INDIAN LAKE - A Christian boys camp has bought OK Slip Pond from The Nature Conservancy, clearing the way for the State of New York to purchase the lands around it.
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Regional Natural Resources Supervisor Thomas Martin and TNC Director of Conservation Programs Dirk Bryant came to the Monday, April 8, meeting of the Indian Lake Town Board, primarily to announce the sale.
Northern Frontier Camp, which has owned 38 acres in the center of TNC's 2,940-acre OK Slip Falls / Blue Ledge tract since 1993, purchased 130 adjoining acres for $452,000. The remainder of the surrounding property, 2,800 acres will be transferred to NYS.
That may take place fairly soon, according to Martin, who said, "We hope to close on the OK Slip Falls / Blue Ledge tract and the Indian River tract this summer."
Martin also expressed hope for a trail to the falls for public use by mid-summer.
One hundred acres of the camp's newly acquired property, including all of OK Slip Pond, are protected by a conservation easement held by TNC. The easement does not allow public access to the pond.
Northern Frontier retains the right to access its land via a private right-of-way over TNC's property.
Northern Frontier Camp, which offers summer camp programs for boys ages 8-16 and father/son programs for ages 6 and up, has been in operation since 1946. As part of this transaction, the camp granted a right of first refusal to TNC, which can be exercised in the future if the camp decides to sell the property.
DEC submitted its land classification recommendations for the former Finch, Pruyn lands acquired by TNC to the Adirondack Park Agency, which regulates land use within the Adirondack Park, in January. The plan includes a proposal for recreational use for the larger tracts, including the Essex Chain, Boreas Pond, the MacIntyre Works and others.
Martin suggested the town keep abreast of the situation and make certain it is one of the in-park locations for public hearings on the acquisition.
For more information go to www.dec.ny.gov/. Click on "Lands and Waters," "Open Space" and "Proposal for Public Access and State Land Classification of the Former Finch Lands."
The Town Board will next meet Monday, May 13, starting at 7 p.m. in Town Hall.