Open Space Institute Acquires Adirondacks Property as Addition to Split Rock Wild Forest

Photo Credit: Jerry Monkman
Open Space Institute Acquires Adirondacks Property as Addition to Split Rock Wild Forest

NEW YORK, NY - January 19, 2006 - Open Space Institute today announced the acquisition of 43 acres near Split Rock Mountain and Lake Champlain in the Town of Westport, Essex County.

The land is located in the western Champlain Valley approximately one mile from the shore of Lake Champlain and includes frontage on Lake Shore Road.

OSI's land acquisition affiliate, the Open Space Conservancy, acquired the parcel with funds from the Lila Acheson and DeWitt Wallace Endowment, a permanent endowment that was transferred to the Open Space Conservancy in 2001. The property is bordered on three sides by Split Rock Wild Forest, a 3,700-acre unit of the State Forest Preserve that includes 1,800 acres acquired by OSI in 1992. Click here for more information about this project area.

“This parcel will eventually become part of the Forest Preserve, once the Open Space Institute conveys it to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The strong partnership between OSI and the State has resulted in significant expansion of the Forest Preserve; almost half of the Split Rock Wild Forest represents land that was first acquired by OSI and later conveyed to the State,” said Joe Martens, president of the Open Space Institute. According to Martens, OSI has protected more than 18,000 acres in the Adirondacks through direct land acquisitions. This includes the historic 10,000-acre Tahawus Tract, a critical mining hub in the early 1800s, and home to Mount Adams, Upper and Lower Preston Ponds, and Henderson Lake, birthplace of the Hudson River.

DEC Commissioner Denise M. Sheehan said, "This parcel will be an important addition to state Forest Preserve lands, specifically Split Rock Wild Forest. DEC looks forward to again partnering with OSI in our ongoing work to build upon the more than 932,000 total acres preserved since 1995 and conserve important open space and public access in the Adirondacks and throughout the State."

The mission of the Open Space Institute is to protect scenic, natural, and historic landscapes to ensure public enjoyment, conserve habitats, and sustain community character. OSI achieves its goals through land acquisition, conservation easements, special loan programs, and creative partnerships.

The Open Space Institute has protected nearly 100,000 acres in New York State. Through its Northern Forest Protection Fund and Conservation Loan Program, OSI has assisted in the protection of 1.4 million acres in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey and North Carolina.

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Split Rock
photo by Peter Borelli
Split Rock
photo by Peter Borelli

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