OSI Deal Permanently Protects More Than 9,300 Acres in the Adirondacks

Image Credit: Greg Miller

Clinton and Saratoga Counties, NY (June 24, 2020)— The Open Space Institute (OSI) today celebrated the permanent protection of nearly 9,300 acres of forested land in the Adirondacks. The project, achieved in partnership with private landowners, will support sustainable timber practices in the region and expand recreational opportunities.

Under the terms of the “Boeselager Working Forest” agreement, OSI secured conservation and recreation easements on two properties owned by the Ketteler-Boeselager family, which has a long-standing commitment to conservation in the Adirondacks, and their native Germany. The two newly eased properties in the Clinton County towns of Black Brook, Dannemora, and Saranac total 4,970 acres and will be managed as working forest using sustainable timber practices.

The easements also allow for sections of the properties to be available for camping, hiking, walking, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling. In addition, one of the newly eased properties features a 16-mile railroad bed that connects to an existing trail network, providing an opportunity to expand multi-use recreational corridors in the region and eventually allowing users to connect to Saranac Lake, Malone, and beyond.

With the proceeds from the secured conservation easements and donated funds, the Ketteler-Boeselager family purchased the 4,338-acre “Hans Creek” property, located in the Saratoga County towns of Edinburg and Providence, which OSI acquired in 2018.

N002637 Image Credit: Greg Miller

Located in the Southern Adirondack Foothills, the Hans Creek property offers expansive seasonal vistas of Great Sacandaga Lake. The property is within the watershed that provides drinking water for the city of Amsterdam.

Altogether, the three properties total more than 9,300 acres of privately-owned forested land in the Adirondacks that are now permanently protected.

“The Open Space Institute is delighted to partner with the Ketteler-Boeselager family in keeping these large, working forested properties intact, while also opening up new recreational opportunities that could lead to an economic boon for the local towns,” said Kim Elliman, president and CEO of OSI. “I thank Ildikó and Franziskus von Ketteler, Dr. Wolfhard Boeselager and their chief-forester Lars Schmidts for their leadership in responsible land management and for the commitment to making this complicated deal come together.”

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “The Adirondacks are home to some of the world’s most breathtaking and majestic natural resources. OSI’s purchase of these forested lands ensures they will be protected from development and eventually enhanced with new and exciting recreational opportunities for visitors of all ages and abilities to enjoy. I thank the Open Space Institute and the Ketteler-Boeselager family for recognizing the potential of these lands for visitors to experience and enjoy while providing habitats for a variety of plants and wildlife.”

“Our family is thrilled to have worked with the Open Space Institute to expand the intact and healthy, working forest lands that we manage in the Adirondacks. Our forest management plan focuses on the long-term health of the land, balancing public recreational access with ecologic and, last but not least, economic gains,” said Franziskus von Ketteler, CEO of the Ketteler-Boeselager-Group. “Having successfully implemented a sustainable forest management plan previously, we are thankful to continue our legacy of responsible stewardship of the land.”

“The protection of these intact, working forest lands is a great asset in Saratoga County and the Adirondacks. OSI’s partnership with the Kettler-Boeselager Family to continue the tradition of responsible, private forest management, while allowing a corridor for snowmobile access, supports local plans for snowmobile trails that benefit local communities and increase tourism,” said Jason Kemper, director of the Saratoga County Planning Department.

“I'm thrilled that OSI is keeping this forest a private, working landscape while opening land for snowmobile use, including the possible development of an important snowmobile trail on the land,” said Jean Raymond, Supervisor for the Town of Edinburg. “A snowmobile trail established on this property would create a key connection to a larger snowmobile corridor, serving as an economic boon to the town and surrounding communities during the winter. This project is a fantastic example of a public private partnership resulting in benefits to the Town, and the local and regional forest products industry.”

The Ketteler-Boeselager family will continue to manage the properties for long-term timber returns with a forward-thinking plan that calls for multiple-age and species stands of timber and wildlife habitat management.

The “Ketteler-Boeselager Working Forest” properties are both adjacent to state forest preserve lands and are comprised of healthy timber forests, waterways, ponds, and wetlands. One of the newly eased “Ketteler-Boselager Working Forest” properties in the towns of Dannemora and Saranac links two previously unconnected sections of the forest preserve and includes the northern slope of Lyon Mountain, a popular hiking mountain with an historic fire tower at the peak.

The conservation of these properties for public access was specifically identified as a high priority in the New York State Open Space Plan.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) expects to use the Environmental Protection Fund to obtain and manage the conservation easements on the Boeselager Working Forest land and Hans Creek property.

The Open Space Institute protects scenic, natural and historic landscapes to provide public enjoyment, conserve habitat and working lands and sustain communities. Founded in 1974 to protect significant landscapes in New York State, OSI has been a partner in the protection of nearly 2.3 million acres in North America. A leader in environmental conservation, OSI leverages its knowledge and attracts resources for strategic investments to make innovative land conservation happen.

OSI has protected more than 42,000 acres of land, including the historic Tahawus property, the village of Adirondac, and Split Rock Wildway wildlife corridor, and the addition of the Finch Pruyn Lands and Mount Treambleau to the Adirondack Forest Preserve.

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