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Court of Appeals: Clearing trees for snowmobile trails unconstitutional

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  • Court of Appeals: Clearing trees for snowmobile trails unconstitutional

    Snowmobile trails planned for the Adirondack Park violate the state constitution’s “forever wild” clause and may only be approved through a constitutional amendment...

    https://www.adirondackexplorer.org/s...constitutional

  • #2
    “This is a great day for the public forever wild Forest Preserve,”
    "Leave the beaten track behind occasionally and dive into the woods. Every time you do you will be certain to find something you have never seen before." - Alexander Graham Bell

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    • #3
      If I understand the dissenting judge's written opinion correctly, this ruling does not address the concerns raised by some folks and organizations about the impact of this case on hiking trail maintenance. The dissenting opinion references this several times. I'm not a lawyer, so maybe I am totally misunderstanding what the dissenting opinion says.

      Comment


      • At-Trail
        At-Trail commented
        Editing a comment
        The Court's decision distinguishes between hiking trails and snowmobile trails. It seems like the Court had hiking trails in mind when it made this distinction; the dissent says that there is no factual or legal distinction between the two and this decision should prevent the creation/maintenance of hiking trails. But the majority of the Court disagreed -- I think if someone wanted to sue to prevent the maintenance of a hiking trail (based on this decision), they would have a tough time in court.

    • #4
      I am really conflicted about this...

      Part of me is kind of sad about this. I was thinking in the long term (like 50 years from now), snow mobiles would be battery powered so they would not be so smelly and loud and offensive. I think that the more people in the woods, the more people that want to protect the woods. And I would bet snowmobilers bring in more money than hikers. The Adirondacks could always use more money.

      Part of me feels that snowmobiles have no business being in a forever wild wilderness. But I could say the same thing about leantos.
      Leave No Trace! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXO1uY0MvmQ
      ThereAndBack http://www.hikesafe.com/

      Comment


      • #5
        So when will we get the "test case"? DEC has halted ALL trail maintenance, parking lot construction, etc., using this pending lawsuit as the excuse. Will there now be action to complete years overdue work? Or will there be a new excuse? ("Covid?" "Climate Change?" "Environmental Justice?" Take your pick...)

        Comment


        • #6
          There goes any hope for more or increased size of parking lots!

          Comment


          • #7
            Opening Brothels at trail heads or in villages would bring in a lot of money into the local economy too. What's the difference?

            The Leanto Rescue (L2R) organization was prevented last summer from clearing even small saplings from potential leanto sites diue to overreach and overreaction while the regulation was being interpreted. Thankfully that severe restriction has been lifted and has not been applied to recent L2R builds.
            Last edited by Nessmuk; 05-04-2021, 05:21 PM.
            "Leave the beaten track behind occasionally and dive into the woods. Every time you do you will be certain to find something you have never seen before." - Alexander Graham Bell

            Comment


            • #8
              Originally posted by Nessmuk View Post
              Opening Brothels at trail heads or in villages would bring in a lot of money into the local economy too.

              Talk about forever wild!

              Sounds like a great name for a brothel "Forever Wild"!!!!
              Leave No Trace! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXO1uY0MvmQ
              ThereAndBack http://www.hikesafe.com/

              Comment


              • #9
                Here is the report in the Times Union: Snowmobile trails planned for the Adirondack Park violate the state constitution’s “forever wild” clause and may only be approved through a constitutional amendment, the state’s highest court has ruled, the Times Union reports.

                Comment


                • #10
                  Hiking boots are vulgar conveyances for the weak. Deep lugs in the sole displace much soil and needlessly increase erosion. Real hikers have the strength and toughness to go barefoot or in thin moccasins. Boots should not be allowed in Wilderness.

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Originally posted by MJK View Post
                    Hiking boots are vulgar conveyances for the weak. Deep lugs in the sole displace much soil and needlessly increase erosion. Real hikers have the strength and toughness to go barefoot or in thin moccasins. Boots should not be allowed in Wilderness.
                    Walking is for the weak! People with correctly developed minds can attain a deeply meditative state and levitate and glide over the trails!
                    Leave No Trace! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXO1uY0MvmQ
                    ThereAndBack http://www.hikesafe.com/

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Like Bunchberry, in post #4, I am also conflicted about this, but for a different reason. Why do (did) the have to make these trails so wide? I know it's for the safety of the riders who like to tear along at 50 MPH, but the Wilderness (or the wilderness) shouldn't be used for motor sports activities. A few years ago, I was skiing on the Jackrabbit trail from Lake Clear to Paul Smiths and met a group coming the opposite way. The trail was almost too narrow for me, yet they seemed to make it through without difficulty, although slowly. I have no problem with that. Let the high speed riders take the ripped-up railroad grade!
                      Mike

                      ADK 46r #8003; 6W
                      2nd round: 16
                      SL6r #596
                      Catskill 3500 21/39; 11W

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                      • #13
                        I think that the unnecessary speedi is the biggest objection of all, apart from necceisty of cutting so many trees. Why is it necessary,forget about 50, to race along at 70mph or much higher as many do though a wilderness area? I don't understand the ones I have witnessed on wide roads on Tug hill where I have skied into my camp. Any sled after the first one to pass creates such a complete blinding snow dust storm, complete with fuel vapors. that it cannot be enjoyable for any but the first to pass in the long ttrain of sleds.
                        "Leave the beaten track behind occasionally and dive into the woods. Every time you do you will be certain to find something you have never seen before." - Alexander Graham Bell

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          There is an often asked question 'Where do your thoughts come from?"

                          This morning I woke up had the following thought "Just like the abortion debate and litigation, I would not be surprised it there was more debate and litigation about the tree cutting in the Adirondacks. Who can say that a half inch thick tree does not deserve a shot at surviving? When is a tree a tree?"

                          This spring my wife has have been having me do a ton of gardening. We planted 3 trees and yesterday I put down a bunch of sod. My son found a little birch tree growing in a garden bed and we are going to try to make a tree out of it. Maybe all this gardening is mixing around with my hiking thoughts and political thoughts spitting out random crazy thoughts. Maybe I am just a weird dude.
                          Leave No Trace! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXO1uY0MvmQ
                          ThereAndBack http://www.hikesafe.com/

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            Am I the only person who is seeing BS hypocrisy in “forever wild” slogan?
                            The only way to keep nature truly wild is to ban people's access.
                            As soon as we start allowing people in and establishing trails, we start damaging nature and this area can't be labelled "wild" anymore.
                            ---------
                            Can't we get a more realistic more common sense definition of a purpose of Adirondack Park?

                            Comment


                            • Bunchberry
                              Bunchberry commented
                              Editing a comment
                              If nobody goes into see if it is wild, how do you know if it is really wild?

                            • Fat Man Hiking
                              Fat Man Hiking commented
                              Editing a comment
                              From the loud music, flashing lights, smell of alcohol and the police being called to break up the party at 3:00am?
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