Adirondack Recreational Trail Advocates has been a strong voice for converting the rail line between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake into a biking, hiking, and snowmobile trail. Last month, however, Acting State Supreme Court Justice Robert G. Main Jr. ruled that the state’s plan for the rail trail violated the law. On Friday morning, ARTA issued the following news release:
Adirondack Recreational Trail Advocates (ARTA) today reaffirmed its support for the compromise
plan approved by the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) and the New York State Departments of
Transportation and Environmental Conservation that called for the creation of an Adirondack Rail
Trail between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake.
The ARTA board, on behalf of the more than 13,000 citizens, 400 businesses, and the seven villages, towns and counties along the corridor who joined in petitioning the State for this important economic growth engine, urges the State to remedy whatever procedural issues have caused the court to invalidate the previously-approved plan for the development of the rail-trail.
We find it inconceivable that the APA erred when approved the 2016 Unit Management Plan. The
1996 Unit Management Plan (UMP) anticipated conversion of some or all of the Remsen-Lake
Placid right of way to recreational uses. The 2016 UMP that did just that. The APA approved both
UMP’s as being consistent with the State Land Use Master Plan (SLMP), a document that it also
drafted. We will be fully supportive if the State chooses to appeal the court decision questioning
that decision and authority.
However, since the major stumbling block to continuing the construction of the Adirondack Rail
Trail is the court’s interpretations of what is a “travel corridor”, we urge the State agencies to clarify
that definition and to reaffirm that poorly or unused rail corridors can be converted to recreational
uses without losing their classification as a travel corridor under the SLMP.
ARTA is urging all of its members, supporters, municipal officials, affected businesses and sister
advocacy groups to join in reaffirming their support for the Adirondack Rail Trail. We will be
calling on our elected officials and on the state agencies involved, as well as on the Governor, to
urge speedy resolution of this temporary setback.