Cuomo announces funding to implement land access

— Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced the latest phase of New York State’s acquisition of 69,000 acres to the State Forest Preserve, land formerly owned by Finch Pruyn Company.

He announced the addition of 8,451 acres located in Fulton, Hamilton Warren and Essex counties, as well as $875,000 in available grants for projects to develop sites within the Adirondack Park and further position the region as a world-class tourism and recreation destination.

“We strongly support the governor’s vision that these lands should provide broad recreational opportunities for all recreational users,” Chairman of the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors Bill Farber said. “This investment of funds from The Nature Conservancy assures that the towns have the opportunity to connect the recreational opportunities back to their local economies.”

Chairman of the Essex County Board of Supervisors Randy Douglas said, “We in Essex County are very happy that Gov. Cuomo has stood true to his word once again in providing funding that will improve the economic climate in our small rural towns within Essex County. This $875,000 will help improve the quality of the lands and help us promote their natural beauty. I can’t thank the governor enough for his vision in helping us make the North Country a worldwide tourist attraction.”

The lands acquired will protect miles of waterways and open spaces, the governor said. To better improve the recreational and economic opportunities available, the $875,000 in grants will fund hiking, horseback riding trails, biking, snowmobiling and connector trails, as well as smart growth planning in the region.

Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation Joe Martens said the funds will help the region grow.

“Time and time again Gov. Cuomo has demonstrated his commitment to bettering the Adirondack Park and increasing opportunities for growth in the North Country’s economy and tourism industry,” he said. “These grants will strengthen the connection between local communities and State Forest lands in the heart of the Adirondack Park and help municipalities take advantage of all these extraordinary lands have to offer.”

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