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North Country News
Thu February 7, 2013
NYS Loses Federal Grant Funds for Land Acquisition
New York State has lost a two-and-a-half million dollar federal grant that would have helped pay for the acquisition of an Adirondack land tract. The state says it can’t afford the cost share, and the Adirondack Council points to that as a reason to increase funding to the Environmental Protection Fund.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation had been awarded a two and a half million dollar Forest Legacy grant from the federal government to help buy the 14,600 acre Follensby Pond tract in the Adirondacks IF the state could come up with 13-and-a-half million dollars to complete the purchase. That did not happen and New York State has lost the federal grant funds. Adirondack Council Legislative Director Scott Lorey says he used the loss of the grant during a hearing on environmental priorities in the New York State budget as an example of the need to add money to the Environmental Protection Fund.
The Follensby tract is currently owned by the Nature Conservancy, which intends to eventually sell it to the state. Adirondack Chapter Executive Director Mike Carr is not concerned about the loss of the grant funds.
Scott Lorey says the Adirondack Council wants the Follensby Pond land classified wilderness if the state obtains it. Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board Executive Director Fred Monroe says the way the Council wants the land surrounding Follensby Pond used is counter to the federal Forest Legacy concept, and he is not surprised that the grant was not forthcoming.
New York State will receive federal Forest Legacy grant funds for conservation easement projects on the Rensselaer Plateau and Mount Lebanon in New Lebanon and Canaan.