The Forest Preserve has been and will continue to be the best tool we have in the Adirondacks to keep land – and the community of life it supports – in a “forever wild” state. Now is not the time to lose faith, nor to indulge in the conceit that nature is static and can be kept unchanged under a glass bubble. The Follensby Pond Tract needs to be added to the cultural and natural heritage we call the Forest Preserve, and the public needs to be invested in its future.
What made these new lands different from most others, though, was undoubtedly the fact they were already occupied by hundreds of hunting camps. This was not simply opening up vast acreages of forest that had been previously denied to the public-at-large, but driving out the leaseholders who were already there. One can rightly argue that as public lands they will serve more people and provide all sorts of wilderness-based benefits, but I’m sure it still stings for the minority who find themselves at the losing end of the equation.