Huckleberry Mountain Addition to Lake George Wild Forest Approved


View of the Hudson River from the Huckleberry Mountain Forest in WarrensburgThe 837-acre Huckleberry Mountain Forest tract in Warrensburg, Warren County, which New York State acquired from the Open Space Institute in 2017, is now officially part of the Lake George Wild Forest and will be subject to the strictures of an updated Lake George Wild Forest Unit Management Plan.

On March 25, Governor Kathy Hochul approved the 2023-24 Adirondack Park State Land classification package, as required by the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan, which the New York State legislature approved in 1972.

The package included 25 state land classifications across roughly 5,800 acres in the Adirondack Forest Preserve counties of Clinton, Essex, Fulton, Franklin, Hamilton, Herkimer, St. Lawrence and Warren.

According to the Governor’s office, the Adirondack Park Agency, in consultation with the Department of Environmental Conservation, advanced recommendations to the Governor after a rigorous review process that included extensive opportunities for public comment.

Noting that the process prescribed by the State Land Master Plan was followed, APA Chair John Ernst said, “It is a great honor to participate in New York State’s long-standing tradition of land preservation and conservation. This classification action will protect more of New York’s exceptional natural resources and will increase recreational opportunities bolstering economic benefits for local communities.”

The outgoing DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “I commend APA and DEC experts for advancing this comprehensive update to land classifications in the Adirondack Park and deliver on Governor Hochul’s commitment to bolstering local economies through outdoor recreation and conservation opportunities. Whether wilderness or wild forest, the land classified in these eight counties will further enhance the forever wild areas of the truly unparalleled Adirondack Park, offering pristine views and unbeatable recreational opportunities to all who venture there.”

With the approval of the State Land classification package, the state agencies involved can start the unit management planning process,” Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board Executive Director Gerald Delaney said.

Among the criteria used by the APA when assigning Forest Preserve lands to a particular land use zone – whether wilderness, wild forest or intensive use – is its proximity to similar state-owned lands which the agency classified in the past.

The Huckleberry Mountain Forest is surrounded by 4,000 acres of Lake George Wild Forest lands and was one of the last few large undeveloped tracts within the Lake George Wild Forest still in private hands. It was acquired with $410,000 in Environmental Protection Fund moneys from the Open
Space Institute, which had purchased it “at the request of New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation,” the OSI said.

According to the OSI, “the land has been considered a high priority acquisition in the region for decades.”

According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the tract includes large wetland complexes, a pond and upland hardwoods.
The various types of cover support a variety of reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals, including several game species, the DEC stated.

Once absorbed by the Lake George Wild Forest, which currently consists of more than 71,000 acres in Warren and Washington Counties, the land will be accessible to the public for hiking, hunting and camping.

Another recent state acquisitions in Warren County – 17.9 acres on Thirteenth Lake – was classified as Wilderness, the State Land Plan’s most restrictive

Photo: View of the Hudson River from the Huckleberry Mountain Forest in Warrensburg.

A version of this article first appeared on the Lake George Mirror, America’s oldest resort paper, covering Lake George and its surrounding environs. You can subscribe to the Mirror HERE.

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