For Immediate Release: June 17, 2015
The Pinnacle is officially owned by the Town of Bolton and protected by a conservation easement held by the Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC), ending a 5-year conservation effort.
The closing occurred on July 16, 2015, at which time LGLC purchased the 73-acre property for $525,000. LGLC then simultaneously sold the land, with a conservation easement, to the Town of Bolton. The Town donated the easement, and purchased the protected property from LGLC for $150,000.
The Town will keep the property open to the public as a hiking resource, and LGLC will soon complete a management contract with the Town to maintain its trail system and look after the property.
LGLC entered into a purchase option in January, 2015, after five years of negotiations with the landowner. Nearly 300 individuals, families, businesses and foundations pulled together to raise the necessary funds to exercise the option on June 8th and complete the purchase, including $46,000 in closing costs, legal fees and associated expenses.
LGLC Executive Director Jamie Brown said, “We are so grateful for the many folks who stepped up to provide support to the project and help us purchase the property, including the FUND for Lake George, which worked with us behind the scenes throughout the whole process. The outpouring of support, in such a short period of time, over the winter, by such a geographically diverse array of people, was amazing. We are so excited to now, with our partner the Town of Bolton, invite the public to hike the Pinnacle and enjoy the view what was destined to be forever closed off to only a few private homeowners and will now be forever protected and open to the public. This has been a true community effort to protect a community treasure.”
The FUND for Lake George provided a $135,000 grant towards the project, making them the largest single contributor. The FUND’s involvement with The Pinnacle started in 2006 when Lake George Waterkeeper Chris Navitsky became the peak’s earliest advocate by challenging potentially harmful development plans.
“Protection of the Pinnacle stands as a landmark achievement. After more than a decade of work, it is an immensely satisfying to realize this conservation solution,” explained Navitsky.
“Just as we’ve seen on the invasives front, it shows what’s possible through the concerted action of committed partners,” said FUND Executive Director Eric Siy. “We were thrilled to work alongside the Lake George Land Conservancy and Town of Bolton to reach this important milestone for watershed protection, Siy said.
The public fundraising phase for the project was completed in large part thanks to a generous match provided by Neil and Jane Golub, Manning and Virginia Rowan Smith, and the Waterhouse and McGahren families.
Other major gifts to the project ($10,000 or more) were provided by the Lehigh Hanson Heidleberg Cement Group, The Sagamore Resort, the Marjorie and Richard McGahren Foundation, and the Wildlife Forever Fund.
Clearly visible from Bolton Landing’s main street, the steep slopes of the Pinnacle drain directly into Finkle Brook, one of the lake’s major tributaries. The property’s protection also presents an opportunity to advance Bolton Landing’s appeal as a hiking destination. A proposed trail system would link the Pinnacle, Bolton’s Conservation Park, and the very popular Cat and Thomas Mountain Forest Preserve. Ultimately the system could include a trail that connects to the downtown business district.
Brown said, “The staff, including past Executive Director Nancy Williams, and members of the Board put so much time and effort into getting this project off of the ground and getting it to closing. Bolton Town Supervisor Ron Conover has been an ideal partner. He has worked tirelessly with us to help make this project happen and we really look forward to continuing our partnership with him and the Town. We are also grateful for the significant support that the FUND has provided to this project, and the crucial role that they played in protecting the land prior to this land transaction. I am happy that together we were able to create a conservation solution that avoided litigation but achieved our common goal of protecting the lake. We look forward to similar partnerships in the future.”
Conover said, “The purchase of the Pinnacle is a wonderful example of what can be accomplished when the public and private sectors work together achieve an important community goal. You simply cannot put a value on it or overstate its importance. The protection of the Pinnacle for present and future generations is a major community success story. On behalf of the Town of Bolton I would like to thank all those who contributed their time and money to protect the Pinnacle for future generations.”
Neil and Jane Golub said, “What makes Lake George special is its pristine beauty and the mountains that surround and engulf its shores. Nature is a wonderful life enhancer when you get to enjoy it the way it was meant to be. We are so pleased and privileged to have played a small role in preserving the beauty and uniqueness of Bolton Landing.”
Manning and Virginia Rowan Smith said, “We find it most rewarding to be able to protect the lake and its beautiful views. Adding The Pinnacle to a land that is “Forever Wild” will not only maintain the beauty of the town and the lake, but it will also provide a resource for recreation for Bolton Landing and the surrounding area.”