Monday, October 3, 2016

State’s Newest Snowmobile Trail Infested with Invasive Species

Ragweed infested snowmobile trail near Lake Harris This summer Protect the Adirondacks was in near constant legal skirmishes with the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) and Department of Environmental Conservation over tree cutting to build the newest snowmobile trail from Newcomb to Minerva. We stopped the state from tree cutting for most of the summer, and all of September, and we’ll be in court again in October.

This trail requires cutting over 15,000 trees and extensive grading with heavy machinery to widen and flatten a 9-12 foot wide road-like corridor. Our work has kept over 8,500 trees standing tall in the forest. Our argument is, in essence, that the Cuomo Administration is building a network of new roads through the “forever wild” Forest Preserve. The land cleared to build the trail from Newcomb to Minerva is between 13-17 acres. We believe that the total number of trees being cut, the land being cleared, and the vast alteration to the landscape to build these trails violates Article 14, Section 1, the forever wild provision of the State Constitution.

The negative impacts from this kind of road-like trail building are many. At the Newcomb end of the trail we’re seeing one such negative impact in full bloom. The state cut a section of this trail around the parking lot of the Camp Santanoni Historic Area, which connects to an old road heading east and then links up with a mile or so of new trail cut down to the Lake Harris Campground. The new trail cut around the parking lot, through what had been intact forest, now has a major infestation of Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica), a major invasive plant that grows in disturbed areas and roadsides throughout the Adirondacks.

Invasive Japanese knotweed infestation on the new snowmobile trail near Lake Harris (Peter Bauer photo)While we’re grateful that the Cuomo Administration doubled funding for invasive species control and management in this year’s Environmental Protection Fund, we hope that the state will use some of these funds to tackle this infestation of knotweed. Thankfully, there are successful treatment options for knotweed, but they require sustained attention that often takes multiple applications over several years.

The trail to Lake Harris received extensive work with heavy machinery to grade, flatten and build up the trail to make it a drivable 9-12 foot wide corridor, which is even wider at many points. Because the trail surface was so disturbed and torn up during construction, the state planted it with a grass seed mix and now in many places, especially where the canopy was opened, there are long stretches of grassy fields of sun-loving plants running through what had been an intact forest.

Unfortunately, somehow these long grassy stretches have become a breeding ground for Common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia), another invasive plant. It’s flourishing in the grassy fields along this trail above Harris Lake.

How did these infestations occur? Was the machinery used by DEC infested? Were seeds transported on equipment or boots? Were seeds embedded in bridge materials brought from outside the area? Was soil brought in from outside the area? Was the state’s grass seed mix contaminated? Who knows.

What we do know is that highly disturbed areas are susceptible to infestations of invasive species and that road corridors are the primary vectors for invasive species to penetrate to the interior of the Forest Preserve.

Photos by Peter Bauer: Above, a ragweed infested snowmobile trail near Lake Harris; and below, a new snowmobile trail infested with invasive Japanese knotweed. 

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Peter Bauer is the Executive Director of Protect the Adirondacks. He has been working in various capacities on Adirondack Park environmental issues since the mid-1980s, including stints as the Executive Director of the Residents' Committee to Protect the Adirondacks and FUND for Lake George as well as on the staff of the Commission on the Adirondacks in the Twenty-First Century. He was the co-founder of the Adirondack Lake Assessment Program (ALAP) in 1998, which has collected long-term water quality data on more than 75 Adirondack lakes and ponds. He has testified before the State Legislature, successfully advocated to pass legislation and budget items, authored numerous articles, op-eds, and reports such as "20% in 2023: An Assessment of the New York State 30 by 30 Act" (2023), "The Adirondack Park and Rural America: Economic and Population Trends 1970-2010" (2019), "The Myth of Quiet, Motor-free Waters in the Adirondack Park" (2013), and "Rutted and Ruined: ATV Damage on the Adirondack Forest Preserve" (2003) and "Growth in the Adirondack Park: Analysis of Rates and Patterns of Development" (2001). He also worked at Adirondack Life Magazine. He served as Chair of the Town of Lake George Zoning Board of Appeals and has served on numerous advisory boards for management of the Adirondack Park and Forest Preserve. Peter lives in Blue Mountain Lake with his wife, has two grown children out in the world, and enjoys a wide variety of outdoor recreational activities throughout the Adirondacks, and is a member of the Blue Mountain Lake volunteer fire department.Follow Protect the Adirondacks on Facebook and Threads.

