Between two of the largest forested areas in New York, the 6 million acre Adirondack Park and the 1.2 million acre Tug Hill region lays the Black River Valley. The Staying Connected Initiative is focused on 163,000 acres in the southern portion of this valley.

Viewed from satellite images, this section of river valley stands out as a natural funnel for wildlife—a largely forested stretch between the Adirondacks and Tug Hill, surrounded by agricultural and residential lands. The Black River, a moderate sized waterway popular with anglers and paddlers, winds through the valley. State routes 12 and 28 are significant state travel corridors crossing the linkage, but remain two-lane roads in places. Boonville, with approximately 2,000 residents, is the largest settlement in this rural landscape. Wide-ranging species like bear and bobcat are currently able to move between the Adirondacks and Tug Hill, and once extirpated species like moose and marten are returning to the area.

Check out this story map for a full picture of our work here: