In the April 26 Post-Star editorial titled "Buying Up Land is not the Answer," the editors asserted that the state's purchase of conservation land may not be the best use of taxpayer's money. The editorial further stated that if land must be protected, only portions should be protected for trails and the remainder would be protected from "pollution" by zoning and subdivision regulations.
Lake George Land Conservancy's (LGLC) response is that our nonprofit mission is to protect the exemplary natural resources of Lake George. Since 1988 this small, local land trust has protected over 12,500 acres and nearly nine miles of shoreline.
Our seven showcase preserves are available free to the public. Generous LGLC members who love Lake George gave their financial support for these acquisitions.
We have worked closely with towns, individuals and community leaders to protect land and provide public amenities. Currently we are working with Bolton on a vision for a town-wide Hamlet to Cat Mountain Trail. On June 12, we are dedicating Peggy's Point, a lovely shoreline park in Hague which we are embellishing with a Friendship Garden for all to enjoy and participate.
Within another year, we hope to announce the creation of the first managed wildlife refuge on the Lake George in the town of Putnam. We are proud that so many visitors and residents, many of whom do not own shoreline properties, may enjoy Lake George by visiting our land. And, few, if any, taxpayer dollars have been spent on those properties.
Occasionally, we have the opportunity to assist the state by purchasing land listed in the state's Open Space Conservation Plan which was developed with broad public input including local community leaders.
The Berry Pond tract is one of only two properties specifically listed in that plan. Three tributaries of West Brook run through the property. To protect this portion of the watershed for West Brook, LGLC purchased the land under the West Brook Conservation Initiative, an innovative and large stormwater mitigation project which has been heralded as one of the most significant environmental initiatives ever built on the Lake.