Current IssuesAerial view of Follensby Pond and surrounding lands

by David Gibson

Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve welcomes the announcement this month of new conservation easements at the historic Follensby Pond, providing public recreational access off the Raquette River, long-term ecological research, guided and managed visitation to the historic Pond, and stewardship of the Pond which includes applied indigenous knowledge guided by the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment.

In the lead-up to the 1992 Adirondack Park Centennial year, Friends of the Forest Preserve founder Paul Schaefer exhorted all parties to support the conservation of Follensby Pond, site of the 1857 Philosophers’ Camp and the reintroduction to New York, beginning in 1976, of the Bald Eagle.

Fearing the eventual subdivision and development of the lake’s shoreline, Schaefer worked with his associates to elevate the significance of Follensby Pond for protection. He helped to ensure that the tract was listed in 1992 as a high priority on the State’s Open Space Conservation Plan. 

In 2008, conservationists hailed the Adirondack Nature Conservancy’s purchase of the 1000-acre Pond and its 14,000 acres east of Tupper Lake and west of the High Peaks Wilderness area.

“While we hope to eventually see part of this landscape added to the public’s Adirondack Forest Preserve, we see great advantages in the easements just announced for lake research, conservation of the threatened lake trout, and managed, guided public access to enable people of all backgrounds to eventually have the chance to gain first-hand experience with this magnificent place,” said Adirondack Wild’s David Gibson.

“We thank all the parties to this agreement and look forward to cooperating with them as long-term stewards of Follensby Pond.”

Photo: Follensby Pond, foreground, High Peaks Wilderness in background. Photo by Ken Rimany