Written by Tom Hall, LGLC Vice President of Conservation
Published in the Lake George Mirror, February 2020 issue
To the Editor:
Re: Lake George Land Conservancy Purchases Trout Lake Uplands
As a member of the Board of Directors of the Lake George Land Conservancy (Conservancy) and as Chair of its Conservation Committee, I am pleased to spread the news of the Conservancy’s recent acquisition of a 212- acre parcel of forestland in the Lake George Watershed.
The property – known as Twin Pines – is located in the Town of Bolton on the north end of Trout Lake adjacent to state-owned Cat and Thomas Mountains. The Conservancy is now in the process of adding a Conservation Easement to the property that will guarantee the land remains in its current forested condition forever. This is not the Conservancy’s first land purchase and it certainly won’t be our last, but the Twin Pines purchase is particularly noteworthy because of the land’s outstanding conservation value.
For instance, the protected land will permanently conserve 20 acres of high quality wetland and will help to conserve the water quality of Trout Lake as well as one of its tributaries. More to the point, the protected land will help to sustain Lake George’s renowned water quality which is the core mission and #1 objective of the Conservancy. But there’s more. Given its location, the Twin Pines property will one day provide alternate pedestrian access to Cat and Thomas Mountains and will be instrumental in enabling the Bolton Hub Initiative to become a reality on the landscape.
These collateral benefits will extend to the local community and the recreating public for years to come. Our sincere “thanks” goes to the McGurl family, the former landowner, for enabling these excellent outcomes to happen.
In many ways, the Twin Pines acquisition is the perfect “poster child” for distinguishing the Conservancy’s contribution toward creating an enduring and resilient natural landscape around the waters of Lake George. There is also a very satisfying and reproducible pattern to these efforts: first, identify land and water systems that are under stress; then, within these stressed areas, identify lands that have important conservation value; next, engage willing landowners; finally, negotiate purchase prices based on fair market valuations.
Over time, the results are numerous and now include the French Mountain tract (315 acres), the Schumann Preserve at Pilot Knob ( 223 acre), The Pinnacle (73 acres), Cat and Thomas Mountains, Pole Hill Pond and Anthony’s Nose, to name a few. Even more important, the collective total of conserved lands is in excess of 11,500 acres.
Throughout my 5 year tenure as a Board Member, I have been continually impressed with the performance and success of the Lake George Land Conservancy. I am also proud of its achievements as a partner in the collaborative effort to protect and conserve the health of the Lake George ecosystem. With several projects “in the pipeline”, the prospect for continued conservation success appears promising as we continue the business of “protecting the land that protects Lake George”.