- Associated Press - Monday, May 22, 2017

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York is adding more than 300 acres to Adirondack Park to settle decades of differences between the state and a group of residents.

Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos signed ceremonial maps Monday to acquire the 296-acre Marion River Carry property that settles a land ownership dispute in an area known as Township 40 near Raquette Lake.

For years, state and private claims regarding 216 parcels in the area overlapped. Residents complained they were denied insurance and loans because they lacked clear titles.

Stakeholders finally agreed the state would give up its claims if the private owners paid money the state could use to buy land elsewhere.

The agreement required votes from two successive state legislatures and one from New York voters because it involved adjustments to the state constitution. Voters approved the claims agreement in 2013.

Additional legislation in 2016 approved the Marion River Carry land to be transferred to the Department of Environmental Conservation. Legislators and landowners said the agreement is the result years of grueling negotiations.

“If we can get this done in the Adirondacks, there is nothing that can’t be accomplished and achieved on our radar in the Adirondacks,” said Glen Falls Assemblyman Dan Stec, a Republican.

Under the legislation’s terms, some landowners chose to donate parcels of the land. The state also acquired two parcels totaling 136 acres that includes a trailhead to West Mountain summit and 3,000 feet of shoreline.

Seggos says the department plans to acquire an additional 1,400 acres throughout Adirondack Park for inclusion in the Forest Preserve.

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