State looks to slash environmental funds, cap Adirondack land purchases

As far as the budget's impact on land acquisition, Prickett said it's difficult to read into the future.

"We don't know a lot of details," she said. "But we're certainly concerned and we think it's really unfortunate that the percentage of the cut to the EPF is 33 percent off last year's budget, and yet the EPF only makes up less than one percent of the state's entire budget."

In the coming weeks, Prickett said the conservancy will work with the Friends of the Environment Coalition to assure that the land acquisition funds are restored.

The Nature Conservancy is currently holding onto 50,000-plus acres of former Finch Pruyn timberland.

Not everyone is upset with Paterson's land purchase moratorium. Fred Monroe, executive director of the Adirondack Local Government Review Board, said his group supports a moratorium on state land purchases.

"We had worked on a policy document that had proposed a three-year moratorium, and this is a two year," he said. "And we wanted the state to use that time to look at the entire land acquisition program and pay attention to the economic impact on communities."

Houseal said the state EPF is supposed to contain a specific amount of money per year. That helps environmental agencies set their budgets.

Local legislators like Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward and state Sen. Betty Little have been calling for an end to state land purchases for years.

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