Adirondack Country Homes Realty Inc.
Serving the "Entire" Adirondack Park with offices at:
Schroon Lake Region (Main Office): PO 488, 1098 US Route 9, Schroon Lake, NY 12870 * 518.532.7900
High Peaks Region/Auction Sales: 2918 US Route 9, North Hudson, NY 12855 * 518.532.9323
Lake Champlain Region: 25 Munsey Way, Elizabethtown NY 12932 * 518.569.8884
Lake George: 2022 State Route 9, Lake George, NY 12845 * 518.668.2677
North Country Region: 113 Flynn's Line Road, Burke, NY 12917 * 518.483.4538
Speculator Region: Route 30, Speculator, NY 12164 * 518.569.8884
Washington Country Region: 4156 County Route 30, Salem, NY 12865* 518-584-3294
Exploiting the Wilderness
Provided by: http://apa.ny.gov/About_Park/history.htm
The first harvesting of the Adirondack forests began shortly after the English replaced the Dutch as the landlords of New Netherlands and changed its name to New York. Logging operations generated wealth, opened up land for farming, and removed the cover that provided a haven for Indians. After the Revolutionary War, the Crown lands passed to the people of New York State. Needing money to discharge war debts, the new government sold nearly all the original public acreage - some 7 million acres - for pennies an acre. Lumbermen were welcomed to the interior, with few restraints: "You have no conception of the quantity of lumber that is taken every winter... A great deal of land is bought of government solely for the pine on it, and after that is cut down, it is allowed to revert back to the State to pay its taxes." -- Joel T. Headley, The Adirondack: or Life in the Woods, 1849
This destruction of Adirondack forests became a growing concern after 1850, as the continued depletion of watershed woodlands reduced the soil's ability to hold water, hastening topsoil erosion and exaggerating periods of flooding. Lumbering was not alone in impoverishing the forest: the tanning industry depleted the hemlock; the paper industry consumed spruce and fir; and the charcoal industry devoured wood of all sizes and shapes. 1885: The Forest Preserve "Had I my way, I would mark out a circle of a hundred miles in diameter, and throw around it the protecting aegis of the constitution. I would make it a forest forever. It would be a misdemeanor to chop down a tree and a felony to clear an acre within its boundaries." -- S.H. Hammond Wild Northern Scenes; or Sporting Adventures With the Rifle and the Rod, 1857
Hammond sowed seeds that germinated in the efforts of others, perhaps most importantly in the writings of Verplanck Colvin. For almost thirty years, beginning in 1872, Colvin crisscrossed the Adirondack wilderness, supervising a state survey of the region. He used his annual reports to the legislature to call for the creation of an Adirondack Forest Preserve: "Unless the region be preserved essentially in its present wilderness condition, the ruthless burning and destruction of the forest will slowly, year after year, creep onward ... and vast areas of naked rock, arid sand and gravel will alone remain to receive the bounty of the clouds, unable to retain it." -- Verplanck Colvin 1874 Annual Report to the Legislature
Persuaded by such testimony, the legislature established a Forest Preserve in 1885, stating that the Preserve "shall be forever kept as wild forest lands."
1892: The Adirondack Park
Colvin dreamed of even greater protection for his beloved Adirondacks than by that provided by the Forest Preserve legislation: the creation of an Adirondack Park. By 1892, a bill establishing the Park passed the legislature, indicating with a blue line the parts of the region where state acquisition of private in-holdings was to be concentrated. The law was a mixed blessing: while it created the Park "to be forever reserved for the free use of all the people," it weakened earlier protections, allowing the Forest Commission to sell state lands anywhere in the Adirondacks and to lease state lands within the Park to private individuals for camps and cottages. "At the time one did not have to be an arm-waving tree hugger to understand that the Adirondack forest could ill afford any loss of protection. The forest was a mess ... Forest commissioners came under suspicion. There was talk of official skullduggery. How could a place be forever reserved for the people as wild forest land if the people allowed the forest commissioners to sell off the timber?" -- John Mitchell, Audubon Magazine
1895 Constitutional Protection: "Forever Wild"
At the 1894 Constitutional Convention, a new covenant to achieve meaningful protection of the Forest Preserve was included in the new Constitution. Henceforth, the Adirondack Forest Preserve would be "forever wild." "For years the State had been acquiring and holding lands, often denuded, to be sure, which lumber interests did not pay the taxes on. It was this nucleus of property that gave the idea for the Park. Curiously enough, in this way, avarice was its own undoing ... In 1885 the Forest Preserve was created, and the popular vote in 1894 set it aside for the use of all the people forever." -- T. Morris Longstreth, The Adirondacks, 1917
Any relaxation of the total protection offered to today's 2.5-million-acre Forest Preserve requires the approval of a majority of the state's voters and two successive legislatures. It is rarely given. Voters and their representatives have continually resisted major changes, approving only narrowly drafted alterations: the cutting of ski trails on Whiteface Mountain (1940) and construction of the Northway, I-87 (1958) are among the most prominent.
Early in this century, recreational use of the Forest Preserve increased dramatically. As more people came, demanding conveniences, the State Conservation Department (now the Department of Environmental Conservation) responded by building more facilities in the state woods: boat docks, tent platforms, lean-tos, fire towers, and telephone and electrical lines, among others. With the opening of the Northway in the mid-1960s, private lands came under great pressure as well, for there was hardly a land-use control on the books in all of the Adirondacks. A proposal to save the region by establishing an Adirondack Mountain National Park spurred heated debate, forcing all sides to acknowledge the reality of development pressures. A study commission was appointed by Governor Rockefeller in 1968 to assess the future of both state and private lands within the Park.
Land Use and Development Plan
the legislature adopted into law the Adirondack Park Land Use and
Development Plan, covering the Park's private lands. In its simplest
terms, the Plan is designed to channel much of the future growth in the
Park around existing communities, where roads, utilities, services, and
supplies already exist. Under the Act, all private lands in the Park are
classified into one of six categories: Hamlet, Moderate Intensity, Low
Intensity, Rural Use, Industrial Use, and Resource Management.
Adirondack Community History
The Adirondack Park is so rich in history that Adirondack Country Homes Realty is on a homework assignment. We love our rich
heritage and thought you might enjoy the roots of the Adirondack Park as well. We hope one day you'll be a part of the Adirondack Park
and make its new history. So please join us view some of the town's history that has been recorded (by Ray's Place). We invite our
public to make contributions, and add to our list of unique Adirondack towns (past and present). Historians please contact us.
We are excited in bringing our New York Upstate North Country charm to you!
We look forward to serving your needs, be it seller or buyer.
Check out our Photo Gallery!