Amid the heightened focus on protecting and conserving Lake George and the land that surrounds it, Governor Andrew Cuomo recently announced that New York State has purchased Warren County’s 1,463-acre Berry Pond Preserve from the Lake George Land Conservancy.
In a statement released on the Governor’s website, Cuomo said, “By purchasing this land, the State is stepping up to protect the health and vitality of Lake George and the surrounding communities. The Berry Pond Preserve is an integral part of both the local ecosystem and the region’s economy, and we will ensure that it remains pollutant-free and accessible for families and visitors alike to enjoy for years to come.”
The Preserve spans parts of three different towns – Lake George, Lake Luzerne, and Warrensburg – but is most valuable because of the West Brook headwaters that lie within its boundaries. West Brook is a crucial tributary to Lake George’s southern basin, and the Governor’s website reports that “water quality in this part of Lake George is closely tied to the health of West Brook.” In acquiring the land, the State aims to ensure the health of West Brook, and thereby the quality of the southern basin of Lake George.
The West Brook Conservation Initiative led to the Lake George Land Conservancy’s move to purchase the Berry Pond Preserve in January 2008. Now that it is state-owned, the land will be added to the Adirondack Forest Preserve, and will be tended to both as a vital part of the Lake George Watershed and as a recreational haven for locals and visitors.