64 Responses

  1. Boreasfisher says:

    The unexpected side-effects of ecological intervention….Japanese knotweed evidently produces hollow stems, similar to bamboo, 9 to 13 feet in height. Yeah, that sounds like typical plant life in the ADK forest preserve. Be careful what you wish for.

  2. Larry Roth says:

    You are forgetting the important thing: keeping the snowmobile lobby happy.

  3. Alan Vieters says:

    Another reason why there should not be a road to Boreas!

    • Boreasfisher says:

      Yes, I’ve come around to your way of thinking, aided greatly by reading E O Wilson’s new book “Half Earth”…highly recommended. What makes me an environmental radical in some people’s eyes actually makes me a wide-eyed conservative.

    • Exactly. And Gulf Brook Road may need quite a bit of maintenance to allow two-way traffic and increased use. The current road is rough and narrow.

      Aquatic invasive species are also a concern, especially under the Access the Adirondacks proposal.

      • terry says:

        I would think that Gulf Brook Road was already infested with the same invasives that took over the new snowmobile trails( they should really be called roads not trails, since they are built for vehicles)
        I have not been on the road so don’t have any experience but naybe that road surface gravel that they put down and the fact they rolled it keeps the knotweed down.

        • Mariposa says:

          Knotweed will spread and grow up through blacktop Have traveled the entire length of Gulf Brook and have not seen knotweed–only a couple of old asbestos-cement culverts that need to be removed from the side of the road. However, with more horse traffic, all sorts of weeds will be introduced.

          • terry says:

            Asbestos covered Culverts? asbestos was an insulator against fire and heat. Why would it ever have been used in a culvert to divert water? Crazy if its there and should be removed.
            I have found common weed (Phragmites australis) to come through asphalt but I have found Knotweed to be more soft bodied

            • Richard says:

              Asbestos was used widespread in water proofing, concrete pipe and even the pipes your drinking water still goes through. Yes you interact with asbestos everyday. But don’t worry asbesto is a harmless mineral. Your body on the other hand is the problem.

        • Paul says:

          There is no reason to be planing grass seed mixes in these places. That is ridiculous. In most places like that in the Adirondacks give it a few years and it would be fully re-seeded. On my property I have a road where I put down fabric and then laid 3 inches of crusher run (this is about 8 feet wide). Within a few years it was covered with grass again! I just gave up! The idea that it was too torn up to re-seed is just silly. I think they were just trying to placate people who don’t have even a little patience.

          • Boreas says:


            It would be necessary to do something on slopes to mitigate erosion, but otherwise, you are probably right. I suspect their thought is that with annual/perennial grasses growing sooner, invasives are less likely to take over.

      • SLMPdefender says:

        Why does protect! Want the gulf brook road into Boreas left open for snowmobile use? Their positions on snowmobiling and Boreas run contrary to one another! In fact, it appears that protect’s plan is more intrusive for motorized traffic than BeWildNY!

        • Peter Bauer says:

          “SLMP Defender”

          The BeWildNY position keeps open 6 miles of the Gulf Brook Road for 3-season public motor vehicle use and then seeks to build another 6-8 miles of new class II community connector snowmobile trails that will have to be newly cut and graded through the Forest Preserve either north or south of the Blue Ridge Highway. If you put the trail south of the Blue Ridge Highway then you’ll be cutting it through the northern reaches of the Hoffman Notch Wilderness. By using the Gulf Brook Road, and other existing woods roads west of it, we greatly minimize the amount of tree cutting and disturbance to the Forest Preserve. Remember these class II trails require cutting of 1,000-2,000 trees each mile and extensive grading with heavy machinery. Our proposal sees less than 2/3 mile of newly cut trail through Forest Preserve. The political reality, regardless of the merits, is that the Governor is going to build a new snowmobile trail to North Hudson. While we are fighting these trails in court, it’s also important to find the routes with the least negative impacts.

  4. John Sullivan says:

    Peter, it’s worth noting that, as the statebuilds these new wider “snowmobile” trails, the ATV industry is busy introducing new models of side-by-side four-wheelers, made to order for all-season use of such trails.

    • john says:

      ATV/UTV use is NOT permitted in the ADK.

      • Boreas says:


      • John Warren says:

        Actually, UTV/ATVs are permitted in more than half of the Park.

        • Charlotte P says:

          That is a false statement. ATV’s & UTV’s are not permitted on state land anywhere in the park. Private land is exactly that PRIVATE.

