The Open space institute announced a land protection success that, for the first time, will provide a direct recreation and habitat connection between Saratoga County, Lake Moreau State Park and, ultimately, Adirondack Park. The newly protected lands complement OSI’s goal of creating a corridor of protected lands in one of the state’s fastest growing regions.
OSI purchased the newly protected 60-acre “Moreau Lake Connector” property from Margie French, who owned the land for over 40 years before selling the parcel to OSI. The property is located in Warren County, between the southeastern boundary of Adirondack Park and Lake Moreau State Park. It is adjacent to Ralph Road State Forest and over 1,260 acres of OSI’s “West Mountain” acquisition to the north and Moreau Lake State Park, which has more than doubled in size by OSI, to the south.
The property is located at the northern end of the South Palmertown Range and is part of OSI’s ongoing work in the area to connect the southern part of Palmertown near Saratoga Springs to the foothills of the Adirondacks.
“With the permanent protection of this property, a multi-year effort to connect Saratoga County to Adirondack Park is finally taking shape – and with it, we are helping to strengthen the bonds with the land and the bonds between communities,” said Kim Elliman, President of OSI. and CEO. “With limited access to trails and open spaces, especially in highly developed areas, it is essential that green corridors be created and protected for public recreation, community health and wildlife protection. “
“Protecting and connecting recreation and habitat between Saratoga County and Adirondack Park benefits wildlife, the environment and the regional economy,” said Basil Seggos, Department Commissioner New York State Environmental Conservation Department. “OSI’s acquisition of the Moreau Lake Connector property supports the state’s ongoing efforts to provide visitors with recreational opportunities while preserving natural resources and wildlife habitat. DEC looks forward to continuing its partnership with OSI to preserve this remarkable area and improve access for New Yorkers and visitors to discover the beauty of the Adirondacks.
With several existing access roads crossing the property, the woodlands have the potential to expand visitor access and recreational use of Ralph Road State Forest and the north side of Lake State Park. Moreau. In the future, the property may be considered for the creation of additional trails and for the potential creation of a parking area and trailhead along Call Street.
Acquisition reinforces OSI’s goal of establishing trails between Saratoga Spa State Park, Moreau Lake State Park and the Adirondack Park Reserve to better accommodate and disperse new and existing visitors. In the region.
With most of the other plots between the Adirondacks and Lake Moreau State Park already developed with residential homes, this acquisition presented one of the latest and best options for creating a green corridor between Vermont’s Green Mountains and the Adirondacks which establishes a connected wildlife habitat and supports the migration and movement of plant and animal species.
Identified as a ‘climate flow zone’, meaning that the land is used by large numbers of plants and animals as a means of moving through the landscape, the property is particularly important for climate-related migration. With the permanent protection of this property, OSI ensures that plant and animal species can move and migrate freely from the shores of the Hudson River to southern Adirondack Park and the Lake George Wilderness on protected lands.
This property and the properties to which it connects are home to a diverse fauna. The Moreau Lake Connector property is located in an area designated as “Significant Natural Community” by New York State, which means that wildlife communities in this area are rare or are high quality natural communities.
Categorized as “northern hemlock and hardwood forest”, the property is a mixed forest composed mainly of eastern hemlock and other hardwood species such as maple, birch, beech or ash.
The Moreau Lake Connector property is one of eight significant properties, including the addition of Spier Falls which doubled the size of Moreau Lake State Park, Big Bend, Ellsworth and Kenison (together known as Greentree Lake), Hudson Pointe, Faith Bible Church and West Mountain, totaling over 7,000 acres, which OSI has protected in the area to support the creation of a connected green corridor in the Palmertown Range.
The property is expected to be added to the Ralph Road State Forest, as well as to OSI’s 1,260-acre West Mountain property. Once the transfers are complete, OSI will have helped the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) more than triple the size of the Ralph Road State Forest.
OSI and the Palmertown chain
In 2018, OSI, in partnership with Saratoga PLAN and local partners, created the Southern Palmertown Conservation and Recreation Strategy, a conservation and recreation roadmap for the Adirondack Foothills area stretching from the Hudson River to the northern limit of Saratoga County, to the town of Saratoga Springs in the south.
The centerpiece of Palmertown’s strategy will be the development of a 50 mile landscape-scale multi-use trail system called the Sarah B. Foulke Friendship Trails System. A one-year master planning process for an inclusive trail system was completed this summer.
Photo courtesy of OSI