NEW YORK, NY — March 3, 2011 — The Open Space Institute has sold a 1,921-acre parcel on the former Camp Little Notch property in Fort Ann to the New Hampshire-based Meadowsend Timberlands Limited, a family owned forestry company that follows sustainable forestry practices.
The sale represents the second step in a three-phase project that will ensure the long-term protection of the property, which sits in the southeastern corner of the Adirondack Park. Meadowsend is expected to begin sustainably harvesting softwood and pulp products on the property within the next few years.
"Meadowsend Timberlands is the proud new owner and steward of a truly special place within the Adirondack Park, the Little Notch forest," said Jeremy Turner, the managing forester for Meadowsend. "Our stewardship of the Little Notch forest embraces a solid commitment of partnership between the old and new owners where forestry and camping, two traditional land uses, will continue. The Little Notch forest forms a vital link to the extensive private land conserved under a working forest easement, ensuring long-term, sustainable management forestry practices. The project culmination is largely due to the great energy of the Open Space Institute and the Friends of Camp Little Notch."
In November 2010, the Open Space Conservancy, OSI's land acquisition affiliate, purchased the 2,346-acre Camp Little Notch, a former Girl Scout camp, from the Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York. OSI intends to sell the remaining 425 acres, completing the third phase of the project, to the Friends of Camp Little Notch, a nonprofit group created by former Little Notch campers, counselors and supporters that plans to operate the camp facility as an outdoor education, recreation and retreat center.
"The sale to Meadowsend will create jobs and tax revenue locally while ensuring that nearly 2,000 acres of beloved forest remain protected for all who have been inspired by its beauty over the years," said Kim Elliman, OSI's CEO. "OSI has been fortunate to partner with Meadowsend and the Friends of Camp Little Notch, both of whom have the same goals of responsible stewardship and community involvement."
Friends of Camp Little Notch, whose mission is to provide opportunities for all people to practice living in harmony with nature, each other, and themselves, has launched a fundraising campaign with an immediate goal of raising $250,000 by July 1 and a three-year goal of $2.25 million to finance the opening and operation of the center, including a new summer camp program.
"For all people to access beautiful open spaces, we need visionary stewards, like Meadowsend Timberlands, to manage our forests and help make projects like this one possible," said Ellen Tuzzolo, interim executive director of Friends of Camp Little Notch. "Because of the collaboration between OSI, Meadowsend, and Friends of Camp Little Notch, the entire Little Notch property will remain an incredible environmental resource in this region for generations to come."
Friends of Camp Little Notch anticipates opening the property for programming in 2012. The year-round center will provide retreat opportunities for a diverse population of individuals, families and groups, as well as partnerships with various community organizations. The group hopes to incorporate the rich history of the property into its programming, creating educational opportunities for people to learn about a broad spectrum of environmental issues and sustainable living practices.