APA to tackle zip line, travel corridor amendment

RAY BROOK — After taking the month of April off, the state Adirondack Park Agency board will convene next week and take on a couple of high-profile agenda items.

Starting at 9 a.m. Thursday, May 16, the Regulatory Programs Committee will convene and vote on approval of a permit for zip lines to be installed at the Olympic Regional Development Authority’s ski jumping complex in Lake Placid. The permit under consideration next week is in addition to a previously-issued permit for the project, which is part of a roughly $70 million package of upgrades at ORDA facilities.

The board will then get a presentation on the agency’s review and permitting of telecommunication projects from APA staff.

At 11:15 a.m., the State Land Committee will convene to vote on Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan conformance for two unit management plans.

The first is the Travel Corridor UMP, which was put together by the state departments of Transportation and Environmental Conservation. Made up of two parts, the first part is a generic UMP that details concepts, guidelines and directives for roads within the Adirondack Park. Part II of the UMP will include detailed plans on how certain travel corridors are managed, including the hot-bed issue of the Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor.

In 2016, DOT and DEC proposed a UMP that would remove railroad tracks from the Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake, to be replaced by a multi-use trail. That plan was shot down in court after the Adirondack Rail Preservation Society — which operates seasonal tourist trains under the Adirondack Scenic Railroad name — sued. Since then, the APA has approved a change in definition that could allow the rail trail plan to move forward. DEC officials have told the Enterprise that the UMP for the rail trail should be released this summer.

After the travel corridor vote, the APA will vote on APSLMP conformance for a DEC UMP on the Hammond Pond Wild Forest in the east-central Adirondacks. The UMP includes new trails, parking areas and accessible campsites. Some of the trails are part of the Frontier Town campground and will be on state, county and town lands. Multiple access points and trails to the Schroon River will also be built or improved under the plan.

After lunch on Thursday, the APA’s Park Ecology Committee will get a presentation on the 20th anniversary of the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program, citizen science programs for invasive species and an update on the Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute.

On Friday, the APA meeting begins at 10 a.m. with a presentation on the 30th anniversary of the Summit Steward Program for the APA’s Public Awareness and Communication Committee. The full board will then convene at 11 a.m. for final votes.

To see the full agenda, including UMPs, go to www.apa.ny.gov.

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