Wednesday, July 9, 2014

State To Consider Removing Tracks East Of Tupper Lake

Adirondack Tourist Train (Susan Bibeau)After several years of public debate, the state has decided to consider tearing up the tracks and establishing a bike trail in at least part of a 90-mile rail corridor that cuts through the heart of the Adirondack wilderness.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation and Department of Transportation announced today that they would reopen the management plan for the corridor and look at establishing a recreational trail in the 34 miles between the villages of Tupper Lake and Lake Placid. In addition, the state will examine the possibility of expanding rail service on the rest of the line between Tupper Lake and Old Forge.

“Our goal is to protect our natural resources, while also exploring ways to increase opportunities for people to enjoy outdoor recreation activities in the Adirondacks,” DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said in a news release. “We recognize that the future of the Remsen-to-Lake Placid Travel Corridor is important to local residents, communities, and the regional economy.”

The state owns the 119-mile corridor between Remsen and Lake Placid, but the public debate has been over the best use of the 90 miles north of Old Forge.

Today’s decision is a partial victory for Adirondack Recreational Trail Advocates, a nonprofit organization that has been pushing the state to remove the tracks to create a trail that could be used by bikers, hikers, snowmobilers, and others.

ARTA President Joe Mercurio, a Saranac Lake resident, applauded the state’s decision, saying the local economy “will benefit enormously” from a recreational trail between Tupper Lake and Lake Placid.

Although the state envisions keeping the tracks in place south of Tupper Lake, ARTA believes this section of the corridor eventually will be converted to a recreational trail. “Once public use and enjoyment of the first section is clearly established, the public will overwhelmingly support extending the trail from Tupper Lake to Old Forge,” Mercurio said in a news release.

Adirondack Scenic Railroad (ASR) operates seasonal tourist trains near Old Forge and Lake Placid. Although the Old Forge train is seen as successful, the Lake Placid train often appears half-empty. This year, ASR postponed the start of its Lake Placid excursions, in part because of poor ticket sales in past springs.

Most towns and villages in the rail corridor have called on the state to remove the tracks or at least reopen the management plan. In addition, ARTA says it has received support from 408 businesses that want the corridor converted to a recreational trail. Snowmobilers also are in favor of removing the tracks since the rails make the corridor unusable for much of winter.

In the news release, DEC and DOT say they will explore ways to improve the snowmobile connection between Old Forge and Tupper Lake through the creation of trails in the Forest Preserve and on lands protected by conservation easements.

The debate over the rail corridor has been waged incessantly online and in the pages of the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, which in the past few years has published hundreds of letters, commentaries, and articles on the subject.

ARTA does not object to keeping the train near Old Forge, but it maintains that the region would be better served if the rest of the corridor were converted to a “world-class recreational trail” that boosters predict would attract tens of thousands of visitors throughout the year.

Those who oppose removing the tracks argue that, given dwindling supplies of oil, trains may be needed someday to transport freight and passengers to and from the Adirondacks.

ASR wants to see the tracks rehabilitated along the entire line. It contends that a trail could be built beside the tracks where feasible and where this is not feasible, the corridor could be linked to existing trails and roads.

ARTA counters that rehabilitating the tracks and building new trails would be prohibitively expensive. In contrast, it says selling the rails as scrap would pay for much of the cost of establishing the recreational trail.

Click the link below to the read the DEC-DOT news release.

DEC news release

Photo by Susan Bibeau: tourist train near Saranac Lake.



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Phil Brown is the former Editor of Adirondack Explorer, the regional bimonthly with a focus on outdoor recreation and environmental issues, the same topics he writes about here at Adirondack Almanack. Phil is also an energetic outdoorsman whose job and personal interests often find him hiking, canoeing, rock climbing, trail running, and backcountry skiing. He is the author of Adirondack Paddling: 60 Great Flatwater Adventures, which he co-published with the Adirondack Mountain Club, and the editor of Bob Marshall in the Adirondacks, an anthology of Marshall’s writings.Visit Lost Pond Press for more information.

