Save Whitney Park: Sign Your Name to a Petition to Governor Kathy Hochul!

For more than 50 years, the 36,000-acre Whitney Park has been the top land protection priority in New York State. The tract is now threatened with development into 10 lots, each 3,200 acres in size. Each lot will get its own private lake.

This land needs to be purchased by the State of New York and added to the public Forest Preserve. The Forest Preserve is the people’s land in New York, open and freely accessible to everybody. Whitney Park should be purchased by the state and added to the Forest Preserve.

We need your help to save Whitney Park and protect and uphold the values of the public Forest Preserve. Please sign onto the petition below.

The 6-million-acre Adirondack Park in northern New York is a land of mountains, deep forests, wild rivers, and beautiful lake and ponds. The Adirondack Park is a mixture of public and private lands. The 2.6-million-acre public Forest Preserve is the heart and soul of the Adirondacks. It’s what makes the Adirondacks a special and an altogether different place from any other part of the eastern U.S.

For years, the State of New York has purchased private lands from willing sellers within the Adirondack Park to add to the public Forest Preserve. Over the past 125 years, the “forever wild” Forest Preserve has grown and expanded through a multi-generational and bipartisan commitment to create a wild Adirondack Park as a place with abundant waters and woods that are accessible and available to everybody so that current and future generations are guaranteed the opportunity to experience wild nature. That is the dream of the Forest Preserve.

It’s critical for the future of the Adirondack Park that Whitney Park is protected and added to the public Forest Preserve. New York Governor Kathy Hochul needs to hear from people across New York and beyond that we must save Whitney Park by making it part of the Forest Preserve.

Please sign the petition and encourage your friends and family to sign on too. Thank you!


Sign the Petition to Governor Kathy Hochul to Purchase Whitney Park for the Public Forest Preserve



Salmon Lake stands in the foreground, part of the Whitney tract, with Rock Lake and Little Tupper Lake in the background, which are part of the public Forest Preserve in the William C. Whitney Wilderness area. The 36,000-acre Whitney tract could be a paddling paradise for canoes and kayaks. A canoe trail could be easily built from Little Tupper Lake to Salmon Lake.


Whitney Park Could be a Paddling Paradise

Whitney Park could be a paddling paradise for people in canoes and kayaks. Whitney Park has 22 lakes and ponds and over 100 miles of undeveloped shorelines. The property has been well-managed for more than 100 years. The property was part of a holding of more than 100,000 acres in the decades after the Civil War, but sold large tracts to a timber company and to the State of New York in the 20th century. There are two private inholdings totaling over 400 acres with shoreline frontage on Forked Lake and Plumley Pond at the south end of the property.

In the 19th century, the lakes and ponds of the Whitney tract were popular as important links in historic canoe routes that were open to the public for decades. Little Forked Lake, Salmon Lake, Moose Pond, Flat Fish Pond, Slim Pond, and Stony Pond, among others, were parts of popular canoe routes documented and written about by George Washington Sears under the pen name “Nessmuk”. If purchased for the public Forest Preserve, these canoe trails from Little Tupper Lake to Stony Pond and Slim Pond could once again be opened to the public. Additionally, the historic canoe route from Little Tupper Lake to Rock Lake to Little Salmon Lake to Salmon Lake could be recreated and opened to the public more than 100 years after it was closed off.

The Whitney lands are bordered by public Forest Preserve on its northern boundaries. The majority of Whitney lands border public Forest Preserve.

State Purchased 14,700 acres in 1997 from the Whitney Family and Created the William C. Whitney Wilderness Area

In 1997, Governor George Pataki purchased 14,700 acres from Mary Lou Whitney at the north end of the Whitney lands. This tract included Little Tupper Lake, Rock Lake, Hardigan Pond, Little Salmon Lake, Lilypad Pond, Doctors Pond, among others. Governor Pataki combined the Little Tupper Lake tract with the Lake Lila Primitive area to create the William C. Whitney Wilderness Area in honor of the Whitney family. For over 20 years, this Wilderness area has been exceedingly popular for paddling, hiking, camping and fishing. The area has scores of campsites that are widely used throughout the summer.


The William C. Whitney Wilderness Area was created in 1998. This Wilderness area includes Lake Lila and Little Tupper Lake and a half dozen ponds in between. This area is immensely popular for paddling, camping, hiking and fishing.


22 Lake and Ponds with 100 Miles of Undeveloped Shorelines 

The Whitney lands are a sea of small mountains, ridges, and knobs interspersed with lakes, ponds, and wetlands, many of which are connected by large streams and channels. The water resources on the property are immense and include some of the grandest lakes and ponds in the Adirondacks. The pictures below show just a few of the stunning lakes and ponds on the property.


Forked Lake pictured on the right, stretches across the south end of the Whitney tract. There is a public campground on Forked Lake. Plumley Pond, part of the Whitney lands, is pictured on the left. Two private inholdings totaling over 400 acres exist on Forked Lake and Plumley Pond, outside of the Whitney lands.


Stony Pond is pictured on the lower left and Slim Pond is pictured above. Both ponds are entirely on the Whitney lands.


Moose Pond is a beautiful and undeveloped pond in the southeast corner of the Whitney tract. This pond is noted for its islands and complex wetland systems associated with the pond.


Pictured above is Little Forked Lake, which is connected to Forked Lake, pictured in the background, through a navigable channel. The Deerlands camp complex of two dozen buildings stands on the east side of Little Forked Lake.


