The town of North Elba plans to retain an Albany Law School professor to appeal a judge’s decision blocking the creation of a 34-mile rail trail between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake.
The Adirondack Daily Enterprise reports that the town, which includes Lake Placid, will engage Michael Hutter to file a friend-of-the-court brief if there is an appeal.
The newspaper says the town board also unanimously passed a resolution in support of appealing the decision by Acting Supreme Court Justice Robert G. Main Jr. The resolution cites the economic and health benefits of a rail trail.
Town Attorney Ron Briggs predicted that Main’s decision, if appealed, will be reversed. He also said Hutter’s legal work would cost the town nothing or a minimal amount.
The Adirondack Railway Preservation Society, based in Utica, had sued to stop the state from tearing up tracks to create a trail for biking, hiking, and snowmobiling along the 34-mile corridor. Main agreed that the state’s plan violated the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan and historic-preservation laws.
The state has not announced whether it will appeal.
Adirondack Recreational Trail Advocates, a booster of the trail, is urging the state to both appeal the decision and take steps to satisfy the judge’s legal objections.