Funding Will Link Tourism and Recreational Opportunities with Economic Development
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $500,000 in grants will be awarded to communities in the Adirondacks to enhance business development and access to the State's newly-acquired former Finch, Pruyn & Co. lands. The Adirondack Park Upper Hudson Recreation Hub grants, provided by The Nature Conservancy, will be used to fund nine projects that increase tourism opportunities, support small business growth and expand recreational offerings, strengthening the region's local economy and supporting jobs.
"Preserving the wilderness of the Adirondacks while promoting access and growth within the region is a generational legacy that continues today," Governor Cuomo said. "These projects will make it easier for visitors to hike, fish, hunt and enjoy the unparalleled landscape of the Adirondacks, while boosting communities' economies all across the region. I thank The Nature Conservancy for their important and continued support of the Adirondacks and New York State."
The Adirondack Park Upper Hudson Recreation Hub grants support business-oriented community development projects ranging from equipping a new guide service in Newcomb and inflatable kayak trips on the Upper Hudson River, to establishing equestrian staging areas in North Hudson and Long Lake. To promote emerging opportunities for recreation and tourism-related businesses in the area, Essex County will establish a microenterprise grant program using a portion of the grant funding.
The Nature Conservancy acquired the former Finch lands in 2007. To protect the land for future generations, Governor Cuomo announced in 2012 that the State had reached an agreement with The Nature Conservancy to acquire 69,000 acres of the lands and other The Nature Conservancy holdings over a five-year period.
Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens said, "The Adirondacks have long been a popular destination for individuals and families of all abilities, and the former Finch lands will significantly expand outdoor recreation opportunities and support the regional economy. Governor Cuomo is committed to protecting critical natural resources and developing additional public access to outdoor recreation and these grants will help to achieve these goals. Under the Governor's leadership, and with strong partners like The Nature Conservancy and county and local officials, we can realize the full potential of public lands in the Park."
Michael Carr, Executive Director of The Nature Conservancy's Adirondack Chapter, said, "We applaud Governor Cuomo and Commissioner Martens for historic conservation action in the Adirondacks. The Conservancy is delighted to continue its work with local communities, regional tourism offices, and State agencies to unlock the potential for spectacular lands to play a new role in the park's outdoor recreation and tourism economy."
Essex County Board of Supervisors Chairman Randy Douglas said, "This is great news for all of us. We sincerely appreciate Governor Cuomo and Commissioner Marten's commitment to enhancing outdoor opportunities for our visitors and our residents. These funds will help provide an economic development boost, and to help attract a wider range of tourists."
Hamilton County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Farber said, "I applaud these efforts to connect communities with the vast lands here in New York State. The forest preserve is a tremendous resource. These grants will go a long way in developing meaningful recreational plans in Hamilton County and I'm eager to get started."
Town of Newcomb Supervisor George Canon said, "We are very supportive of Governor Cuomo's initiatives in support of the Adirondack economy. These grant awards are another important step toward receiving the full benefit of the Finch land conservation. Personally, I am very appreciative of the Governor's leadership and believe this funding shows his commitment to the Adirondacks."
North Hudson Town Supervisor Ron Moore said, "The Town of North Hudson is delighted to be one of the recipients of this grant. With it we will be able to take advantage of the new recreational opportunities that will be available with the acquisition of the former Finch Pruyn and The Nature Conservancy lands. This will increase business opportunities and create much needed economic growth in our towns. We thank The Nature Conservancy for funding these grants and are deeply appreciative of both Governor Cuomo's and Commissioner Martens' continued commitment to the Adirondack Park and those of us who live here."
Town of Minerva Supervisor Stephen McNally said, "The Town of Minerva is delighted to have been one of the recipients of this grant. This is an exciting time for the Town of Minerva with the new State land acquisition. With the help from The Nature Conservancy, Governor Cuomo and Commissioner Martens this will create opportunities for economic growth and make this area truly outstanding destination."
