New York Agreement Expands Adirondack Park

NY Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos signed ceremonial maps to resolve title disputes spanning more than a century. The property will be added to the Adirondack Forest Preserve and opened to the public.

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced the acquisition of Marion River Carry, a 296-acre property in the Adirondacks, on May 22, a move that expands Adirondack Park during its 125th anniversary. NY Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos signed ceremonial maps to resolve more than a century of differences between the state and Raquette Lake occupants located on 216 parcels within Township 40, with the state acquiring the property from Open Space Institute. It will be added to the Adirondack Forest Preserve and opened to the public.

"By working together with local residents, businesses, and elected officials, a challenging dispute that has simmered for more than a century is now resolved," Cuomo said. "This settlement not only acquires nearly 300 acres of land for public use. It adds to the beautiful and growing forest preserve that has provided New Yorkers and visitors outdoor recreation for decades. I look forward to inviting even more travelers to the Empire State to experience unparalleled scenic beauty and hundreds of trails connecting communities and world-class destinations across New York."

Voters in the state approved a constitutional amendment in November 2013 that allowed the title dispute in Township 40 in the Raquette Lake area of the Town of Long Lake, in Hamilton County, to be resolved, and the following month Cuomo signed legislation that adopted a new Title 19 in Article 9 of the Environmental Conservation Law to implement the amendment. The Open Space Institute had bought the Marion River Carry in 2012 to support the agreement.

The institute this year transferred the property to DEC, donating most of its value; the institute received $631,793.11 in landowner payments from the Town of Long Lake and paid $2 million for the property. All property owners of the 216 tax parcels in dispute agreed to be part of the settlement.

"Today, my signature on these surveyed maps clears the way for the affected property owners to be free of the state's claim to lands that in many cases have been privately occupied for more than a century," said Seggos. "DEC worked diligently with the Town of Long Lake to acquire the Marion River Carry property from OSI and provide permanent public access to the carry and protect the property's significant natural resources."

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