Salmon Lake, pictured above, is in many ways the crown jewel of the Whitney lands. This lake stands at the north end of the tract and borders the William C. Whitney Wilderness lands, which are part of the public Forest Preserve.


Comments to Governor Cuomo Written by Petition Signers

Here is a sample of the comments written by people who have signed the petition to Governor Cuomo.
“Hello Governor Cuomo. Thank you for your excellent leadership throughout the COVID pandemic. The state, country and world looks to you for effective management and vision for long-term perspective and planning, I ask that this vision for our shared future will include the Adirondack Forest Preserve. Please work to acquire the Whitney Park for future generations of New Yorkers, and the world. The Adirondack Forest Preserve is truly a model of shared environmental resources that hold knowledge, beauty and potential for all. Thank you.” — EK, Hamilton, NY
“Please save this state treasure for future generations.” — MC, Cooperstown, NY
“Governor Cuomo you have to visit the Whitney Park to see how gorgeous and wild it is. My wife and I just spent three days in the Whitney wilderness outback. You’d never believe all that silence and beauty could be found in the lower forty-eight. Adding this piece of the Whitney in holding to the Forest Preserve would be a tremendous asset of incalculable and enduring value. Hope you get a chance to experience the area yourself soon. Thanks you for all the hard work and setting the best example during these covid months.” — RN Bill, Saranac Lake 
“We are not only New York Srong, but we are also New York Smart. It would be absolutely idiotic if we miss this opportunity to significantly enhance the Adirondack Park. Please don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity and do whatever is needed to add the Whitney Property to the Park.” — LS, Avon, NY
“The site is invaluable as a forest resource for outdoor activity and should not be allowed to go into development and limit its use to a select few.” — JM, Long Lake, NY
“The Whitney Estate is a vital piece in assuring the future protection of the Adirondacks. Please do what ever it takes to conserve this land. Thank you.” — PT, Woodhull, NY
“Future generations will laud the purchase of this estate as visionary.” — JR, Ticonderoga, NY
“My family has owned a property on 4th Lake in Old Forge for over 125 years. It is the PUBLIC/private partnership that makes the Adirondack Park the success that it is. Public forest preserve control of Whitney Park is the only way to ensure that it remains protected moving ahead.” — DJ, Berkeley, CA
“As year round residents of the Adirondack Park, we urge you to recognize that the opportunity for NYS to purchase the Whitney lands will permanently preserve and protect these unique wild lands forever.” — MH, Saranac Lake, NY
“Your support to help protect this land from development will mean a lot to me. Thank you.” — JD, Plattsburgh, NY
“Please save Whitney Park from private ownership. It should belong to the people of NY.” — SM, Warrensburg, NY
“Please do whatever you can to buy the Whitney Property. I live in the Park year round, and would love to explore these areas that I have been prohibited from visiting in the past.” — BV, Pottersville, NY
“I moved to the Adirondacks 50 years ago and worked for NYS DEC for over 30 years. During this time there has been steadfast support by people who live in the park and those who visit here TO PROTECT this wilderness area. Past public officials from both political parties have supported protecting land in the Adirondacks for future generations. Please help protect the Adirondack Park by purchasing Whitney Park for the benefit of the people.” — EG, Saranac Lake, NY
“Please protect these lands as part of your legacy.” — JH, Wells, NY
“Please continue to support the Adirondacks, it is a wonderful place to live and visit.” — JS, Long Lake, NY
“The Adirondacks have become even more essential as a place to experience the outdoors during these difficult times of the pandemic. Please make Whitney Park a part of the Forest Preserve so that we all can protect and enjoy its nature for generations to come.” — KW, Queensbury, NY
“The ADK is a phenomenal park, and resource, buying this forest, these lakes, these rivers and streams is the right thing to do, it will add yet another formidable star to your legacy, Governor Cuomo. Thank you in advance.” — FA, Wilmington, NY
“Please add Whitney Park to the Adirondack State Park. This tract of land is too large and too valuable to lose to developers or loggers.” — SB, Saratoga Springs, NY
“This gem of an estate needs to be part of the Forest Preserve.” — MH, Peru, NY
“Please buy the Whitney tract – the Adirondacks need to be preserved for future generations. Thank you.” — CM, Adirondack, NY
“Please save our beautiful wild places for generations to come after we have enjoyed it for so many years. It MUST be preserved. Thank you Governor Cuomo.” — JH, Stuyvesant, NY
“Please allocate more resources to protect the forever wild character of the Park.” — SH, Mayfield, NY
“Preserving the integrity and wilderness of the Adirondack Park is of utmost importance. We won’t get a second chance to save this vast tract from development.” — DB, Valhalla, NY
“Please purchase this property intact and wild for all of our future generations to enjoy and admire. As lover’s of the Adirondack’s, we’ve camped, fished and hiked for many years, this is a fantastic piece of wilderness to add to our existing Adirondack Park. Thank you.” — R&LT, East Greenbush, NY
“Please protect our land.” — JK, Liverpool, NY
“My family has been a proud owner of property in the Adirondacks since 1892. The Park is a treasure that must be protected and expanded by the state in the tradition of Forever Wild. The Whitney property must be included forever.” — TL, Old Forge, NY
“Please protect this pristine wilderness area. Once gone, it is gone forever.” — TL, Walworth, NY
“Whitney Park is a priceless tract that deserves to be in the Forest Preserve.” — JL, Brooklyn, NY