Lyme Adirondack Forest Company, Adirondack Park, New York

About Lyme Adirondack Forest Company

The Lyme Timber Company of Hanover, N.H., owns and manages The Lyme Adirondack Forest Company, comprising more than 20 tracts totaling approximately 276,000 acres inside Adirondack Park in northern New York. The Adirondack Park includes more that 6 million acres, with 2.7 million acres owned by the state of New York and more than 3 million acres in private ownership. Lyme Adirondack is the largest private landholder in the Park. The company harvests forest products on a sustainable basis while conserving soil, water, and wildlife resources.

The region is heavily forested with northern hardwoods, spruce, and fir and has many lakes, streams, rivers, and wetlands. The rolling and mountainous terrain provides diverse habitats for beaver, fisher, marten, snowshoe hare, bobcat, moose, deer, bear, and many other mammals, along with numerous birds, reptiles, and amphibians.

Much of the public land in the Adirondack Park is held in a “Forever Wild” state, where no logging can take place, and most of the remainder is managed as wild forest, where almost all logging is prohibited. Private landowners who plan to log in the Park must follow stringent regulations set forth and administered by the Adirondack Park Agency and the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC). Because little heavy cutting takes place, and because wildfires are suppressed, brushy early successional woodland – an important habitat for woodcock and many other wild creatures – is rare in the Adirondacks.

Improving the Land for Woodcock

The Lyme Adirondack Forest holdings were formerly owned by International Paper, a large timber-products company. When Lyme bought the land in 2006, only 76 of the 276,000 acres were in forest size class 1 (trees less than 10 feet tall). Lyme has developed a management plan that will put 5 percent of the acreage in each of the company’s Adirondack tracts back into young forest within the next 10 years.

Photo of American woodcock

Patch cuts and clearcuts are creating new woodcock habitat on Lyme Adirondack lands.

Upland Forestry, a forestry consulting firm in Bristol, Vermont, manages the property for Lyme and has worked with the company to find places where logging will yield size class 1 forest (young, regrowing woodland) in locations where woodcock can use it for mating, brood-rearing, feeding, and roosting. Commercial logging operations include patch clear-cuts up to about 8 acres; uniform clearcuts of varying sizes and as large as 25 acres; and shelterwood removal cuts of 5 to more than 90 acres.

This effort represents a “landscape-scale” project in a region where very little young-forest habitat currently exists. After 10 years, more than 10,000 acres will be in young forest. By late 2010, 2,220 acres had been harvested, with a resulting dense regrowth of trees providing the habitat that woodcock and many other kinds of wildlife need.


The Altamont tract is west of Upper Saranac Lake in Franklin County near the village of Tupper Lake. It contains 8,773 acres. Approximately 44 acres will be treated yearly to reach a goal of 439 acres in timber size class 1 within the next decade. By late 2010, 116 acres had been cut.

Big Moose

This expansive tract in Herkimer County in the western part of Adirondack Park includes 26,084 acres. Around 130 acres will be cut yearly to reach a goal of 1,304 acres of young forest. By late 2010, 215 acres had been cut.

Big Tupper

Big Tupper is in Franklin and St. Lawrence counties. It includes 4,988 acres. Some 25 acres will be cut yearly to reach a goal of 249 acres of young forest. Logging began in this tract in 2010.


This new clearcut on the Big Tupper tract will quickly regrow as dense young forest, providing habitat for woodcock, golden-winged warblers, ruffed grouse, and other wildlife.

Black Brook

Comprising 17,641 acres, the Black Brook tract is the northeastern Adirondacks in Clinton County. About 88 acres will be cut annually to reach a goal of 882 acres of young forest. By late 2010, 51 acres had been cut.


The Colton-Piercefield tract has 16,159 acres and borders the Raquette River in St. Lawrence County. Around 81 acres will be cut annually to reach a 10-year goal of 808 young-forest acres. By the end of 2010, 281 acres had been cut.

Crown Point

The Crown Point tract comprises 21,187 acres, in Essex County in the Champlain Valley in the eastern part of the Park. Around 106 acres will be cut each year to reach a goal of 1,059 acres of young forest. By the end of 2010, 149 acres had been cut.

Five Mile

This parcel, of 18,373 acres, is in St. Lawrence County in the northwestern Adirondacks along the St. Regis River. By early 2010, when the Five Mile tract was sold, 188 acres had been cut.

Iron Ore

The Iron Ore tract is in Essex County in the Champlain Valley near the east-central boundary of Adirondack Park. It contains 23,641 acres, of which 1,182 will be harvested to create timber size class 1 forest. By late 2010, 429 acres had been harvested.