45 Responses

  1. Tree says:

    First step in the effort to turn the corridor back into wilderness. Anyone who believes that ARTA actually wants a trail there has a surprise coming. Even Mr. Keets has publicly stated that his goal is to return the corridor to forever wild.

  2. Phil Brown says:

    Tree, when did Lee Keet say that? I doubt that is his goal.

  3. common sense says:

    Tupper would be crazy to support anything less than keeping the rail to the south and a trail to the east. They would be a hub for the dacks with that scenario. Any research into UMP language would show any abandonment of the rail to the south would be pressured into a wilderness designation. Review the Adirondack Council’s past goals of creating the “Bob Marshall Wilderness”. I hope Tupper sees this, as I am rooting for them and their economy, and not for ARTA’s overall plan.

  4. Jim McCulley says:

    Tree, can you show me where Mr. Keet publicly stated it was his “goal to turn it into Wilderness”? If you can’t a retraction is fine. This the problem people will say anything to waste taxpayer dollars on a corridor that has been vacant for 50 years.

  5. Woody says:

    If you pull up the rails south of Tupper Lake you get an ATV trail. The ARTA board can say its not so till their blue in the face, but the truth is they have no control over it and are just saying what ever they think people want to hear. “We can put up signs to keep ATVS off the trail.” Good luck with that. Beaver River has lots of ATVS so if you pull up the rails you just create a trail for them.

    I have no use for the RR but Bike riders will have no interest in a 30 mile ride thru the swamps either. They want B&B’s and ice cream shops every 2 miles. None of those at lake Lila last time I checked.

    • trailogre says:

      I agree
      they are not mentioning ATV use now because they won’t get support
      But as soon as it is approved …..oh yes by the way ATVs will be able to use it

      and by allowing ATVs on it …..that will make it an ATV only trail!

      Who is going to want to hike or bike on a trail with ATVs on it

  6. Pullman2tupper says:

    It will be a real dogfight for the proceeds from the removed rail material if this is implemented as is. ARTA needs the funds for the trail, ASR will want to upgrade the line to Beaver River at least.

  7. Smitty says:

    This makes so much sense – and could end up being a big economic boost for Tupper if it becomes a hub for both the scenic railroad from the south and the bike trail to the north. To all you doubters about the rail trail: I’ve seen all this before with the Pine Creek rail trail in Northcentral PA and the dire predictions from the locals that it either wouldn’t get used or it would bring up hordes of unruly flatlanders. Turned out the flatlanders did come but the trail has been nothing but a tremendous boon to the Pine Creek valley and you hear no complaints about it today.

  8. Stu Nichols says:

    I find the comment on needing the railroad to transport goods and passenger as oil supplies dwindle interesting. By 2020 the United States may be the largest oil producer in the world. That coupled with the growth in other forms of energy should make that a non-issue.

  9. Scott W says:

    Tupper Lake wins the Triple Crown.

    They will get tourist trains and an upgraded rail connection to the outside world.

    They get a trail to Lake Placid.

    The ACR goes forward.

    Justice for Tupper Lake.

  10. Pete Nelson says:

    The drumbeat by train supporters that say that rail trail won’t provide much economic benefit, that such projects don’t bring business and money to communities unless they are urban, is factually and demonstrably incorrect.

    The Elroy-Sparta trail, 32 miles through a very rural part of Wisconsin, is one of many good examples. In 1970 you could not have found anyone outside the area who knew what Sparta or Elroy were. There are no major tourist draws in the area, the population is rural and sparse and there are no large urban areas nearby. Sound familiar?

    Then the rail trail went in. Dozens of new businesses sprouted up, from bike shops to coffee shops. A raft of hotels, motels and B and B’s run so brisk a business that they book a year in advance. The annual economic benefit has been measured for this trail: since the 1980’s it has been well over a million dollars per year for these communities. They have been transformed.

