ARTA would back state in appealing ruling

To the editor:

Adirondack Recreational Trail Advocates today [Friday, Oct. 6] reaffirmed its support for the compromise plan approved by the Adirondack Park Agency 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 it approved the 2016 unit management plan. The 1996 UMP anticipated conversion of some or all of the Remsen-Lake Placid right of way to recreational uses. The 2016 UMP did just that. The APA approved both UMPs as being consistent with the State Land Use Master Plan, 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.

Joe Mercurio

President

Adirondack Recreational Trail Advocates

Saranac Lake

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