The family of recently deceased Saratoga civic and philanthropic leader Mary Lou Whitney announced today that the 36,000-acre Whitney Park lands in the center of the Adirondack Park are for sale. John Hendrickson, the husband of Mary Lou Whitney, stated in the Wall Street Journal that his asking price is $180 million. Whitney Park is located in the Town of Long Lake, in Hamilton County.
“Whitney Park has been at the top of the land protection priority list of New York State for the last 50 years. The property was identified by the Temporary Study Commission in the late 1960s, the Commission on the Adirondacks in the Twenty-First Century in 1990, and in the New York State Open Space Plan for the last 25 years. The property includes 22 lakes and ponds, over 100 miles of undeveloped shoreline, and is the missing link to historic Adirondack canoe routes from the 19 century,” said Peter Bauer, Executive Director of Protect the Adirondacks.
“Whitney Park is a gem that defies description in many ways. It’s been the top of every list for the most important tract of private land in the Adirondacks. The intact forests and beauty and sheer number of lakes and ponds set this property apart from all others. The Whitney family were marvelous stewards of the property for more than 100 years. Their commitment to the Adirondacks and environmental protection was clearly demonstrated by the protection of Little Tupper Lake in the 1990s ” said Peter Bauer
In 1997, Mary Lou Whitney and John Hendrickson sold the 15,000-acre tract around Little Tupper Lake to New York State. This deal was constructed by then Governor George Pataki. The Whitney family urged Governor Pataki to name the Little Tupper Lake tract the William C. Whitney Wilderness Area.
“This is a major moment for Governor Andrew Cuomo and Basil Seggos, the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation. The future of the Adirondack Park as a wild and protected landscape is on the line with whether or not Whitney Park is protected or it’s changed in the future,” said Peter Bauer.