CHESTERFIELD, NY (Feb. 24, 2021)—The Open Space Institute (OSI) today announced the acquisition of a property in the Town of Chesterfield that protects local water quality and furthers regional connectivity of protected land. Located just north of Willsboro Bay, the property will also open additional land for recreation and provide users with scenic views of Lake Champlain.
The 37-acre “Trembleau Mountain Addition” property is adjacent to two OSI protected properties: the 57-acre OSI-owned “Prescott” property, which the organization purchased in 2018; and the more than 600-acre “Trembleau Mountain” property, which OSI, in partnership with the Lake Champlain Land Trust (LCLT), acquired in 2016 and transferred to New York State as an addition to the Adirondack Forest Preserve in 2018. Together, these acquisitions, along with a 137-acre private property placed under conservation easement in December 2019 and held by LCLT, continue OSI’s and LCLT’s longstanding partnership efforts to conserve the slopes of Trembleau Mountain.
OSI’s protection of the land prevents future development on the property and helps to safeguard clean drinking water for the surrounding communities. Located within the Lake Champlain watershed, the property will help filter rainwater before it drains into Lake Champlain, which supplies drinking water for more than 200,000 people.
“Small, but significant, this property represents an important victory in protecting the water quality of Lake Champlain,” said Kim Elliman, OSI’s president and CEO. “In addition to protecting the watershed, this acquisition will keep this beautifully rugged land available for public enjoyment. OSI is delighted to continue our commitment to the Adirondack Forest Preserve, an international treasure right here in New York State.”
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “DEC congratulates OSI on this latest accomplishment that will support overall efforts to connect crucial habitat corridors in the Lake Champlain region. We look forward to continuing our ongoing work with OSI and other partners to protect the watershed and its diverse and abundant natural resources.”
“With its expansive size, varied topography, and numerous microclimates, Trembleau Mountain is a highly climate-resilient landscape where plant and animal species can move and adapt in a changing climate,” said Chris Boget, Executive Director of the Lake Champlain Land Trust. “This latest acquisition builds upon the conservation success OSI and the Lake Champlain Land Trust have accomplished here thanks to local support, while also enhancing water quality benefits and expanding outdoor recreation opportunities.”
Completely forested, the newly protected property is home to a diversity of plant and animal species. Additionally, the property is within a corridor that has been labeled as “above average” in terms of resilience by The Nature Conservancy, meaning the property is uniquely positioned to support a diverse array of plants and animals even as the climate changes.
OSI’s Trembleau Mountain Addition property will be opened to the public for hiking and other forms of passive recreation after the larger Trembleau Mountain management plan is completed. Located on the northern slope of Trembleau Mountain, the property will provide walkers, hikers, and runners with spectacular views of the lake.