Andirondack Lands To Be Protected (NY)

Hamilton County, New York, 2/26/1999: The Trust for Public Land (TPL) and Governor George E. Pataki announced today an agreement to protect nearly 400 acres of pristine shorefront and island properties on Blue Mountain and Utowana Lakes in the Town of Indian Lake, Hamilton County. This land?- including 200 acres to be open to the public for hiking, fishing, primitive camping and other recreational uses by this summer?- will be added to the Adirondack Forest Preserve.

The agreement was the result of a joint effort between the Trust for Public Land?- a national non-profit land conservation organization, the State of New York and the Hochschild family that owned the land. “TPL was asked to secure the property and negotiate a deal with the Hochschild family,” said Erik Kulleseid, TPL project manager. “Once the transaction is complete, the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will act as the long-term steward for its protection.”

The property to be purchased from the Hochschild family includes a 137.4-acre forested and undeveloped property on the north shore of Blue Mountain Lake called Castle Rock, a popular hiking destination, as well as 10 forested and undeveloped islands in the lake totaling 49 acres. The acquisition will, for the first time, connect Blue Mountain Lake to the Blue Mountain trail system, which is enjoyed by thousands of hikers each year.

“Blue Mountain and Utowana lakes are ideal examples of the rugged beauty and spectacular resources of the Adirondacks,” said Governor Pataki. “This agreement will preserve their breathtaking vistas, crystal-clear waters and unspoiled islands and make them available for friends and families to enjoy.”

In addition to the agreement to sell the property, the Hochschild family also established a $100,000 stewardship endowment to provide permanent funding for recreational management of the property. The fund will be held by the Adirondack Community Foundation for use by the DEC, which will manage the property.

As part of their agreement, the Hochschilds are also donating to the State a conservation easement on 200 acres of land on the north shore of Utowana Lake and three islands in Blue Mountain Lake, totaling 6.5 acres. This property will remain forever undeveloped under the terms of the easement.

“I feel privileged to be working with the DEC and the Hochschild family as the State obtains, for the first time, access to Blue Mountain Lake,” said Kulleseid. “I take my hat off to the Hochschild family for its generosity in setting aside an endowment for the property and donating easements.”

The Hochschild family said in a statement, “[We are] pleased to see this gem of a property forever protected for the public of New York State. This transaction continues a long family tradition of support and involvement with the Adirondack park. Today, in setting aside $100,00 with the Adirondack Community Foundation to benefit the property, the family is making an investment in the proper management and stewardship of the property by the DEC into the future.”

The involvement of TPL in this project is part of a greater overall commitment to land conservation in this region and throughout the State. The Trust for Public Land, founded in 1972, specializes in conservation real estate, applying its expertise in negotiation, public finance and law to protect land for public use and enjoyment. TPL has helped protect more than one million acres of land nation-wide, including more than 50,000 acres in New York.