Adirondack Scenic Railway responds to New York trail plan: “This Is Not Over”

—Steve Barry photo

Adirondack Scenic Railway responds to New York trail plan: “This Is Not Over”

We write to clarify recent news coverage and provide a balance to the announcement by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) of its new “rail trail” plan to amend the 1996 Remsen-Lake Placid Unit Management Plan, the plan that is the governing document for the transportation corridor.

  • Since December 2018, members of the executive committee of the Board of ARPS have met often with NYS officials to plan all the elements of the upgrade to Tupper Lake first announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo in May 2016.
  • In early November the ASR was informed an announcement by DEC was forthcoming that would support the upgrade and we were asked for a supportive comment to be included in the press release. The comment provided is about the upgrade, not the rail trail. There has been no settlement. Any such reference is not accurate.
  • The railroad was seriously misled.

Media outlets have been provided all the facts of the ASR position during the past five years. The ASR won the case at the Supreme Court and it is NYS agencies that have to comply with their laws. The proposed plan must comply with the September 2017 ruling by Judge Main. The ASR reserves the option to again pursue legal action.

The announcement last week by the DEC and the presentation to the Adirondack Park Agency continues the misguided effort that seeks to deprive the communities of Saranac Lake and Lake Placid of a direct connection to the national rail network. The process is now underway with public hearings. ARPS Board members will attend the hearings to gather information and listen to comments from the public. Written comments will be provided.

We encourage all of our supporters to become informed about this latest plan and to provide written comments no later than December 20, 2019. Details of the presentation by the DEC to the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) last week can be found at https://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/62816.html

Send your comments by USPS to: John Schmid, NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY, 12233-4254

Or by email: adirondackpark@dec.ny.gov

Thank you for your continuing support. This is not over.

—Bill Branson, President Adirondack Railway Preservation Society

This article was posted on: November 25, 2019