    Every recreational biker who does rail trails knows what Sparta and Elroy are now. Do we care? Well, since recreational biking – which is difficult or impossible to do safely in much of the park – is the fastest growing recreational activity in America, worth billions of dollars, I think we do. Tupper Lake, are you paying attention? Saranac Lake, you folks want to fill that new hotel space? Imagine if an Adirondack rail trail was as well known.

    I love the Wisconsin countryside but it ain’t no Adirondacks and it has nowhere near the concentration of population centers within a day’s drive that the Adirondack region does. The Adirondack Rail Trail would eclipse Elroy-Sparta if it were properly promoted to the millions of bicyclists who would be thrilled to ride the premier wilderness bike path in the United States. I’m not making this up: I held meetings with one of the largest bicycle manufacturers in the world who is interested in this project because they see the potential it has. They are a billion dollar corporation, bikes and bike products only, and they generally don’t waste their time.

    What this rail trail needs now is support, not negative bickering, and it needs a promotional plan worthy of the economic shot in the arm it can deliver to Adirondack communities that desperately need it. I’ve repeatedly called it a game changer; it’s nothing less.

    • Woody says:

      “Then the rail trail went in. Dozens of new businesses sprouted up, from bike shops to coffee shops. A raft of hotels, motels and B and B’s run so brisk a business that they book a year in advance. The annual economic benefit has been measured for this trail: since the 1980′s it has been well over a million dollars per year for these communities. They have been transformed.”

      This is probably tru for the Tupper to Placid section of the trail, but absolutely impossible for the section south of Tupper. Except for Beaver River there are no communities to benefit from the trail. Its all state owned wilderness, paper company land and private estates. There is no economy to benefit there, and there will be no economy there. You cant even drive there. Even growth at Beaver river is limited by the lack of road access.

      So the state’s choice of breaking up the RR into 2 sections seems smart.

    • George L. says:

      I count 18 places to stay on the website for the Elroy-Sparta Trail. Name one place to stay south of Tupper.

      So far as I know, the Wisconsin trail does not traverse wilderness.

      Pete, you must know this.

      You are waiting for new businesses to pop up in the wilderness; Dick Beamish (12/6/14) wants to go to music festivals, bookstores, and buy margaritas while riding such a trail.

      Why has this issue deprived grown men of their common sense?

      Millions of bicyclists are waiting to bike in the Adks? Where did you dream this?

      An unnamed billion dollar bicycle company thinks it’s a good idea? Let the company build it.

      It may be a good idea to build such a bike trail, but fanciful and inappropriate comparisons with other areas as unlike the Adirondacks as could be, don’t move the argument forward.

      The opposite of bickering is not fantasizing.

      • Pete Nelson says:

        This kind of misleading and cherry picking nonsense, almost always accompanied by personal derision – “deprived grown men of their common sense,” “Lee Keet this, Dick Beamish that” and so forth – is weak and tiresome. I’m neither Lee Keet nor Dick Beamish but I’m bored to death with it.

        “I count 18 places to stay on the web site for the Elroy-Sparta trail.”

        Exactly. Thanks for making my point. There weren’t 18 places to stay a couple decades ago.

        You deliberately misinterpret and then call into question my statistics. Okay. My claim is that millions of bicyclists recreate on trails and would constitute a potential market for the Adirondacks. That’s a statistical fact. In 2011 Americans spent $81 billion on bicycling gear and trips (Outdoor Industry Association Report, 2012). That’s more than the expenditures for the air travel industry. It far outstrips any other form of recreational exercise and trails only camping in all recreational categories. Would you like to compare that to the figures for rail tourism? I thought not. If an Adirondack Rail Trail got 1/50th of 1% of that business, a miniscule slice, that’d be $1.6 million added to the Adirondack economy. Per year.

        This is what you call fantasizing.

