State adds Dresden land to forest preserve

A sizable tract of land in Dresden has been given to the state by The Nature Conservancy.

Joe Martens, commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Conservation, announced Tuesday that 156 acres on southern Lake Champlain will be added to the forest preserve.

Known as the Chubbs Dock property, the land features 2,140 feet of undeveloped shoreline and 70 acres of wetland communities that support rare plants and falls within an area that provides critical breeding, staging and migration habitat for thousands of waterfowl species.

“Chubbs Dock conserves excellent wildlife habitat along the narrow headwaters of Lake Champlain,” said Martens, in a release. “The property will be added to the forest preserve and serve as part of a travel corridor for wildlife between the Adirondack and Green Mountains.”

The Nature Conservancy, using funding through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s North American Wetland Conservation Act grant program, purchased the land for $500,000 in the fall of 2009. The property was then donated to the state in May.

“This is a great example of strategic, high leverage conservation work of regional and national importance,” said Michael Carr, executive director of the Conservancy’s Adirondack chapter.

“Not only is New York State keeping intact some of the largest wetlands on Lake Champlain, but doing it in a way that will also secure public access for hunting, fishing, boating, and wildlife-oriented recreation, all of which contribute to the state’s outdoor recreation economy.”

The grant used to make the initial purchase was supported by Washington County, which included a commitment to transfer an adjoining 283-acre tract on Maple Bend Island. Combined, the two transfers add a total of 439 acres to the state preserve.

Officials said the acquisition of Chubb’s dock will provide for new public access in an area where most of the shoreline is otherwise privately owned.

The NAWCA provides matching grant to organizations and individuals who have developed partnerships to carry out wetland conservation projects in North America.

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