New York Opens Adirondack Easement Lands

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Three parcels of conservation easement land formerly owned by International Paper Company and currently owned by Lyme Timber are now open for limited public recreation, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced. The public will be able to access the lands for non-motorized recreation at this time; motorized access will be provided in the future.

The three parcels are the 17,125-acre Black Brook Tract in the Town of Black Brook, Clinton County; the 7,870-acre Altamont Tract in the Town of Tupper Lake, Franklin County; and the 19,000-acre Kushaqua Tract in the Towns of Brighton and Franklin, Franklin County. The parcels are part of one of New York State's largest land conservation projects - 256,649 acres of land - which was announced on Earth Day in 2004.

The Black Brook, Altamont and Kushaqua Tracts had a five year waiting period before the properties could be opened to the public, which expired on April 22. The three tracts are open to public access for non-motorized recreation only- on foot, mountain bike, on horse, or canoe/kayak - at this time. The full array of recreation rights purchased will not be available at this time due to lack of resources. Permitted recreational activities include hiking, horseback riding, rock climbing, mountain biking, hunting, fishing, trapping, wildlife viewing and canoeing/kayaking. Camping and campfires are prohibited until such time as camping sites can be designated. Otherwise all state land use regulations are in effect and will be enforced by DEC Forest Rangers.

Public recreational facilities, such as parking lots, trails, and trailheads, have not been constructed nor has any signage been installed at this time. Recreational facilities, including routes for motorized recreation, will be developed in the future following a recreation planning process and as resources are available. People wishing to access the property must do so by entering from locations where the properties adjoin public highways. Avoid blocking any gates or obstructing traffic when parking.

These lands are privately owned and actively managed for timber. The landowner also leases private recreation camps. Lessees have the exclusive right to use one acre of land surrounding their camp. These one acre camp parcels are not open to ANY public use or access. However, the one-acre camp parcels may not block public access to or use of main access roads, trails, streams or ponds.

The recreating public should be prepared to encounter logging and construction equipment associated with forest management and motorized vehicles, including ATVs, belonging to the landowner, their employees or camp lessees. Please respect the rights of the landowner, camp lessees and their guests when using the property.