“Use and misuse of the travel corridor through the Adirondacks.” That’s the subject of a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo from Adirondack Recreational Trail Advocates, the nonprofit that’s been working for many years to establish a 90-mile recreational trail through the Adirondack Park from Lake Placid to Old Forge. ARTA achieved partial success when the state announced its grand compromise back in 2015 — 34 miles of the old railroad line would be converted to a year-round recreational trail linking Lake Placid, Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake. The rest of the state-owned “travel corridor” would be devoted to creating the longest tourist train ride in the country.
The Adirondack Park Agency is weaker today than at any time in its 48-year history. That the fault rests with the office of Governor Andrew Cuomo is both unfortunate and surprising: unfortunate because the APA was created to protect the Adirondack Park from damaging use and development but is now falling down on the job; surprising because, at the national level, the Governor has become a leader in combating climate change, the greatest environmental threat to our planet in human history. Yet in a critically important way the Governor has neglected the world-class park in his own backyard. » Continue Reading.
Thanks to Governor Cuomo and his environmental agencies (APA and DEC), the long-awaited Adirondack Rail Trail has overcome legal roadblocks and is back on track.
This means that Tri-Lakes residents and visitors should soon reap multiple benefits from the scenic travel corridor (the publicly owned rail bed) connecting Lake Placid, Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake. » Continue Reading.
As the Adirondack Park Agency once again ponders the fate of the Tri-Lakes rail corridor, the return of a temporary, for-profit rail-bike business is being considered for the stretch of track between Saranac Lake and Lake Clear.
The popularity of these machines gives a hint of the potential benefits that will accrue from a bike path on this state-owned right-of-way once the tracks are removed. This much-discussed Adirondack Rail Trail now awaits a final okay from the APA and perhaps (here we go again!) a final round of hearings on the state’s Unit Management Plan governing use of the rail corridor. » Continue Reading.
How best to protect the private backcountry of the Adirondacks while allowing for suitable development? How can we prevent future monstrosities like the resort project approved for Tupper Lake?
Here’s one way. A bill before the state legislature will help to preserve the biological integrity, wildlife and wildlife corridors, and the wonderful open-space character, of the Adirondack Park. It would require the state’s Adirondack Park Agency (APA) to mandate “conservation design” for future subdivisions over a certain size, starting with an ecological and forest stewardship plan for the entire property. The developer would then concentrate building lots for minimum impact, ensuring that at least 75 percent of the tract remains in contiguous and intact open space. » Continue Reading.
It is easy to get discouraged when our village leaders lead us in the wrong direction, as they have by allowing a grotesquely oversized hotel to take over Lake Flower. But despite their inability to appreciate what makes Saranac Lake unique, they cannot alter an irreversible trend.
The fact is, Saranac Lake probably has more going for it than any other community of similar size anywhere else. On what is this optimistic observation based, you may ask? It’s based on the driving and biking trips my wife and I have taken in recent years through much of rural America. It’s also based on walking around Saranac Lake Village, our home for the past two decades. “Unique” is an overused word, but it clearly applies in this case. » Continue Reading.
There’s no question that the much-debated resort and second-home development around Mount Morris could be a good thing for Tupper Lake—if it’s done right. The proposed Adirondack Club and Resort (ACR) is a 700-unit project spread over more than 6,000 acres. The question is whether this largest development ever to come before the Adirondack Park Agency will be done in a way that respects the natural environment and benefits the local community, and whether it will set a good or bad precedent for other projects, large and small, far into the future. » Continue Reading.