        Speaking of cherry picking and misleading, since the State is floating the idea of a rail trail between Tupper and Placid, not south of Tupper, how about I count places on that section? Leaving out Placid, there are still more than 50 places to stay. In Tupper many of them are struggling. Let’s give them some activity.

        The Elroy-Sparta Trail does not traverse wilderness as we have here. It traverses forests and fields and beautiful scenery. Except for the towns it is undeveloped. Then people get to towns and spend money. That’s the point. Which reminds me, let’s leverage the scenery we have here, which blows Wisconsin away.

        Despite your contextually errant statement, I don’t want any new businesses to sprout up in wilderness. I support wilderness. Bikers will want to enjoy unspoiled vistas and unbroken forests, like any other visitors. No sir, what I want is for businesses to sprout up in Tupper Lake. I even like the occasional Margarita, which could be purchased in Tupper, Saranac or Placid; the mention by you of that has nothing to do with anything at all except to sneer at Dick Beamish. Great work there, a fine contribution to the argument.

        There are good points on the side of rail supporters, (including the general notion that as a superior form of mass transit we ought to support trains). Sadly for this particular argument we’re having here, the economic facts and statistics are not even close to among them. Given that our Adirondack communities need and deserve an economic boost, I find opposition to the rail trail to be irrational.

        Of course, there is more going on here and it’s no secret. The regular, derisive references to greenies and tree huggers by some in the anti rail trail camp lays bare real dispositions. It’s the same old arguments and bad feelings> Every long-time Adker who reads all this recognizes that.

        I could not care less about those old fights. This is an opportunity to give Tupper Lake in particular a path for real growth, for real money, in a way that glorifies, not compromises, our wild, scenic beauty. To think that some of the very people who carp about enviros wanting to close the park stand in opposition to this disappoints me no end. But that’s okay; I’m pretty sure the idea is going to prevail anyhow.

        • George L. says:


          Your definition of nonsense is anyone who points out your silliness. The Adks is not Wisconsin, so why compare it? Just to be heard? It is a comparison not based on reality. The rail study was nonsense. The comparison with Pennsylvania is nonsense. The idea of a bike trail may be good, but the arguments have been unworthy of those who know better.

          The $81 billion bike industry aims at road races and mountain biking. Why not put your energy and vehemence into more road closures and more bike races?

          A rail trail from Tupper to Placid? Fine. At least the State recognized that wishful thinking and inappropriate arguments based on other locales wasn’t enough reason to destroy the whole rail line.

          Pete, your characterizations of opponents as this or that, your personal attacks on those who disagree with your specious comparisons, your conflation of economic success with a bike trail, all reflect an inability to step back from your own preaching long enough to realize that while your goals might be laudable, your idea how to get there is not very convincing.

          Tupper Lake needs manufacturing jobs. Get behind that.

          • Hope says:

            You, George, are delusional. Tupper Lakes days of manufacturing are done. It makes absolutely no sense for any manufacturing facility to be built in a place were the raw materials must be brought in and the finished materials brought out. Logistics 101. So unless we start cutting down all the trees that are left, not on state land, and making wooden bobbins and bowls again, it’s not happening. As of right now our wood is exported to be processed out of the Park. EPA regulations along with other local restrictions will prevent any manufacturing plants to be built within the Park. Your dreams of the glory days of the 50s and 60s of Demars Blvd filled with factories is done. Get a grip and move on. Put all that negative energy into something positive for Tupper instead of blind wishful thinking.

        • James Falcsik says:

          Not everyone agrees that rail-trail conversions are best solution. You can read the published line and paid-for impact studies by the RTC and the trail groups, but nobody holds anyone accountable when the projected numbers just don’t bear any fruit. Look at the link below of commentary on the Badger Trail in Wisconsin:

          Why do trails with urban connections do better? Because local population are the biggest users; but local folks in big numbers do not inject new money for region-wide economic growth.