Town of Long Lake Supervisor Clark J. Seaman said, "We certainly appreciate this funding that will allow us to create a new recreational opportunity in Long Lake. This will help us make Long Lake, along with the other four communities of the Upper Hudson Recreation Hub, a unique destination for equestrian riders from across the Northeast. "
Town of Indian Lake Supervisor Brian E. Wells said, "Governor Cuomo has once again shown his commitment to the economic revival of the North Country. He stated that when these lands were bought that not only would they be protected for future generations but that they would also be used for economic growth of Adirondack towns. The awarding of these grants to the various municipalities, established businesses and entrepreneurs shows a flexible approach to this renewal. The Town of Indian Lake looks forward to the implementation of these projects and thanks Governor Cuomo for his leadership and commitment to the Adirondacks."
Town of Johnsburg Supervisor Ron Vanselow said, "The Town of Johnsburg is thrilled to be receiving this grant and I express my appreciation to Governor Cuomo and The Nature Conservancy. This grant will surely enhance our local economy by providing another way for visitors to our area to experience these newly acquired lands. This is a great opportunity for all of us."
The Adirondack Park Upper Hudson Recreation Hub Grants are administered by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, in partnership with The Nature Conservancy and the New York Natural Heritage Trust. The grants include:
- $100,000 to the Town of Newcomb for equipment to be used by a local guide service, Newcomb Guides Service LLC, to provide a shuttle service and guided fishing, hunting, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, camping and canoe/kayak trips into the backcountry. These services would primarily be within the Essex Chain Lakes, Upper Hudson River and, in the future, Boreas Ponds.
- $30,000 to the Town of Newcomb to install horse stables at the High Peaks Kitchen and Campground that can be used by visitors to the area.
- $13,250 to the Town of Johnsburg for equipment to be used by a local guide service, North Creek Rafting Company LLC, to provide guided inflatable kayak trips on the Upper Hudson River between Newcomb and the confluence with the Indian River. This trip is suitable for beginners and is made possible by take-outs at two locations south of Newcomb – the iron bridge about seven miles from the Lake Harris put-in and the Indian River property, upstream of the confluence of the Hudson and Indian Rivers and the heavy whitewater of the Hudson Gorge.
- $356,750 to Essex County for partnership projects that leverage previous planning efforts, including the Adirondack Parkwide Recreation Strategies, Hamlets 3 and local community comprehensive plans:
Essex County Industrial Development Agency – Microenterprise Grant Program
The program will provide assistance to eligible expanding or startup micro-enterprises that will serve and attract visitors to the Upper Hudson Recreation Hub. The program will offer access to capital to help businesses modernize and improve goods and services, become more sustainable and create and retain jobs.
Town of Indian Lake - Indian Lake Core Improvements and Acquisition
The grants will be used to acquire and demolish a targeted downtown building, and install water and sewer infrastructure for future development of the parcel. This will help Indian Lake enhance its downtown area by creating a development district that will have great potential for commercial, residential and cultural redevelopment, plus infrastructure and business improvements.
Town of Long Lake - Equestrian Pole Barn and Staging Area
The grant will be used to construct an equestrian staging area at the trailhead to an existing equestrian trail, which will allow the Town of Long Lake to take advantage of expanding and new horseback riding trails and opportunities. The staging area will be designed with the flexibility to accommodate other recreational activities.
Town of Minerva - Minerva Lake Campground Upgrades and Expansion
The grant will fund improvements to visitor services at the Town of Minerva-owned campground through the installation of water and electrical hookups, creation of new full-service campsites and installation of a new dumping station and new, high-efficiency LED lighting.
Town of Newcomb - Information Center Upgrades & Implementation of Marketing Plan
The Town of Newcomb will use the grant funding to make improvements to its Hudson River Information Center and implement a multi-phased marketing and branding strategy.
Town of North Hudson – Route 9 Multi-Use Trail Access Improvements
The Town of North Hudson will create trailhead parking and equestrian facilities to access State lands via an extensive system of multi-use trails located on municipal property on the east and west sides of NYS Route 9.