson River, with ice and snow closing in on a ribbon of open water
  • The Branch River, also a Hudson River tributary, cascading through a mature floodplain forest.

“These are some of the most scenic lands in the entire Adirondack Park. We are delighted that CBS will be introducing them to a national audience,” said Michael Carr, executive director of the Adirondack Chapter of The Nature Conservancy. They are also some of the most biologically diverse lands in the Park, harboring dozens of globally- and state- rare plant species and a wide array of wildlife.

“We jumped at the opportunity to make such a bold purchase. After all, we are in the business of protecting ecologically important forests and waters, and this property is a real stunner,” Carr added.

The ecological significance of the property, lying primarily within the central lake and tourist region of the Adirondack Park, extends beyond the park and New York State. With 50% of the world’s forest cover gone, the property is pivotally important to forest landscapes across the globe. Referring to temperate forests, Kathy Moser, acting state director for The Nature Conservancy of New York, said: “This is our big chance to make a serious move toward preserving a major habitat type that, historically, has suffered the most abuses of any other.”

In its first six months of ownership the Conservancy has worked with scientists from the New York Natural Heritage Program to evaluate the property through a variety of ecological lenses, renewed the 140 annual leases that existed under Finch, Pruyn’s ownership, met with dozens of stakeholders, and provided “green-certified” pulp wood to the Finch Paper mill in Glens Falls. Leading with the science, the Conservancy is working out a disposition strategy that balances ecological protection and traditional Adirondack uses. For the time being, it is business as usual for the property.

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The Nature Conservancy is a leading international, non-profit organization working to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Adirondack Chapter has protected 556,572 acres since 1971 and works with a variety of partners to achieve a broad range of conservation results. For more information about the Conservancy’s 161,000-acre purchase in the Adirondacks, including links to additional video footage, visit nature.org/Adirondacks/finch.

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