          • John Warren says:

            It’s not a false statement.

            John’s claim was that ATVs/UTVs were not allowed anywhere in the ADK – that is false, as it is entirely legal to operate ATVs/UTVs on more than half of the Adirondack Park.

            It is perfectly legal to operate ATVs/UTVs on private land with permission or otherwise (commonly trails cross unposted areas for example). There are also more than a million acres of Easement Lands, many of which are also open to UTVs/ATVs. Additionally, many places on the Forest Preserve are clearly open to ATVs/UTVs both due to refusal to enforce regulations, and/or access to inholdings.

            So, again, the statement that ATVs/UTVs are not permitted in the ADK is false.

            • Paul says:

              “Permitted” and “operated” are two different things. I know that the Santa Clara Easement lands (all 137 thousand acres or whatever it is) are now closed to all ATV use. So on that huge chunk of private land open to the public ATV use is prohibited.

              • John Warren says:

                137,000 out of about 3 million is not “a huge chunk”.

                • Paul says:

                  Fair enough. A large chunk?

                  How many acres of easement land is open to public ATV use? The folks that manage this land I describe manage other easement tracts I wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t allow public ATV use either. They don’t want to deal with the issues, especially any liability issues.

              • Paul says:

                John, I should correct this – the easement land that I describe is 110,000 acres not 137,000. It accounts for 14% of the 785,000 acres of conservation easement lands that currently exist in the Adirondacks. It is funny on the DEC site they say that these lands are open for public ATV use “where there are roads marked for ATV use”. On all the roads on the easements they are specifically posted with NO ATV use signs. I have actually never seen a sign that says the opposite that ATV use is permitted.

                If you look here you will see that almost all (or maybe actually all) of the conservation easements either prohibit public ATV use specifically or they do not list it as a permitted use.


                Go down to the bottom for a link to all the easements we have in the Adirondacks. There is one easement somewhere that recently opened some roads to public ATV use.

  5. Jim McCulley says:

    The invasive species that does the most damage is the hiker. Your continues whining about snowmobile trails that are nothing but a grass path going through the woods. While the hiking trails are trashing the forest preserve show one thing. You’re not about protecting the forest preserve. You’re about getting donation from dautering old fools that have disdain for the common man. Protecting the forest preserve is secondary.

    • John Warren says:


      Be respectful or I will delete your comments.

      John Warren

    • Peter Bauer says:


      The impacts are far greater than trails that become grassy fields. That’s the best case scenario and it’s a dramatic change from an intact forest. Remember that these new class II community connector trails require cutting down of 1,000-2,000 trees per mile. Foot trails see sporadic tree cutting, something like a dozen a mile of small trees. We’ve seen 300 year old trees cut down in the Moose River Plains for the new trail there. These road-like trails are permanent man-made features in the Forest Preserve. Moreover, they’re being built in places, like around Minerva, that get far less snow than places like Tug Hill and Old Forge and even Lake Placid. These are highly destructive trails being constructed in the Forest Preserve that will provide few meaningful long-term recreational benefits.

      • M.P. Heller says:

        “Foot trails see sporadic tree cutting, something like a dozen a mile of small trees.”

        Complete and utter rubbish. Since clearly you are misinformed, I suggest that you actually walk some newly rerouted trails. The statement that only a dozen or so small trees per mile are cut for foot trails is either intended to mislead or to draw attention away from the truth by using another group as a fall guy/scapegoat. You can’t sue DEC for cutting trees for snowmobile trails and then pretend that they don’t do the same exact thing when cutting foot trails. It makes you look obtuse and makes your organization look ignorant.

        • Boreas says:

          Again, one must define “small trees”.

          Are 300 year old trees being cut for foot trails?? I would hope not!

          • John Warren says:

            Hiking trails are not cut to nine feet wide either.

            • Trailogre says:

              Which Organization was that…………….?

            • M.P. Heller says:

              Straw man.

            • ADKNative says:

              However, snowmobile trails do not erode to over 9’+ taking with them trees, soil, and habitat like hiking trails. What about the increased turbidity to streams and watersheds caused from the erosion of hiking trails?

              It is important to view all impacts (short and long term) of recreation on the environment, not just those that enable the creation of a straw man argument against the ‘other side’.

              • Boreas says:

                Two different issues. We are no longer building poorly designed hiking trails. Even so, most of these 100 year old trails have NOT eroded to 9 feet damaging watersheds. But some on steep slopes and wet areas have. No argument there.

