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Adirondack Council Praises Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor Plan

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Adirondack Council Praises Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor Plan
Compromise to Support Rail and Trail Complies with Park’s State Land Master Plan

For more information:
John F. Sheehan
518-441-1340 (cell)
518-432-1770 (ofc)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, December 17, 2015

LAKE PLACID, NY. – The Adirondack Council today urged the Adirondack Park Agency to approve the final proposed amendment to the Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor plan, which enacts a compromise to invest in this corridor in a way that encourages railroad use in one section of the tracks and trails in another.

“It’s a good compromise, protecting natural resources and is responsive to the economic, cultural, and recreational needs expressed by the broad range of stakeholders engaged throughout the process,” said Adirondack Council Executive Director William C. Janeway.

For more than three decades, the Adirondack Council has been an engaged participant in the public discussion over the future of the travel corridor and appreciates the multitude of issues that were addressed in the drafting of this plan, the letter noted.

The management plan involved countless hours of public discussion and work by several state agencies. The plan was developed by both the NYS Department of Transportation (DOT), which oversees rail roads, and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), which general carries out public land management inside the Adirondack Park.

The final step in the approval process requires the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) to certify that the proposed plan complies with the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan (SLMP).

“The DOT’s proposed alternative complies with the SLMP and is generally consistent with our public list of recommendations concerning the corridor,” Janeway said. “This plan protects the integrity of the travel corridor classification and provides positive outcomes for both the rail and recreational trail proponents, and local communities.”

However, there are still some potential pitfalls the state should guard against, Janeway noted.

“The travel corridor passes through some of the most remote, ecologically rich, and sensitive lands in all of the Adirondacks,” Janeway said. “The wilderness character that this landscape embodies offers a powerful experience to those who overcome the obstacles needed to access its interior … We continue to press that management decisions fully address the specific environmental impacts that any new uses will have on adjoining lands and avoid negative, off-corridor impacts. On Adirondack Forest Preserve natural resource protection is paramount.”

With regard to expanded snowmobile use, Janeway said “the addition of any new alternative trails must meet all aspects of the 2009 Snowmobile Management Guidance document. This includes not creating redundant connector trails that would expand snowmobile use in inappropriate areas.”

“The Adirondack Council applauds Governor Cuomo for the leadership from his team including the DOT, DEC and APA,” said Janeway.

“The state has developed a positive compromise that can provide for a significant investment in this corridor, the environment, and rail corridor communities. Approval and implementation of the plan is good for the Adirondacks.”

Founded in 1975, the Adirondack Council is a privately funded not-for-profit organization whose mission is to ensure the ecological integrity and wild character of the Adirondack Park. The Council envisions a Park comprised of core wilderness areas, surrounded by farms and working forests, as well as vibrant, local communities.

The Council carries out its mission through research, education, advocacy and legal action. Adirondack Council members live in all 50 United States.

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