The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation proposed a Community Connector Trail Plan to link Long Lake, Minerva, Newcomb, North Hudson, and Indian Lake after the state acquired 69,000 acres of the Finch Pruyn forest lands in 2012. Last Thursday, it came up for approval at the Adirondack Park Agency’s monthly meeting, and the plan received unanimous approval, WAMC reports.
Because the Community Connector trails will be wider than other trails and will cut through forest preserve lands, many environmentalist groups are opposed to their construction. Peter Bauer, Executive Director of Protect the Adirondacks, was quoted by WAMC as saying “The APA’s action did not take the required hard look at the Wild and Scenic and Recreational Rivers Act specifically for protections for scenic rivers that preclude motorized trails for snowmobiles.”
Dave Gibson from Adirondack Wild Friends of the Forest Preserve told WAMC, “Why in the Adirondacks do we need wider and faster routes? I think the idea is to enjoy and appreciate the Adirondack Park and the Forest Preserve.”
Not everyone is opposed to the trail system, though. Some parties see it as a great opportunity to enhance local economies, especially during the winter. Others are looking forward to the network’s potential to be used for equestrian and mountain biking purposes, as well. WAMC quoted Bill Farber, Chair of the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors, as saying, “It’s critical to keep these communities alive. It’s critical to figure out how we backfill the gaps that they’ve seen in their economy because the Adirondack Park really is a great experiment.”
- WAMC: Adirondack Park Agency Approves DEC Snowmobile Connector Trail Plan