Historic land acquisition for New York
It's an historic acquisition of land for New York State, land that many New Yorkers have never stepped foot in before. YNN’s Liz Benjamin has more.
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NORTH COUNTRY, N.Y. -- Andrew Cuomo may have been born and raised in Queens, but he's no city slicker. The governor is an avid outdoorsman and is particularly fond of fishing.
The Adirondack Park is one of Cuomo's favorite vacation spots. He has been there several times since he took office, and believes it is one of New York's best-kept tourism secrets, a secret that Cuomo doesn't want to keep.
“I want people all across the state to see this parcel. I want people in New York City to see this parcel. I want the people in New York City to know, from a tourism point of view, there's northern New York. The only thing you know is east, west, in New York City. My point is, if you live in New York State, there's no reason for you to leave New York State to vacation,” said Governor Cuomo.
On Sunday, Cuomo traveled with his top aides and agency heads to tour a portion of the 69,000 acres of the Adirondack land, purchased by the state last month. The property was sold by the Finch Pruyn timber company to the nature conservancy in 2007. The Cuomo administration signed a contract to buy the land over the next five years for just under $50 million. Add it to the 3 million acre 'Forever Wild' Adirondack Park.
“We have made the park a better park. And we have made the park a bigger park. And that is a generational gift we give to our children and our grandchildren, so we will pass on the park. In a better place and in a better condition than it was given to us,” said Gov. Cuomo.
It's the largest acquisition of land for the park the state has made in over a century. The property has not been made open to the public for 150 years.
The Cuomo administration is hoping it will be a tourism draw that will provide a much needed boost to the struggling North Country economy.
Cuomo and his commissioners spent several hours Sunday on the shores of Boreas Ponds. It was a day of relaxation for the administration, but the worries of work proved inescapable.
A small group of anti-fracking protestors awaited Cuomo at Northway Exit 29. DEC Commissioner Joe Martens, who announced last week that the state will conduct a review of the public health impact of fracking, declined to say how long that will delay a final drilling decision.
“It's become big, national. We want to make sure we're going to do it right, so it'll take as long as it takes,” said Martens.