Saturday, September 26, 2009

Snowmobiles and the Adirondacks

A deadline for public comment is coming up on the debate over snowmobile use in the Adirondacks. It's a classic environment vs. jobs battle.

Public comment sought on snowmobile trail plan

BY STEPHEN WILLIAMS
Gazette Reporter
A proposal now before the Adirondack Park Agency is reviving the debate between
environmentalists and snowmobile riders over plans to build new snowmobile trails on state-owned Adirondack forest lands.

The agency is soliciting public comment on a proposal to declare that the major changes in snowmobile trail policy it approved in 2006 are consistent with the state’s Adirondack land use master plan, assuming newly proposed guidelines are followed.

The proposal before the agency carries out the plan for maintaining the current cap of 848 miles of snowmobile trails on state land, but moving trails out of the interior of state forest and creating new connector trails between communities. Those trails would generally run as close as practical to roads or other motorized routes.

The park agency will be taking public comment through Sept. 30, and the park agency board could make a decision at its Oct. 8-9 meeting in Ray Brook.

Information on the proposal that is before the park agency is available on its Web site at APA.

Written comments may be directed by Sept. 30 to James Connelly, deputy director for
planning at the Adirondack Park Agency, Box 99, Ray Brook, N.Y. 12977.

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