International Paper Helps Complete Major NY Conservation Effort
International Paper, The Conservation Fund and State of New York Complete First Phase of State's Largest Conservation Project
Source: PR Newswire
STAMFORD, Conn.--PRNewswire-FirstCall--International Paper, the State of New York and The Conservation Fund today completed the first phase of a 257,000-acre Adirondack Park conservation easement, aimed at providing open-space protection in perpetuity and expanded recreational opportunities amid working forests.
This phase of the transaction, the first of three, comprises approximately 41,500 acres in Hamilton and Franklin counties. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will be paying approximately $5. 5 million from the Environmental Protection Fund for this phase. The remaining two phases of the agreement are under contract and expected to close in 2006. In its entirety, the agreement constitutes the largest conservation project ever undertaken in the State of New York.
"As stewards of forestlands for more than 100 years, International Paper is deeply committed to sustainable forest management, and proud to be a part of conserving all of our Adirondack land holdings," said David Liebetreu, International Paper's vice president of Forest Resources. "With this first phase of the project complete, we are one step closer to ensuring these many acres of Adirondack wilderness are protected and accessible for the people of New York and other states to enjoy for years to come."
The entire project would permanently conserve the availability of a working forest, which will remain largely in private ownership, while supporting environmental conservation and recreational values held by the State of New York. It will restrict future development and subdivision on the property, provide for certain defined public access rights on portions of the property and require continued adherence to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Standard. In addition, the conservation easements will provide open space and public recreation; protect major river corridors, including frontage on the St. Regis, Kunjamuck and Sacandaga rivers; and conserve critical biodiversity and wildlife habitats, including important areas for the spruce grouse, endangered bats and several rare plant bogs.