Green group looks to rally support for land acquisition

The battle over a pending land purchase in the Adirondack Park rages on as one environmental organization is looking to turn up the heat on Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The Adirondack Council, one of the Park's most influential green groups, issued an "action alert" to its membership earlier in June.

The Council says the pending fee acquisition of former Finch Pruyn lands in the southern Adirondacks is in "jeopardy." Officials with the green group are calling on supporters of the land deal to write Cuomo, urging him to complete the deal.

John Sheehan is spokesman for the Adirondack Council. He says "action alerts" like the one issued this month are a fairly standard line of communication between the organization and its membership.

Sheehan says there's been a "strong push" recently from opponents of the land deal to try and prevent it from happening.

But he adds that supporters feel confident that the state Department of Environmental Conservation and Gov. Cuomo will follow through on their end of the bargain.

"We have heard from DEC publicly that they are not wavering in their support for the Finch Pruyn project," Sheehan said. "We're hoping to see that it gets completed relatively soon. In the meantime, we want to make sure that the governor's office and DEC understand that there's a great deal of support for this and that the few people they're hearing from who are complaining about it are not representative of the state's opinion as a whole."

Back in May, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens told gatherers at a conference on Adirondack issues that the state was committed to purchasing the Finch lands.

At issue is 65,000 acres of land that includes places like OK Slips Falls, the Hudson River Gorge, and the Essex Chain of Lakes. The Adirondack Chapter of the Nature Conservancy completed the sale of 92,000 acres last year.

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