On September 26, Judge Robert G. Main Jr. overruled the entire 2016 Unit Management Plan (UMP) that would have allowed the construction of a multi-use recreation trail on a 34-mile segment of the Remsen-Lake Placid railroad right-of-way. In doing so, the judge stopped construction of both the recreation trail and the upgraded railroad from Remsen to Tupper Lake, since both state projects are linked and their funding is dependent on the UMP.
The judge based most of his ruling on what a “travel corridor” is in the State Land Master Plan (SLMP). To define a travel corridor, he used the current travel corridors inventoried in the SLMP (“1,220 miles of travel corridors, of which 1,100 are highway, 120 miles make up the Remsen to Lake Placid railroad”) and concluded that since current travel corridors are highways and railroads no other use is anticipated or permitted. But the SLMP defines a travel corridor as including “the Remsen to Lake Placid railroad right-of-way” (emphasis mine). Note that the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) did not say “Remsen to Lake Placid railroad” in its definition, as it did in listing existing travel corridors, it added “right of way”, for a reason.
The Adirondack Railway Preservation Society has asked a judge to prohibit the state from moving forward with a plan to remove 34 miles of railroad tracks between Tupper Lake and Lake Placid.
In a lawsuit filed in State Supreme Court, the nonprofit organization contends that the plan to divide a state-owned railroad corridor into a rail segment and trail segment violates the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan and the state Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation Law.
It names as defendants the Adirondack Park Agency, APA Chairwoman Lani Ulrich, the state Department of Environmental Conservation, and Basil Seggos, the DEC acting commissioner.
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