          Opposition to the rail-trail is largely on two accounts: the railroad has not been abandoned and the full potential has not been realized because of the constraints of the lease arrangement that was cautioned against in the original UMP but never addressed. Second, opinion or not, the numbers game played by trail advocates to win support is being revealed and this alone should cause residents, media, and DOT/DEC folks to find other economic data measures to determine what real economic growth engines look like. Come on down to PA and well go for a ride on the Ghost Town Trial; they named it well; but at least they did not tear up active, usable railroad to do it.

          The NY agencies appear to have set the tone for compromise; sensible trail supporters should be following their lead and working with the railroad to create the best opportunity from both perspectives.

  11. David Kwan says:

    A rail trail bike path makes so much sense, environmentally and economic development wise. Do you really think that metro NYC folk are jonesing to come to the ADK on weekends to ride a steam locomotive, when 5.5 million subway rides are taken daily, not counting LIRR, PATH, PENN, etc.? Riding a vintage train is not a destination driver, except for little boys.

    On the other hand, a bike path would be a destination driver, bring a new kind of biker to the ADK, neither a spandex clad or leather jacketed type. Anything to reduce the din of “po-ta-to, po-ta-to, po-ta-to” all weekend from the HD crowd is a blessing. Families would embrace the bike path in droves. There is no safe place for families with children to ride a meaningful distance in the high peaks region now.

    Finally, the fitness oriented members of the high peaks community would be able to use their bikes to commute without fear of the narrow highways and huge inclines connecting LP-SL-TL.

  12. Lake Champlain says:

    Thank you Pete Nelson and Smitty for offering tangible examples of what positive potential this bike(and let’s not forget snowmobiles) trail has for the area. And compared to the two trails mentioned in Wisconsin and PA, I don’t believe this trail will become the main tourist attraction in this area but will blend in smoothly with a host of things to do in the great Adirondacks. When outdoor-type families plan a vacation, inevitably they compile an activity list of things to do, and with this trail I would dare say there will be few recreational areas in the US that can rival what the ADKs offer.

    I live near Plattsburgh and am going hiking tomorrow; but I’m getting up there in age and take a few days to ‘recover'(going down is sometimes tougher than going up). What a joy it would be to come back the next day and go as far as
    I wanted on a safe, relatively level bike trail. And for families it’s even better. As Pete and others have noted here before, the mountain highways connecting and around LP, SL, and TL are not really conducive to family biking with kids as this trail with no vehicular traffic would be.

    Would it be better to have more of the rail trail converted? Perhaps, but half a loaf is better than none, and the amenities that these 3 communities offer and hopefully(get thinking entrepreneurs) will offer suggest that this 30-mile section will become beneficial to this region in so many ways.

    I hope there are not endless attempts to block this and entangle in it lawsuits etc.; it IS time to move forward and help make this great place an even better place to live, visit, and recreate.

  13. Paul says:

    “Those who oppose removing the tracks argue that, given dwindling supplies of oil, trains may be needed someday to transport freight and passengers to and from the Adirondacks.”

    This is true, but that argument falls on its face. I think that “those who oppose removing the tracks” ALSO argue that a rehabilitated rail line along the entire corridor is the only way that any type of tourist train could be truly viable.

    I hope it works out. Once the rails are gone they are gone.

    The cool section of the trail will be between Saranac Lake and say out to Rollins Pond (especially out around floodwood where you are near the water). I think that most riders would maybe turn around there and head back to Saranac Lake rather than cover the woodsy slog to Tupper Lake. Snowmobiles will ride the whole way for sure. You could have some type of unique triathalon. Maybe ride to Rollins then paddle then run somewhere.

  14. Tom says:

    Let’s be honest here. The driver for the recreation trail is not bikers & hikers. It’s snowmobilers and ATV riders, people whose recreational interests are antithetical to “Forever Wild”. They may spend loads od money, but the cost of pandering to them is destruction of the Park.

