Working Landscapes Goal 1: promote development of the agricultural and forestry industries
opportunities The North Country consists of abundant open space, providing significant opportunities to develop its agriculture and forestry industries. An area of significant potential includes the responsible development of its biomass resource. Schools across the region have already made the conversion from fossil fuel based heating systems to biomass (pellets and wood chips) and are realizing substantial savings. The opportunity exists for continued conversions on the institutional level as well as on the residential level. There is potential for the North Country to responsibly develop its biomass resource to not only satisfy increasing local needs, but also as an exportable resource as well. Local jobs can be created to harvest, process, and distribute biomass locally and in adjacent regions. With a call from Cornell Cooperative Extension to increase maple syrup production in New York State, the regionâ€™s abundant sugar maple resource and ideal sugaring climate provide opportunities for new farmers to enter into the syrup market, and for existing seasonally-based entities to diversify their income. Ski centers such as Titus Mountain in Malone and Whiteface Mountain in Wilmington are taking advantage of this opportunity for increased income during their shoulder season.
Demand for local food in the region is strong; however several small-scale farmers report the farmersâ€™ market venues are saturated. Opportunities exist to grow this demand for locally grown and processed products by educating consumers of the value of local food, including building a willingness to pay higher prices for higher quality food, and for expanding into other markets, such as surrounding metropolitan areas. Opportunities also exist for private forest owners to continue forestry practices on their land while preserving open space character through conservation easement relationships with the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Several companies and organizations have engaged in these relationships, including Paul Smithâ€™s College and International Paper. Communities have the opportunity to develop a much needed slaughterhouse which would be compatible with industrially zone land use designations. One such facility is proposed in the hamlet of Ticonderoga. Currently all meat from the region must go to Tri-Town Meat Packing Company in Brasher Falls for USDA certified processing. As local growers pursue value-added options for their produce, there is an increasing need for certified processing kitchens. A small handful of such kitchens exist in the region, however the need far outweighs the supply.
North Country Region Sustainability Plan