                But two wrongs don’t make a right. We ARE constructing 9+ foot wide high-speed snowmobile roads and intentionally taking trees – some of which are old-growth. We also do not know the long-term effects these trails may have to the corridor they pass through.

                • john says:

                  Go walk the 7th Mountain Lake Trail between Inlet & the Big Moose Plain & tell me it’s a high speed snowmobile road. You have no clue what a snowmobile trail is I guess.

                  • Boreas says:

                    The trails we are talking about here are Class II connector trails currently being built. Speed and safety are what they are all about. I don’t think you have a clue what the argument is about.

                    • john says:

                      The 7th Mountain Lake trail was just built in the last 3 years & it is supposed to be a major connector trail between the Moose Rive Plains & Raquette Lake. IT IS NOT a high speed highway like you make out these trails to be. Why don’t you get off your fat lazy ass & go walk it one weekend.
                      And no speed & safety are not what they are all about!

                    • Boreas says:

                      If it was built to Class II standards, it should be. These are the reasons they started that class of trail. And leave my fat ass out of it. If you can’t make a comment without insulting people and calling them clueless, perhaps you belong in politics.

                      Regardless, 7th Lake Trail has nothing to do with the discussion here.

                • ADKNative says:

                  Boreas, you bring up a good point. While we are building smarter hiking trails, were are also building more ecologically sound snowmobile trails too. As we learn more about the impacts of all types of recreation on the environment we are able to build more ecologically sound trails!

                  You state: “Even so, most of these 100 year old trails have NOT eroded to 9 feet damaging watersheds. But some on steep slopes and wet areas have. No argument there.” Great point. While its not happening everywhere, trail erosion is a big issue, and will continue to be a big issue, throughout the park with increased number of users. Another question to continue the conversation– Can you name any snowmobile trails that have eroded like the ‘few’ hiking trails you discuss due to snowmobile traffic?

                  The old growth argument is a tricky one… There are only a handful of spots in the park with stands of old growth. The Adirondacks were once a logging capital, and much of the land was heavily logged and even cleared.

                  • Ryan Finnigan says:

                    What part of destroying old growth forests is ecologically sound?? If we have such a small amount of old growth remaining, how dare we destroy even one old growth tree in order to perpetuate a fossil fuel burning form of recreation? Strikes me as extremely short sighted and, in fact, ecologically unsound.

                    • ADKNative says:


                      No where in my response did I state, “destroying old growth forests is ecologically sound.” I was simply contesting his argument that snowmobile trail construction is destroying old growth forest when you take into consideration of true ‘old growth’.

                      I often find myself indifferent in the whole snowmobiling / hiking argument. I do both, but find myself doing more hiking simply because of time constraints during the winter. However, that being said, I try to look at the pro / cons on both sides of the argument. Simply creating food for thought here, its these healthy debates that enable the Adirondacks to cater to such a broad range on the recreation opportunity spectrum.

                  • Boreas says:


                    My point wasn’t about existing snowmobile trails and whether or not they are erosion prone. I suspect some are and most aren’t – same as hiking trails. My point was whether we should be cutting any amount of old growth to build new trails of any sort.

                    • ADKNative says:

                      Could you point me to literature where they discuss the state actively cutting old growth? (I am asking out of genuine curiosity, not trying to stir the pot).

                      I have actively been following the snowmobile trail debate, and have yet to read / come across anything that discusses the active removal of old growth trees. I have read about trees being removed that are estimated to be in the 30-50 yr old range, but those are far from being considered ‘old growth’.

                    • Boreas says:

                      I don’t have a DEC document, but I do believe I remember seeing a report from a forester who audited the cutting for the lawsuit. My initial knowledge was from previous AA articles.


                    • ADKNative says:

                      Hi Boreas,

                      The article simply states trees were being cut in old growth habitat, no where does it state (and I personally have yet to see an article) old growth trees were actually cut.

                      The way the article presents the information on tree cutting encourages a slippery slope argument.

                      If old growth trees are in fact being cut, I feel we would be hearing a lot more about it— Those beast are truly special and should be preserved at all costs!

                      I would be interested in reading that report from the forester if you could share it!

                    • Boreas says:


                      I believe it was a link within one of the previous AA articles and that it was an estimate of what would be cut over the length of the trail. This was before the trail was approved. I’ll try to track it down, but Peter Bauer probably has it handy.

