Town of Bolton
The Indian Brook/Northwest Bay Brook Conservation Initiative focuses on protecting the land that protects the water quality of Indian Brook and Northwest Bay Brook, two of the top eight tributaries of Lake George.
The majority of the water in Lake George comes directly off the land in the watershed through streams. Over 141 streams flow into Lake George, making up 55% of the water that enters the Lake. Two-thirds of this stream-flow comes from just eight tributaries. The watersheds of these top eight tributaries make up almost half of the terrestrial watershed (44%).
Combined, these two watersheds encompasses about 7,500 acres, including dense forest, rocky slopes, ridge lines, wetlands, streams and lake shoreline.
Protecting the Land that Protects the Lake
Water Impact According to the 2008 Stream Assessment Report completed by the Fund for Lake George, the streamside habitat and canopy cover of Indian Brook show substantial
impairment. The study also stated that, “generally, streams surrounded by greater amounts of development were more physically impacted than those found in relatively undisturbed areas.” Thus, the more protected a stream corridor is, the healthier and more stable it is.
A healthy stream bank includes vegetation that prevents erosion, especially during storms and other causes of high water volume or velocity. Excessive erosion causes increased sedimentation downstream, which can create deltas at the mouth of the stream. Indian Brook is one of many streams that have substantial deltas into Lake George. Deltas can have a variety of negative impacts including impeding fish migration, providing bedding for invasive aquatic plants and posing various recreational as well as navigational issues (The Fund for Lake George, Altering our Natural Streams, 2011).
The Indian Brook watershed also includes a significant area of wetlands, which are incredibly important elements to a healthy lake ecosystem. Wetlands provide a natural filtration system, slowing stormwater and runoff, and absorbing potentially damaging pollutants before the water reaches the main stream or larger waterbody.
Wetlands are some of the most productive habitats on the planet. They often support high concentrations of animals—including mammals, birds, fish and invertebrates—and serve as nurseries for many of these species.
Land Connectivity Protected land currently owned by the LGLC and New York State surround this area, presenting a number of opportunities to create a contiguous block of conserved land that could act as a corridor for wildlife and human recreation.
Contiguous blocks of land are essential for “wildlife corridors,” or pathways for animals, particularly larger mammals such as bears, moose, bobcats and fishers. These corridors allow animals to travel the long distances required to survive without being exposed to dangers and obstructions such as roads and development.
The connectivity of land is also highly desirable for human recreation. Ecotourism is a viable and economically beneficial draw for Lake George towns. Connected lands provide the opportunity for expanded trail systems that may attract hikers, birders and other outdoor enthusiasts from all over the world.
Viewshed A large portion of this area can be viewed from the roads of Bolton Landing, as well as the waters of Lake George. As a region known and loved for its aesthetic beauty, the protection of this viewshed is important not only for the enjoyment of those who visit, but also for the economic vitality of Bolton Landing and the entire Lake George basin.
Acquisition: Wing Pond
- 159-acre property in Bolton Landing
- Includes 750 feet of Northwest Bay Brook tributary and about 15 acres of wooded and open wetlands, including Wing Pond itself
- Adjacent to the NYS Pole Hill Pond Preserve; has potential for extended trails
Acquisition: SUNY Albany Parcel
- 129-acre property in Bolton Landing that is the former site of the University of Albany telescope and observatory
- Includes 100 acres of wetlands, confluence of the two main branches of Indian Brook, and 2,200 feet of stream corridor
- Funds received by SUNY Albany from the sale of this property will be used for student scholarships for environmental-related academic programs
Acquisition: Peacock Parcel, aka Isabel La Roche Godwin Preserve
- 114-acre parcel in Bolton Landing
- Includes 1,000 feet of stream corridor as well as several acres of vernal pools
- Establishes a recreational connection between the New York State’s Northwest Bay Tract (Pole Hill Pond Preserve) and the LGLC’s Amy’s Park
Empower Landowners: Conservation Easements
- In partnership with willing landowners, the LGLC will establish and maintain conservation easements that protect riparian areas along Indian Brook
Donate Today to help us complete these current projects!