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Cuomo signs massive land deal in Lake Placid

The Nature Conservancy’s Bill Ulfelder and Gov. Andrew Cuomo sign off on the land deal to transfer 63,000 of former Finch Pruyn land to the state.

The Nature Conservancy’s Bill Ulfelder and Gov. Andrew Cuomo sign off on the land deal to transfer 63,000 of former Finch Pruyn land to the state. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— There will soon be a lot more to the Adirondack Park experience for tourists and sportsmen.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo made a trip to the Lake Placid Conference Center Sunday, Aug. 5, to officially sign off on the state’s acquisition of 69,000 acres of land formerly owned by Finch Pruyn for inclusion into the Adirondack Park Forest Preserve.

The state will partner with the Nature Conservancy to conserve the land as well as provide access to areas previously off-limits to many.

“This is a stellar accomplishment and a beautiful gift that we can leave to our children,” Cuomo said. “This is going to make the park even better if that is possible.”

Cuomo and others touted the deal as a win from both an environmental and economic standpoint.

“This is a place of preservation and of conservation and this acquisition highlights that again,” Cuomo said. “We also need to have an infrastructure that is functional, where there are going to be economic and commercial experiences that were not available before. There are now more ways to enjoy the park while conserving it, but also generating revenue for the area.”

“This deal will permanently protect the outstanding natural resources of the park while enhancing and expanding economic opportunities,” Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens said.

“This is a record commitment to a grand conservation project,” Bill Ulfelder, Executive Director of the Nature Conservancy, said. “This is a project that benefits all New Yorkers and is the most ambitious undertaking that we have ever performed at the Nature Conservancy.”

“I have been a part of groups that have been trying to get this deal done since Tim Barnett started this movement,” conservationalist John Ernst said. “This deal puts together the protection of a world-class caliber place with the possibilities of economic development.”

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