                      I don’t know offhand exactly what has and has not been cut to date – just what I read here. But I think part of the purpose of the lawsuit was to avoid any older-growth cutting on the section(s) that are to be routed through those areas.

        • Peter Bauer says:

          Mr. Heller,

          The new Goodnow Mtn Trail had three trees slightly over 3″ DBH and 60 small ones in 1.2 miles. New Coney Mountain Trail had far less. New Moxham Mtn trail had three dozen tree stumps in nearly 3 miles.

          Show me any 200 or 300 year old trees being cut down for hiking trails. You can go now to the new Seventh Lake Mountain Trail in the Moose River Plains and see trees cut that started growing before George Washington was born.

          Many new class II community connector snowmobile trails have more than 1,000 trees cut per mile. Please tell us where the hiking trails are with that level of tree cutting.

          • Peter Bauer says:

            Mr. Heller,

            While you’re forming your list of all those hiking trails where the DEC has cut 1,000 or more trees per mile, please note that they have not listed tree cutting on hiking trails in the Adirondack Forest Preserve in the Environmental Notice Bulletin. DEC is required to list all major management actions in the ENB, and tree cutting on the Forest Preserve is a major action. In my experience they list all such projects for public review. On balance I think the DEC generally does a good job managing the Forest Preserve, despite major differences on the constitutionality of this new road-like community connector snowmobile trail network and recent classification decisions, among other things. I would be very surprised to learn that DEC cut a thousand trees a mile on a hiking trail, or even several hundred trees a mile, that had not been listed for public review in the ENB. Given that no hiking trails have been listed in the ENB in recent years, I do look forward to your list of new foot trails that have seen heavy tree cutting. Cheers.

            • M.P. Heller says:

              Peter, you just head over to Bradley Pond and count the stumps on the way. Head over to Flowed Lands and count the stumps on the post Irene reroute. Check out the reroute around Lake Jimmy and count those stumps.

              There are 3 trails which all originate on the same road that you can see lots of stumps on. How come you didn’t sue over those trees? Are those trees less important than ones cut for snowmobile trails?

              Stop talking us all to death about tree cutting when you are so willing to turn a blind eye when it’s done to accommodate user groups that you don’t choose to persecute.

    • Brian says:

      “the common man” doesn’t ride snow mobiles. Based on my combined household income (including my wife’s income), I cannot afford a snow mobile. I cannot afford the added insurance. I cannot afford the gas. I cannot afford the expense of a trailer. I cannot afford a truck/SUV large enough to haul it. I cannot afford the upkeep. Snow mobiles are not for the common man. They are toys for people w/ disposable income. Conversely, hiking necessitates nothing more than an $80 pair of boots. It is a far more accessible past time to the masses. Maybe that is why so many people hike and so few snow mobile. Only the wealthy can afford it. Stop trying to make this a class warfare argument. You will lose. In reality, the hikers are the common man and the snow mobile owners are the elitists.

      • Trailogre says:

        Hear…..hear. Absolutely

      • Paul says:

        Funny you say stop with the class warfare as you pile it on. I don’t snowmobile but the kind of guys I see doing it around places like St. Regis Falls are about as “common man” as you can get. If you live in the Adirondacks you don’t need all the stuff you are talking about you can just use a cheap sled (that seems to be stored in your front yard all year!).

      • Brian D says:

        This statement is a joke and obviously written by someone that has no idea about snowmobiling. I’m as common as they come..I’m a carpenter! I make a whopping 35 G a year. Elitist ? Sounds like a name for your group… As u seem to have unlimited funds to go against anyone in your hiking paths..

        • John Warren says:

          The AVERAGE price of a new snowmobile is $11,400, which does not include the costs of accessories such as a trailer and truck to haul it. If you are really making $35k a year as a carpenter, you would spend more than a third of your annual income on a new sled alone. Total expenses would be more than half your annual salary.

          The average sled owner owns more than one sled.

          Those are the verifiable facts, and I’m pretty sure I was racing sleds when you were a gleam in your grandpa’s eye.

          • william Deuel,Jr says:

            The guy never said he had a $11,400 dollar sled. Most average people do not. Who are you to question what someone makes for a living ? I doubt a lot of average folks who own snowmobiles spend half their salary on it and i am sure Brian did not as well.

            • John Warren says:

              I didn’t question what he makes for a living, I pointed out that to buy and equip a snowmobile on the salary he said he made was an expensive luxury, beyond the reach of most people – like having an extra car you only use for a month or two each year.

