Community and conservation goals advance together
Newcomb, NY – The Town of Newcomb on January 27, 2012 purchased 348 acres for a total of $256,591.00 from The Nature Conservancy. The town’s purchase of the properties helps to advance economic development, particularly along the Route 28N travel corridor, and other community objectives outlined in its Comprehensive Plan, which was updated in 2009. Descriptions of the properties are as follows:
- Farmhouse Parcel – a 4-acre property along State Route 28N that includes a two-story residential house that had been used in the past as a field office for foresters and logging contractors. The town, in cooperation with Newcomb Central School, is considering converting the house into a dormitory for foreign exchange students or substitute teachers.
- Log Yard Parcel – a 20-acre triangular-shaped tract near the intersection of the Tahawus Road and State Route 28N that has been used for temporary storage of logging equipment and logs. The property, zoned by the Adirondack Park Agency for industrial use, has potential to attract and support a small-scale private enterprise.
- Golf Course Parcel – a 324-acre tract bordering the town’s public golf course and a winding stretch of the Hudson River. This parcel may be suitable for expanding the High Peaks Golf Course from nine holes to 18, as well as developing cross country ski trails. Under the terms of a conservation easement now held by the Adirondack Land Trust, approximately three miles of Hudson River shoreline, as well as an ecologically significant wetland complex, will remain undeveloped. Those natural features will continue to provide flood and storm-water runoff controls, which are recognized in the town’s comprehensive plan as valuable, cost-effective services.
“There are all kinds of options for these lands,” said Newcomb Supervisor George Canon. “Now that the transactions with The Nature Conservancy are complete, we look forward to exploring those options. The log yard parcel is probably the most important acquisition; it is an excellent site for a potential business.”
“This is another great example of DEC working closely with The Nature Conservancy and other stakeholders to make sure that the disposition of the former Finch lands benefits the communities and residents of the Park,” said Joe Martens, Commissioner NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. “Congratulations to The Nature Conservancy and the Town of Newcomb for this agreement that will help bolster the community.”
“Working with Newcomb on these land sales—and the larger conservation project—demonstrates how community and conservation goals can go hand in hand,” said Michael Carr, Executive Director of The Nature Conservancy’s Adirondack Chapter. “We quickly learned how important new economic development opportunities are to the town, as well as how much Newcomb residents value their rural quality of life and view the surrounding natural beauty as an asset.”
The lands sold to Newcomb were originally part of The Nature Conservancy’s 2007 purchase of 161,000 acres touching 27 towns in six counties in the Adirondacks. The community enhancement parcels are part of a balanced conservation plan that also includes commercial working forests and new state lands. The working forest component was solidified in December of 2010 when New York State purchased a conservation easement on 89,000 acres—20,270 of which are in Newcomb. That transaction is already helping to advance the community’s recreation objective to develop snowmobile trails to surrounding communities. The new state lands, when they are acquired, will enhance additional recreational opportunities for hunting, hiking, fishing and other activities.