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OSI and Finch Pruyn Land Exchange in the Adirondacks Conserves Recreation and Working Forest Lands

NEW YORK, NY June 6, 2007 - Today, the Open Space Conservancy (OSC), the land acquisition affiliate of the Open Space Institute (OSI), announces a land exchange with Finch, Pruyn & Co., Inc., a paper manufacturing company based in Glens Falls since 1865. OSI received 2,035 acres of non-commercial forestland from Finch, Pruyn in exchange for 2,927 acres of commercial forestland that will be subject to a working forest conservation easement. This marks the first time that a locally owned company has been involved in a working forest easement. The land received by Finch is contiguous to other commercial forest land owned by the company, while the lands received by OSI have a high conservation value, are not suitable for timber harvesting, and are surrounded or share a border with state Forest Preserve land.

The land OSI conveyed to Finch, Pruyn is part of the Tahawus tract it acquired in 2003 located in the town of Newcomb in Essex County, NY. It allows the company to consolidate and expand its timber holdings just south of the High Peaks Wilderness Area. A working forestry easement was put in place, ensuring that the land will continue to economically benefit the region by providing valuable timber resources. The lands will also be open for public use following the preparation of a recreation plan.

The 2,035 acres that OSI received from Finch, Pruyn include six parcels of non-commercial timberland in the Essex County towns of Newcomb, Minerva, and Schroon. Five of the six parcels are inholdings of the Adirondack Forest Preserve, (surrounded by State of New York lands), and the sixth shares an extended border with the High Peaks Wilderness Area, the most popular and visited area in the Park. This sixth parcel, which has the highest conservation value, lies on the flank of Santanoni Mountain, one of the 46 “High Peaks” with elevations greater than 4,000’ in the Park. OSI intends to convey the land to the New York Department of Conservation so it can be added to the Forest Preserve. 

“This exchange is a win-win for conservation and responsible woodlands management,” said Joe Martens, president of the Open Space Institute. “Finch, Pruyn is an exceptional forest manager and this swap will provide Finch with strategically located timberlands and OSI with non-commercial timberland that the public will now be able to enjoy. It demonstrates how timber companies and land conservation groups can work together to benefit everyone’s interests.” 

“This land exchange continues a long collaborative working relationship between Finch, Pruyn and the Open Space Institute,” said Richard J. Carota, chairman, president and CEO of Finch, Pruyn & Co., Inc. “The exchange opens more than 2,000 acres of prime Adirondack forests for public use, while ensuring that another 3,000 acres of working forest is available for the production of wood and jobs for the Adirondack economy.” 

The Open Space Institute (OSI) protects 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, fiscal sponsorship, creative partnerships, and analytical research. OSI has protected nearly 100,000 acres in New York State. Through its Northern Forest Protection Fund and Conservation Finance Program, OSI has assisted in the protection of an additional 1.5 million acres in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and North Carolina. Visit www.osiny.org for more information.

Finch, Pruyn & Co., Inc. was founded in 1865 as a sawmill, lumberyard and quarry operation on the Upper Hudson River in upstate Glens Falls, NY, and began papermaking operations in 1905. Today, the company is a leader in the premium uncoated printing paper market, manufacturing more than 250,000 tons per year for advertising materials, book publishing and business office uses from its single Glens Falls mill, where it employs approximately 850 people. Finch Paper is recognized throughout the graphic design and printing industries for outstanding brightness, smoothness and print reproduction. The company is also widely regarded for its customer service and its extensive stocking program, with more than 500 different items available for immediate shipment coast-to-coast. Finch, Pruyn is also the second-largest private landowner in New York State, with more than 161,000 acres of forestland managed for timber production, recreation and wildlife habitat. The company’s forest management practices have certified as meeting the exacting standards of both the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® and the international Forest Stewardship Council. 

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