              I don’t know how many people in a given year buy new vs used sleds, but they all started as new and there are plenty of surveys that say that most sled owners actually own two – in other words two extra cars you only drive one or two months a year.

              The point is, people with more money than your average income are mostly the people who own snowmobiles. Not so with almost every other sport, except perhaps power boating and ATVs.

          • M.P. Heller says:

            They have this thing called financing. It’s where you agree to pay over time for an item with interest. The idea that someone making 35k a year wouldn’t or shouldn’t buy an 11k dollar item is just another straw man.

            • Dave says:

              Nobody said they wouldn’t or shouldn’t buy something… they said it was a luxury. That is true whether you pay for it with a briefcase full of cash, or spend even more financing it over time with interest.

              The point remains that a snowmobile is something that people with more money than your average income can typically afford to splurge on, so suggesting that snowmobiling is somehow the sport of the common folk is disingenuous. Especially if you are trying to draw a comparison between it and hiking, which is usually when this is brought up.

              And by the way, if you deem this particular line of discussion a straw man, you should scroll up and see who first inserted it into the conversation. Hint: It was one of the Adirondack’s main snowmobile advocates.

              • Paul says:

                I haven’t dome it since I was a kid, we bought snowmobile for 700 bucks, I remember my father paying our neighbor for it in cash it was the most money I had ever seen, but I digress.

                I still really don’t see this sport as some sport for rich people. It is really a sport that is quite possible for someone making an “average income”. Yes they would probably have to finance if they are getting a new sled. Or save for a while first.

                I forgot, what is the point of this part of the discussion?

                • Dave says:

                  No one said it was a sport for rich people. And no one said it wasn’t possible for someone making an average income. What is it about this topic that makes people read what they want to read, and not what has actually been written?

                  The point of this discussion is that a snowmobile advocate implied that people’s opposition to snowmobile trails is not about protecting the forest preserve, but was more about their disdain for the “common folk.” An absurd and disingenuous and false statement. And as part of refuting that comment it has been – correctly – pointed out that snowmobiling is an expensive sport. Certainly more so than most other recreational activities in the forest preserve that are available to people with less means. So unless your definition of “common folk” is people who can afford to splurge on an expensive toy that they will use a couple of months out of the year… suggesting that snowmobilers are a bunch of “common folk” is a questionable statement, and suggesting that opposition to snowmobile trails shows a disdain for “common folks” is even more so.

                  • M.P. Heller says:

                    While I think that elevated socioeconomic status can offer the opportunity to make a larger range of choices for recreational activities, I don’t see where public lands are supposed to be catering to people based on their income levels. It’s no more appropriate to chastise people who aren’t able to afford backcountry skis or who have to rent snowshoes because they can’t afford to buy a pair than it is to do the same because they CAN afford a snowmobile (or a float plane).

                    Turning recreational choices into a class war centered around personal wealth or income does nothing to advance a meaningful discussion about resource management. What it does is creates divisions between user groups and as a result makes it impossible for these groups to work together.

                    I find it interesting how so many people are willing to paint others in a poor light based on their choice of recreational activities. It’s like racism for outdoorists.

      • Lily says:

        You are right. According to Essex County Real Property data, Mr. McCaulley lives in a house assessed at full market value of $421,000.00. Hardly the “common man”‘s Adirondack lifestyle. I continue to wonder what make McCulley the Adirondacks’ biggest whiner.

  6. Boreas says:

    One of the best ways of protecting the forest preserve is to NOT build snowmobile highways through it. But if it must be done to satisfy snowmobilers and communities hoping to attract them, DEC should at least make sure they are using fast-growing certified invasive-free seed. I would assume they already do. Once ‘native’ species are established, invasives will have a tougher time invading. But these same local communities along with DEC should also be charged with monitoring the trails for invasives and addressing any outbreaks and sources, such as horses and roadway crossings.

    About the rest of your comment – ???

  7. Phil Bobrowski says:

    Maybe they could plant some Kudzu to help with erosion, too!

    Maybe it’s time to start inspecting / cleaning construction equipment like we do motor boats and trailers. Granted, some of these species may have been in place, but unable to grow due to the canopy. But, the coincidence between “where” and “how” is too specific to be ignored.

  8. Charlie S says:

    “What we do know is that highly disturbed areas are susceptible to infestations of invasive species and that road corridors are the primary vectors for invasive species to penetrate to the interior of the Forest Preserve.”

    The State should know this also! That they don’t,or don’t give a hoot,comes as no surprise to me.

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