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Nature Conservancy purchases Finch lands

KEENE VALLEY The fate of some of the most sought-after private land in the Adirondack Park has been decided.

161,000 acre purchase includes working forest agreement

On Monday, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) announced a deal with paper manufacturer Finch Paper Holdings LLC to purchase all 161,000 acres of Finchs forestland in the Adirondacks for $110 million, or $683 per acre.

We came to know these lands when Finch, Pruyn contracted with the Adirondack Chapter in 2001 to conduct an extensive ecological inventory as part of the companys green forestry certification. We discovered extraordinary biological richness, inspiring TNC to step up and play the leading role in this propertys future, said Michael Carr, executive director of The Nature Conservancys Adirondack Chapter, based in Keene Valley.

Forest to remain working

The transaction includes a 20-year working forest agreement that will ensure a fiber supply to the Glens Falls mill and continue to support the jobs associated with timber harvesting. The Finch Paper mill employs approximately 850 people.

The land purchase was made concurrently with Finch Paper Holdings LLCs acquisition of Finch, Pruyn & Co., Inc. Finch Paper Holdings LLC is owned by an investor group led by Atlas Holdings LLC and Blue Wolf Capital Management LLC. Richard Carota, previously CEO of Finch, Pruyn, is an investor in the new company and will continue as CEO of Finch Paper.

Were extremely pleased to have reached an agreement that will continue the proud multi-use traditions of this land for years to come, said Andrew Bursky, chairman of Atlas Holdings, which owns four paper mills and nine packaging plants. Not only will the land remain as open space, it will continue to support our Glens Falls paper mill and provide jobs and recreational opportunities for the Adirondack economy.

Finch forestry staff has been retained on an interim basis to manage the lands. The continuation of forest management and timber harvesting activities preserves approximately 60 Adirondack Region jobs.

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