Research

Conservation Commission Recommendations to the Commissioners of the Land Office on Land Purchases for New State Parks

Held by the New York State Archives


Overview of the Records

Repository:

New York State Archives

New York State Education Department

Cultural Education Center

Albany, NY 12230

Summary:
This series consists of resumes summarizing transactions, recommendations, and appraisals of lands for potential purchase for new state parks. Once approved, the State Comptroller could issue bonds or warrants for payment. Records include a memorandum outlining the procedure to acquire new state park land; information on location and ownership of land considered for purchase; purchase cost; description; estimated valuations; recommended purchase price; types of timber on the land; and a procedural statement on the valuation of forest lands and approval date.
Creator:
Title:
Quantity:
0.8 cubic feet (3 unbound volumes) (2 microfilm reels)
Inclusive Dates:
1917-1925
Series Number:
A1346

Arrangement

Numerical by transaction number.

Administrative History

Chapter 569 of the Laws of 1916 provided for issuing $10 million in bonds, upon voter approval, for land acquisition for state parks. Land could be acquired by "purchase, condemnation or by entry and appropriation with submission to the court of claims or supreme court for determination and award of damages for such entry and appropriation". Money was paid for land acquired by contract only upon the warrant and audit of the Comptroller, after submission of vouchers approved by the Conservation Commission and the Commissioners of the Land Office, accompanied by certification of the Attorney General approving title to and conveyance of the land purchased. The Commissioners of the Land Office were responsible for filing written statements of consent with county clerks on any lands taken.

Chapter 146 of the Laws of 1917 carried out the provisions of the earlier law, by making an appropriation of $2.5 million in bonds issued in accordance with that law. The appropriations were to acquire land for state park purposes within the forest preserve counties, relating to lands within or adjacent to the Adirondack and Catskill parks. The law provided that upon receipt of a written statement from the Conservation Commission, approved by the Commissioners of the Land Office, of the amount required, the Comptroller could issue bonds to the amount of the estimate. The approval of the estimate by the Commissioners of the Land Office was to be by resolution and attached to the estimate.

Scope and Content Note

These bound volumes contain resumes summarizing transactions, recommendations, and appraisals of lands for potential purchase for new state parks. These recommendations were made by the Conservation Commission in conjunction with laws of 1916 and 1917, by which land was acquired "for the use of all the people" through the sale of bonds. The recommendations were submitted to the Commissioners of the Land Office by the Conservation Commission, and upon approval of the recommendations or receipt of approved vouchers, the Comptroller could issue bonds or warrants for payment.

A memorandum in the series from Conservation Commissioner George D. Pratt to the Commissioners of the Land Office, dated December 14, 1917, outlines the procedure followed in compliance with these two laws. The recommendations were submitted in numerical order. They consisted of duplicate copies of letters making recommendations for purchase of particular pieces of property, and accompanying maps showing the location of the proposed purchase and its relationship to the general topography and state land in the vicinity. None of these maps is included in the series, and all of the records in the series are carbon copies. White copies are resumes of transactions and recommendations. Pink copies are reports of appraisers and foresters used to estimate land value. Documents of both types are identically numbered for transactions for the same land. Often a handwritten notation of approval of the appropriation, with date, appears on the white copies.

The series contains 510 short accounts of transactions. The resumes contain information on: location and present ownership of the land in question; costs to purchase; description of the land; estimated valuations; recommended purchase price; and types of timber located on the land.

Also included in the series are the following unnumbered materials: a memorandum on a court damage award on a claim filed by the Taggart Paper Company; correspondence regarding appointments made by the Conservation Commissioner to the position of Appraiser of Forest Lands; a procedural statement on the valuation of forest lands; and a memorandum on a private land purchase by the Oval Wood Dish Comany.

Use of Records

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions regarding access to or use of this material.

Alternate Formats Available

Microform is available at the New York State Archives through interlibrary loan.

Related Information

Related Materials

Series A3236 Forest Preserve Land Purchase Proposal Files, includes proposals submitted by the Conservation Department, successor agency to the Conservation Commission.

Other finding aids

An original index to transactions 1 through 406 appears in Box 1, Folder 1. An augmented list of all 510 transactions was created by Archives staff at time of description.

Folder and microfilm roll lists are available at the repository.

Access Terms

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