Two nationally accredited land trusts are opening merger discussions to advance their mutual goal of protecting open space in the Lake Placid, Ausable, and Saranac watersheds of New York State’s Adirondack Park.
On November 1st, 2021, the Lake Placid Land Conservancy (LPLC) board of directors voted unanimously to open discussions to combine its operations and assets with the Adirondack Land Trust (ALT). The Adirondack Land Trust board then voted unanimously on November 9th, 2021, to enter into discussions as well. Both organizations are now working together to determine how to most effectively address the region’s conservation needs.
“There is significant overlap in the geography and conservation goals of our two organizations,” said LPLC Board Chair Greg Fetters, “and our shared goal is to get more conservation done. We have enjoyed a good relationship with the Adirondack Land Trust for many years. ALT’s resources can advance our mission and help achieve the vision of LPLC as well as those of our predecessor organizations, Placid Lake Foundation and North Elba Land Conservancy.”
Adirondack Land Trust Board Chair Bill Paternotte said, “We are big believers in collaboration to achieve conservation goals, so we’re honored that LPLC is entrusting us with stewardship of the special places it has conserved, and to carry forward their legacy of working with landowners and communities to protect the Lake Placid, Ausable and Saranac river watersheds.”
Lake Placid Land Conservancy was created through the merger of Placid Lake Foundation and North Elba Land Conservancy in 2013. It has protected 340 acres in the towns of North Elba, Jay, Keene and Wilmington. The Adirondack Land Trust was created in 1984 to forever conserve the forests, farmlands, waters and wild places that advance the quality of life of communities and the ecological integrity of the Adirondacks. Adirondack Land Trust has protected 26,710 acres at 92 sites throughout the Adirondacks.
Land trusts are private nonprofit organizations that protect farmland, community spaces, habitat for plants and animals, water quality, scenic vistas and wildlife migration corridors. They conserve natural resources primarily by owning and maintaining protected lands and by holding conservation easements.
If the talks lead to merger, Lake Placid Land Conservancy will transfer its protected lands, conservation easements and other assets to Adirondack Land Trust, which will ensure that LPLC’s conservation properties stay protected in perpetuity. Both organizations have achieved national accreditation showing they meet standards for land protection, stewardship, and financial and organizational management. Next steps for the organizations include due diligence to review land-management, legal and financial responsibilities.
Photo of Lake Placid community stakeholder group meeting this summer to improve hiking access at Cobble Hill, where the Adirondack Land Trust works with two landowners to manage lands under conservation easement provided.