Friday, September 4, 2009

APA Seeks Public Comments On Snowmibile Trails

The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) is now accepting public comments on Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan compliance for proposed guidance on snowmobile trail siting, construction and maintenance on State Lands in the Adirondack Park. The draft document is available from the APA here. The public comment period will end September 30, 2009. The APA State Land Committee will deliberate whether the draft standards and guidelines are consistent with the State Land Master Plan at their monthly meeting on September 10th.

The proposed document will follow-up the October 2006 Snowmobile Plan for the Adirondack Park’s Environmental Impact Statement. According to a press reelease issued by the agency today: “The 2006 Snowmobile Plan established a framework to reconfigure the Adirondack Park State Land snowmobile trail system through the Unit Management Plan process. The goal of this comprehensive plan is to improve safe connections between Park communities and minimize potential adverse environmental impacts. In addition, this plan promotes relocating snowmobile trails from the remote interior to the periphery of Wild Forest classified State Lands.”

The following are highlights of the proposed document provided by the APA:

Shift snowmobile use from the remote interior or Wild Forest areas to the periphery of Wild Forest areas.

Establish ”community connector” or Class II snowmobile trails, to be located in the periphery of Wild Forest areas, with slightly wider than present standards (9ft maximum width; 12 ft width on curves and steep slopes over 15% grade);

Establish “secondary” or Class I snowmobile trails which would provide recreational opportunities other than connecting communities. The Class 1 trails would be maintained at a maximum 8ft cleared trail width at all locations;

Allow grooming of “community connector” trails with small tracked groomers;

Allow grooming of “secondary” trails by snowmobiles with drags only;

Ensure both “community connector” and “secondary” snowmobile trails will retain essential characteristics of foot trails;

Ensure snowmobile route design, construction and maintenance activities will be carried out pursuant to Snowmobile Trail Work Plans developed by DEC staff in consultation with APA staff.

Following the APA State Land Committee meeting on September 10th, the APA will continue to collect public comments for the full APA Board prior to the October 8-9 monthly meeting. Written comments received after September 30, will be provided to Agency members but will not be part of the official record. During the October meeting the Full Agency may render a formal State Land Master Plan determination on the snowmobile standards and guidelines document.

Written comments should be addressed to:

James Connolly, Deputy Director – Planning
Adirondack Park Agency
P.O. Box 99
Ray Brook, NY 12977

Or e-mail: apa_slmp@gw.dec.state.ny.us

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