Ask John Odonnell
NYS recreational/investment timberland along the Little Ausable River, under Forest Tax Law for sale. Stewart Mountain Forest is an extraordinay 1,448-acre north-eastern Adirondack property located in the Ausable River Valley just west of Lake Champlain. This property boasts of diverse recreational and investment opportunities with Stewart Mountain, an 1,161' peak offering majestic views east of the Green Mountains of Vermont and south and west of the High Peaks of New York.
Stewart Mountain Forest has 10 well maintained, cabled access points into the property with hardened gravel roads that will support harvesting equipment for timber operations, as well as snow plowing for winter use. Buck Hill Road, the most western public access road, is gravel and maintained year 'round. Further east, Thomasville Road is paved and maintained year 'round. The Arnold Hill Road is paved but is seasonally maintained west of the intersection with Allen Hill.
All right of use on this parcel transfer to the new owner with exception of mineral rights which were reserved years ago by a previous owner, Republic Steel, who ceased surface iron ore mining operations in the mid 1990's. Electric utilities are unavailable along most of the road frontage except adjacent to Thomasville Road and near the intersection of Silver and Allen Hill Roads.
The forest is dominated by red oak and white pine. Other common and merchantable norther hardwood species thriving here include: sugar and red maple, hemlock, aspen, beech and white oak. The entire acreage of this fully forested tract is managed for timber and wildlife under the New York State Forest Tax Law, Section 480-a Management Plan. 480-a reduces property assessments in exchange for long-term, proper forest management. For further details, see the attached information regarding Real Property Tax Law 480-a or visit the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation's website.
In accordance with the forest management plan a sawtimber harvest was conducted in eligible stands in 2012. This was the last scheduled harvest for the next 15 years. There's normally never a problem selling timber in this region as this area has a robust forest products industry that includes local, regional and Canadian mills that purchase veneer and sawlogs, and pulpwood or whole-tree chips for paper manufacturing and electricity generation. The eventual sale of forest products results in the dividend on the money spent years ago to purchase the property. The added benefit from this harvest was the flush regeneration and surge of growth in the trees that remain. Naturally regenerated hardwoods will attract more deer, bear, turkeys, grouse and a variety of other species that prefer a younger forest.
The small camp on the property is owned by a group of hunters who lease the property for ~$3,200/year. It is an annual agreement that can end given a 30-day notice by either party, unless the big game season is already started, in which case the lease would terminate at the end of the season. Upon termination of the lease, the hunting camp would be removed.
This entirely forested property offers big-woods recreational opportunities for all seasons; big game hunting, including deer and bear, fall and spring turkey, as well as grouse and snowshoe hare. Logging skid trails are ideal for hiking, mountain biking and ATV use as well as winter sports such as snowmobiling, snowshoeing and back country skiing. Log landings, which are important, permanent timber management assets, can be converted into gardens or wildlife food plots between timber harvests.
Water on the property is dominated by the Little Ausable River that generally follows Buck Hill Road in the northwest portion of the property. The Little Ausable is a significant year 'round watercourse and tributary of Lake Champlain which contributes to native trout populations. It is partially dammed by a family of beavers, approximately 700-800 feet upstream from Buck Hill Road, which has created an expanse of wetlands offering prime habitat to species such as great blue heron, waterfowl, and moose with incidental benefits to white tailed deer and bear.
The Stewart Mountain Forest is certainly large enough to satisfy the recreational needs of a large family or group. Several access points allow for the possibility of numerous cabins or camp sites for owners to have their "own space" to enjoy the property without interfering with the space of others. Solar technology developments would be useful here in satisfying modern day needs as the properties southern exposure lends itself to various radiant heating options and off-grid power production.
This is a great area for outdoor enthusiasts any time of the year. The Stewart Mountain Forest is a short drive to the Northway (Interstate-87, exit 34). Head north to Montreal, Canada is roughly 2 hours, northeast to Burlington, VT in approximately 1-1/2 hours or NYC in about 5 hours. Lake Placid, the Whiteface Mountain Ski Center and the high peaks region is just minutes to the west. A short drive to the east brings you to the shores of Lake Champlain. Launch your vessel at the Port Douglas boat launch and enjoy your day fishing for a wide range of freshwater fish including: land-locked Atlantic salmon, rainbow, brown and lake trout, small and largemouth bass, northern pike, walleye, perch and bullhead. Ausable Forks and Keeseville, both just minutes away, are the closest local communities where you'll find provisions, dining, as and other amenities, as well as a friendly face anxious to serve your needs!