From the DEC Office: DEC Announces 12th Annual Adirondack Stewardship Award

Image Credit: Carl E. Heilman II
ALBANY, NY - November 6, 2003 - New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Erin M. Crotty today announced the presentation of the 12th annual Adirondack Stewardship Award for efforts to protect critical open space and enhance public access to Forest Preserve lands in the Adirondacks. The Open Space Institute (OSI) and its President, Joseph Martens, received this year's award. 

“Stewardship is one of the most important aspects of the long-term preservation of the Adirondacks,” Commissioner Crotty said. “New York is fortunate to have OSI and Joe Martens as partners in these efforts. I'm pleased that they continue to support the protection of environmentally significant Adirondack lands through innovative partnerships. I congratulate Joe Martens and OSI on receiving this prestigious award.” 

The Adirondack Stewardship Award is presented by DEC to groups or individuals who demonstrate outstanding stewardship to the natural resources of the Adirondacks. DEC presented the award last night to OSI President Joseph Martens at a conference of the Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks held in Lake Placid. 

OSI President Joseph Martens said, “I am honored to be recognized by DEC for my work in the Adirondack Park, none of which would have been possible without the support of the Open Space Institute's Board and talented staff, and the many dedicated DEC staff that I've worked with over the years.” 

Founded in 1963, OSI is a nonprofit land conservation organization that works to permanently protect landscapes of significant environmental, historical and agricultural value. OSI has protected more than 90,000 acres in New York, and was recently involved in a project that was the Institute's largest-ever land preservation endeavor in the Adirondacks. 

Earlier this year, OSI acquired the approximately 10,000-acre Tahawus tract in the Adirondack Mountain's High Peaks Region, in the Town of Newcomb, Essex County. Governor Pataki recently joined OSI and DEC in opening almost 6,000 acres of these lands to the public. Henderson Lake, a pristine 450-acre water body, will be opened to the public for fishing and non-motorized boat use for the first time in more than 175 years. During its ownership of the property, OSI will allow paddling, hiking, skiing, hunting, fishing and camping at sites to be designated in the near future. 

Approximately 3,000 acres of the tract will be protected by conservation easements that provide public access, limit development and allow for sustainable management of a working forest. An estimated 400 acres of the tract, including the historic mining Village of Adirondac, will be managed as an historic district. 

Other OSI projects/acquisitions include: 

  • The Mill Creek Conservation Area is a 215-acre preserve located in the Town of Johnsburg in Warren County. The property provides public access to 1.3 miles of northern Hudson River shoreline and nearly a quarter-mile stretch of Mill Creek. Activities in the area include fishing, picnicking, and hiking. The Town of Johnsburg manages the area. 
  • Spier Falls is located near the Adirondack Park in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains. This 3,400-acre property, located in the towns of Lake Luzerne and Queensbury in Warren County and the Town of Moreau in Saratoga County, includes 14 miles of Hudson River shoreline. The State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) now manages the roughly 3,200-acre southern portion of the Spier Falls property, which adjoins Moreau Lake State Park. In addition, OSI established the Hudson Point Nature Preserve south of the Spier Falls dam. The Preserve contains several miles of nature trails that run along a steep bluff overlooking the Hudson River and a nearby boardwalk.

What You Can Do

Donate to support OSI’s work

Become a part of our mission to safeguard at-risk places through your tax-deductible gift.


Subscribe to our newsletter

We get in touch once a month with our most important news, stories, and updates.