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Cuomo vague on Adirondack land acquisitions

Following an appearance in Lake Placid earlier this week, Governor Andrew Cuomo said he values land conservation efforts in the Adirondack Park.

During a question and answer session with the press following a presentation of his legislative agenda at the Conference Center at Lake Placid, one reporter asked Cuomo how he felt about the pending fee acquisition of Follensby Pond near Tupper Lake and former Finch Pruyn lands in the southern Adirondacks.

Phil Brown, editor of the Adirondack Explorer magazine, asked Cuomo what his general feeling was toward land acquisition inside the Blue Line.

Cuomo said he began studying the impact of state land purchases while serving as attorney general. He says conservation efforts are "very important" when it comes to his environmental agenda.

"You then have a question on the specific purchase," he said. "This purchase, this land here at this cost, at this time - and that's a case-by-case determination."

Some groups, like the Adirondack Association of Towns and Villages and the Adirondack Local Government Review Board, are opposing the land purchases, arguing they would hurt communities by taking away forestry jobs.

But according to Connie Pricket of the Adirondack Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, many towns that will be directly affected by the sales resoundingly support them.

Meanwhile, the state Department of Environmental Conservation is seeking federal funding to help complete the pending sales.

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