    • Curt Austin says:

      ATV’s are seldom if ever permitted to ride on rail trails, for obvious safety reasons and for other reasons, too. Immature ATV riders will try to sneak onto trails, of course, but they won’t get far. I’ve spent many hundreds of hours on rail trails, and have never seen an ATV or any other wayward vehicle. If I did, I’d get out my phone, take photos, and call the authorities. They will be kids that live nearby – you can’t very well pull into a rail trail parking lot and unload an ATV.

      On the theme of being honest, let’s not fear-monger about ATVs, or suggest that there is a conspiracy afoot to desecrate the wilderness.

    • hopefrenette says:

      Snowmobiles and ATVs do not mix. Snowmobilers do not want ATV’s on their trails because of the trail damage they do. ATVs need to have their own designated trails. Not to likely to happen on State Land in The Park. On the other hand bicycles and snowmobiles use the trail at opposite times in season. They are good trail stewards and would be happy to have additional help from other trail user groups. It’s a win for both groups.

      • John Warren says:

        The disputes over snowmobile use of the Warren County Bike Trail would suggest otherwise.

        • Hope says:

          That is because that bike trail is paved with asphalt and the snowmobile tracks damage the asphalt. This trail will not be paved with asphalt. That is what I have been told.

  15. Jim S. says:

    Great news for bicycle riders! Does anyone know if the trail could be used by road bikes? I think most recreational trails won’t accommodate road bikes but if there was one in the Adirondacks it may be an even bigger draw.

    • Curt Austin says:

      A good, well-maintained stone dust trail is rideable on a road bike in favorable conditions (meaning 23mm or 25mm tires). But that level of maintenance means a good grading each spring, and a few more smoothings during the season. It may require repaving after 8-10 years (yes – repaving, it’s put down with a paving machine.) I would not count on all this maintenance being performed in a timely manner, so a hybrid or MTB will be in order.

      I once went through five years of “Trails of the Month” designated by Rails to Trails Conservancy: About 80% were asphalt. Some were stone dust and some were genuinely natural.

      Some feel that stone dust has a more natural appearance, and that asphalt would be inappropriate in a park setting. The guy behind the Pine Creek Trail feels that way. Commissioner Martens feels that way, too, I happen to know from a dirty look he gave me when I suggested asphalt for the Upper Hudson Rail Trail (I was seeking his help when he was at OSI).

      I suspect casual riders would prefer stone dust, to discourage all those annoying Lycra-clad speedsters. That means me, and I must say, I will indeed be discouraged. It’s as if a ski slope decided not to have any black diamond slopes, to discourage fast skiers from coming.

      But really, it might be best to keep quiet on this subject for now! Or advocate for a truly natural surface (MTB required, but no maintenance.) Chances are, a few miles will eventually get paved. Then a few more miles ….

  16. Phil Brown says:

    Jim, my understanding is that ARTA is proposing a stone-dust surface, which should accommodate most, if not all, road bikes.

  17. John D says:

    Why do I get the feeling if Tupper was offered to be the hub of a monorail or maglev system throughout the Park they would jump at it to bring in tourism money?
    The families with kids are not likely biking a round-trip of Lake Placid-Tupper Lake. If anything, Saranac Lake will become the hub for people doing one day to LP, the other to TL. How many people currently coming for the area bike trails are riding the train? I think we’re talking two different audiences.
    And who’s going to being using any of this in any significant numbers outside the summer train/bike season? Gentlemen,start your snowmobile engines…

  18. Hope says:

    We are proposing a packed stone dust surface. It is preferable as an all around surface and is not damaged by snowmobile tracks as asphalt is. It also better for drainage and simpler to repair.

  19. Don Dew Jr says:

    With this announcement Tupper Lake should now aggressively recruit the Trek Bike Company to come to town in the former OWD site. The Regional Economic Development Council process could aid in this becoming a reality. Trek is very strong international company and also very environmentally conscious.

    • George L says:

      Recruiting such a company is a job for Gov. Cuomo – Tupper Lake should publicly ask him!

