The New York State Forest Preserve was created on May 15, 1885 and then consisted of 681,000 acres of state-owned land in the Adirondack Mountains. The predominate reasons for this enactment was to preserve the remaining forests and watersheds of the Adirondacks. These lands shall be kept “forever wild”- meaning that they shall not be leased, sold, or exchanged or be taken by any corporation, public or private, nor shall the timber thereon be sold, removed, or destroyed. Today, the Adirondack Forest Preserve consists of 2.5 million acres in a twelve-county area, mostly within the 6 million acre Adirondack Park, which is about 40% state-owned land and about 60% privately owned. Its presence stands not only as a testimony to the foresight of those citizens of 1894 who voted to give it protection under the New York State Constitution but also as a natural resource of beauty for citizens and visitors to take delight and solitude in.
For more information regarding the protection of the New York State Forest Preserve lands under the NY State Constitution (the state’s highest level of protection), click here.