This tract contains 18,997 acres in Franklin County. Around 950 acres are scheduled to be harvested and converted to young forest. By late 2010, 10 acres had been cut.


The Lewis tract, in the Champlain Valley just north of the Iron Ore Tract, comprises 3,281 acres. The goal is to have 164 acres of young forest on this parcel. Around 38 acres had been harvested by the end of 2010.

Perkins Clearing

This tract comprises 14,379 acres in Hamilton County in the central Adirondacks. By late 2010, 130 acres of young forest had been created.


Robinwood consists of 10,333 acres in Hamilton County in the west-central part of the Park south of Lows Lake and north of Lake Lila. Of 517 acres scheduled for conversion to size class 1, 142 had been treated by late 2010. (A portion of this tract has recently been sold.)

South Bay

The South Bay tract includes 6,802 acres in Warren County, in the Champlain Valley on the eastern border of the Park. Some 340 acres will be put into young forest. By late 2010, 26 acres had been harvested.

Speculator Tree Farm

This 25,226-acre tract abuts the Perkins Clearing tract in Hamilton County; it lies along the Kumajamuk River. By late 2010, 102 acres had been cut.


Sperry-Whitney is due east of the Robinwood tract in Hamilton County. Of the 14,061 acres, 192 had been cut by late 2010, when the tract was sold.


This parcel consists of 10,467 acres on the border of Essex and Warren counties on the western shore of Lake George. Around 523 acres will soon become young forest. By late 2010, 187 acres had been cut.


WMI biologist Brian Schofield conducts surveys of singing male woodcock during the spring breeding period. Results show a striking increase in the number of displaying males observed in areas where new habitat has been created.


Biologists Brian Schofield, left, and Dan McAuley band a woodcock captured on Lyme Adirondack lands.

In 2008, on 21 different routes, an average of 2.95 males were heard singing per route. In 2009, on 19 routes, an average of 3.89 males were heard singing per route. In 2010, on 18 routes, an average of 8.06 males were heard singing per route.

Biologists have captured woodcock, fitted them with radio transmitters, and monitored the individual birds to see how they use the habitat areas on Lyme Adirondack lands.

The 11 woodcock followed in 2009 used 22 different habitat types for day and night activities. The most frequently used habitat was stands of alders, and the second most frequently used habitat was forest stands containing 0-6 cords per acre and in a height class of 10 to 30 feet, with varying crown closures and forest types. All such forest stands had been heavily cut in the recent past and typically included a dense regrowth of trees 0.5 to 6 inches in trunk diameter.

The radio-monitored woodcock used more-mature forest stands during the daytime, when the birds normally feed by probing for worms; these older patches of forest were near zones of young forest and typically in riparian areas where soils were moist and rich.

Other Factors

Not all of the scheduled logging on Lyme Adirondack holdings will take place in hardwood areas: some will occur in and near softwood stands along streams. Spruce and other softwood species should reseed these cutover areas and grow in densely.

The spruce grouse is an endangered species in New York, with fragmented populations in several parts of the Adirondacks. Spruce grouse nest on the ground in dense undergrowth beneath spruce, fir, and hemlocks. In general, they prefer early to mid-successional coniferous forests, especially where there is an understory of blueberry and other shrubs, with scattered openings of a few hundred square feet. Lyme Adirondack’s efforts to establish young forest should boost the population of spruce grouse by allowing the birds to expand into regrowing conifer stands.

Photo of willow flycatcher

Another bird that shares young-forest habitat with woodcock is the willow flycatcher. Credit: Dave Menke/USFWS

The New York Comprehensive Wildlife Strategy identifies a number of other birds in the Adirondacks that depend on early successional habitat as “species of greatest conservation need.” These birds, which will benefit from the cutting being done to improve woodcock habitat, include the olive-sided flycatcher, willow flycatcher, golden-winged warbler, bay-breasted warbler, Canada warbler, blue-winged warbler, prairie warbler, black-billed cuckoo, brown thrasher, and whip-poor-will.

Funding and Partners

The Lyme Timber Company, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Northeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Wildlife Management Institute (WMI). (NYDEC is funding the habitat restoration work through a state wildlife grant awarded to WMI, aimed at helping “species of greatest conservation need” in the region, as identified in the New York Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy.)

How to Visit

Most of the Lyme Adirondack lands are leased to private hunting clubs. NYDEC has purchased conservation easements on some of the Lyme lands and have opened these parcels to the general public for recreation, including the Black Brook, Kushaqua, Altamont, Speculator Tree Farm, and Perkins Clearing tracts. See for tract maps and contact information.

To learn more about the Lyme Timber Company, visit