In 2002, Governor George Pataki put forth his goal of preserving over 1 million new acres of open space over the next decade. Early this year, he made a significant step toward that goal by announcing the purchase of over 100,000 acres of land located in the northern region of Franklin and Clinton Counties.
In cooperation with The Nature Conservancy and The Lyme Timber Company, 17,000 acres will be added to the “Forever Wild” Adirondack Forest Preserve, while 3,000 more in the Town of Dannemora will be designated State Forest lands. The remaining 84,400 acres of the Sable Highlands property will be managed by The Lyme Timber Company as a “working forest” and the State of New York will purchase a conservation easement—a voluntary land preservation agreement—which will prevent future development, require sustainable forest management practices, create public recreational access, and maintain private hunt club leases on portions of the property.
The most significant portion of the land aquisition includes the northernmost Adirondack peak Lyon Mountain. Reaching a height of 3,820 feet, this solitary peak features a firetower and is also an Important Birding Area featuring the rare Bicknell’s Thrush. Also included is the nearby hike to Owls Head lookout and a new trail in the area of Barnes Pond. The agreement permanently secures public access to these location.