APA committee passes rail trail precursor to full board

Same committee advances backcountry ski trail guidance

RAY BROOK — A state Adirondack Park Agency committee approved some high-profile items at Thursday’s meeting, with approval by the full board possible Friday.

The APA’s State Land Committee approved a public comment period for the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s guidance document on backcountry ski trails, and then approved a change to the definition of “travel corridor” in the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan that could result in replacing rails with a trail between Tupper Lake and Lake Placid.

Neither vote is final, as the full APA board has to vote on the issues Friday, but committee approval usually means passage by the full board is likely.

The change to the travel corridor definition means the DEC could issue a unit management plan for the Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor that calls for removing the rails between Tupper Lake and Lake Placid. The DEC, APA and state Department of Transportation lost a court case last year that would have resulted in a rail trail in place of those tracks, but the definition change could alleviate the judge’s legal concerns.

The backcountry ski guidance sets forth the dimensions and guidelines for ski trails on state Forest Preserve lands. Once the public comment period ends, likely on Jan. 31, the APA would incorporate the comments and would expect to hold a final vote at its March meeting.


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