  20. Peter says:

    I’m glad I don’t live near this corridor. Will there be limits on night riding for snowmobiles? I assume homeowners within a mile of the track are concerned about late night noise and real estate values. That seems to be a general concern for snowmobile trails. My own view is that this is a snowmobile trail that people will occasionally bike on.

  21. Hope says:

    Most of the villages that are on the corridor have restrictions for riding snowmobiles within the village limits. Tupper is building a trail to get them uptown from the railroad so they don’t need to ride in the street or on the pond.

  22. Jim S. says:

    I believe people are underestimating the impact of bikes. I come to the park for hiking, but at home I am mostly a biker. I haven’t taken my bike because the terrain on Adirondack roads is far from even and I am seriously looking forward to the flatter surface of the old rail bed. This will be huge!

    • Matt says:

      I agree Jim. This is probably one of the most important recreation development opportunities the Adirondack Park has ever seen. I don’t think that’s an understatement. Cycling is big business. I hope we don’t miss this opportunity, but I fear we could because rail fanaticism is clearly alive and well, and it appears that certain elements of the (otherwise positive)rail fan community are willing to do just about anything to stop a worthwhile conversion, no matter how much benefit it can provide to the region. As the first comment in this thread proves, they are willing to resort to personal attacks and say absolutely anything, truthful or not, that will cast a shadow of doubt on conversion. It’s unfortunate. I suspect the state is hoping to avoid litigation from either side of this matter, and placed the compromise on the table in hopes of threading the needle here, so to speak. Certainly a scenic rail experience in a nice thing to have, but we must make a fair and honest comparison between that and a conversion to a multi-use path. Regardless of politics or recreational preferences, the communities must come first. I haven’t agreed with everything ARTA has done, but I give them credit for bringing together some vastly differing worldviews to further a good cause, and ultimately add real opportunities for economic development and improved quality of life in our communities. It’s time to move forward with this, and I think the state has offered a reasonable way to do it by converting the corridor from Placid to Tupper.

  23. Doug says:

    It is well known that this publication and this author has consistently been bias towards a trail only use of the corridor. The UMP is being opened, but the debate is far from over. There are still many that believe this should not be an either or choice. Both the railroad and a trail have merit. The solution supported in this article is far too simplistic to have true merit. Yes, it will not be easy or inexpensive to have both, but there are solutions that will work. I am tired of hearing we can afford these options when the state continues to spend money on acquisition of more lands.
    Let’s also stop claiming salvage of the rails will cover much of the costs. It is just no so. Show me the math that includes the work to remove and transport the steel along with the costs associated with disposal of the creosote laden ties. It does not add up.

  24. Doug says:

    Should read – I am tired of hearing we cannot afford these options when the state continues to spend money on acquisition of more lands.

  25. Phil Brown says:

    Doug, the article does not support one solution over another. It reports on a proposal set forth by the state. You might not like the proposal, but that is not the fault of the messenger.

  26. Charlie S says:

    “derisive references to greenies and tree huggers…”

    I hug trees……and greenies are better than meanies!

  27. Charlie S says:

    “This is an opportunity to give Tupper Lake in particular a path for real growth, for real money, in a way that glorifies, not compromises, our wild, scenic beauty.”

    Tupper Lake has recently been given approval to build their resort. If there ever was real growth this is going to be real growth Pete.The corporate state of New York and it’s puppet whores has sided with the APA to sell the land for this project. Granted,Tupper Lake can use a boost,but the size of this project is designed to benefit a few not the many.And how big does Tupper really want to be? Ignorance and desperation will make people bow down to anything.

  28. hope says:

    This just released from Parks and Trails NY

    We could have the same impact here in the Adirondacks with our own Rail Trail. Note the number of people looking for a 50 plus mile experience. Personally I don’t think we should ignore this trend.

  29. hope says:

    that should be not wordpree. Sorry.

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