March 18, 1931 – Press Release – Boundaries of the Adirondack Park

March 18, 1931 – Press Release – boundaries of the Adirondack Park


GUERNSEY T. CROSS – Secretary to the Governor




Senate Bill Int. No. 241

Assembly Reprint No. 1833

Chapter 95, Laws of 1931                                                   March 18, 1931

Governor Roosevelt today signed the bill which extends the Adirondack Park to a total area of 4,604,000 acres, greater even than Yellowstone National Park.

The new “blue line” established by the bill, delimiting the park area, takes in 1,550,000 acres heretofore outside the park line. Of this area 1,201,000 acres are privately owned and 349,000 acres are state-owned. In the park as extended there will be 2,636,000 acres of privately owned land and 1,968,000 of state-owned land.

All of the state-owned land within the park areas is forest preserve land and is forever protected against timber cutting and continually guarded by the State’s forest fire fighting organization.

The new law has an important bearing on the Hewitt amendment to the Constitution which provides for the creation of state production forests. Under the amendment, which must be approved by the voters at next fall’s election, areas of abandoned and unproductive land outside of park lines but within the sixteen counties of the Adirondacks and Catskills designated by law as forest preserve counties may be purchased by the Conservation Department and used for planting forests which in future years will constitute a timber resource of great economic value. Under the present law any new land thus bought within these counties, even though entirely unforested, automatically becomes part of the forest preserve.

The new blue line, Commissioner Henry Morgenthau, Jr., explained today, will bring into the park all of the forest land in the Adirondacks desirable for forest preserve and park purposes and will exempt it forever from being used for timber production purposes.

The blue line law and the amendment sponsored by Senator Hewitt are vital links in Governor Roosevelt’s land and forest conservation policy.

“All the people of the State are to be congratulated on the cooperation of their representatives of both parties in the Legislature in these measures so important to the economic welfare and happiness of future generations,” said the governor today in a memorandum accompanying the announcement of his signature to the “blue line” bill. “We have in the state parks and their forest preserves an asset of immense economic worth and possessing values incalculably great in other directions. The possibilities of the parks as health-building and soul-inspiring recreational fields are just beginning to be appreciated, as we see by the fact that the number of people who use them is multiplying year by year. But not all of us realize also that the permanent forests stand as a guard over our water supply, help us to regulate our climate, protect the purity of the air we breathe and in general make healthful and sane living conditions possible. They also preserve the mountain and lake regions of the Adirondacks and Catskills as a scenic resource which attracts not only our own people but visitors from all states.”