Management Plan Proposes to Improve Recreational Opportunities in Tri-Lakes Region and Extend Train Service to Tupper Lake
Public Comment on Proposed Amendment Accepted until December 20
The New York State Departments of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Transportation (DOT) today announced the release of a draft Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor Unit Management Plan (UMP) Amendment/Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) that includes unique outdoor recreational opportunities for people of various abilities and a unique means of travel to support tourism in the Adirondacks. DEC and DOT solicited public input on a draft scoping document earlier this year to help develop the draft UMP amendment and SEIS, which will help determine the future use of the Remsen to Lake Placid Travel Corridor.
"The proposal to convert a segment of the Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor to a recreation trail will create a travel corridor connecting the communities of Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, and Tupper Lake by foot, bicycle, skis, and snowmobile," said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. "This travel corridor will ensure visitors to the Adirondacks have easy access to amenities in these communities, as well as the trails, campsites, and waterways connected to the travel corridor."
"The renewal of the Remsen-Lake Placid travel corridor will open the Adirondacks, one of the most spectacular parks in the world, to users of all abilities," State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said. "The proposed infrastructure investments will strengthen connections to the communities along the corridor and allow them to fully optimize regional economic development benefits."
"The Adirondacks provide some of New York State's most glorious vistas," said Office of General Services Commissioner RoAnn Destito. "The Office of General Services is looking forward to partnering with DEC and DOT to help enable more visitors to experience this amazing national treasure."
DEC and DOT recently issued a Final Scope for the proposed Draft UMP Amendment/SEIS after obtaining public comment regarding the future of the corridor. The Draft UMP Amendment/SEIS includes Draft River Area Management Plans for the Main Branch Saranac River, Main Branch Raquette River, Middle Branch Moose River, and North Branch Moose River.
Upon final approval of the Draft UMP Amendment/SEIS, New York State can transfer jurisdiction of the segment of the travel corridor between Tupper Lake and Lake Placid from DOT to DEC and develop a multi-use recreational trail in the DEC-managed segment. The new preferred alternative in the Draft UMP Amendment/SEIS proposes:
- Transfer jurisdiction of the segment of the Travel Corridor between Tupper Lake and Lake Placid from DOT to DEC;
- Development of a multi-use recreational trail in the segment to be managed by DEC; and
- Rehabilitation of the railway between Big Moose and Tupper Lake, which will continue to be managed by DOT.
DEC and DOT are holding three public meetings to outline the proposals in the Draft UMP Amendment/SEIS and receive public comment. The meetings are scheduled as follows:
- Tupper Lake: Dec. 3 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Tupper Lake Middle-High School, 131 Chaney Ave, Tupper Lake, NY 12986
- Lake Placid: Dec. 4 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Lake Placid Conference Center, 2608 Main St., Lake Placid, NY 12946
- Old Forge: Dec. 5 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the View Arts Center, 3256 Rt 28, Old Forge, NY 13420
The Draft UMP Amendment/SEIS can be viewed and downloaded from the DEC website.
The deadline for comments is close of business Dec. 20, 2019. Comments may be provided at any of the public meetings; mailed to John Schmid, NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY, 12233-4254; or e-mailed to adirondackpark
Saranac Lake Mayor Clyde Rabideau said, "The making of a new world class rail trail running through the village and connecting to our neighboring communities will provide a great recreational opportunity and tourist attraction right in the middle of town. Residents and tourists will love it. Its development complements other investments in the community and will help our community to thrive."
"Tupper Lake is excited to be the destination where the train from Utica and Remsen will intersect with the rail trail to Saranac Lake and Lake Placid, utilizing our beautiful depot in downtown Tupper Lake. We anxiously look forward to the project completion and the day we can welcome new visitors to our charming town," said Patricia Littlefield, Supervisor of the Town of Tupper Lake.
Jim McCulley, Lake Placid Snowmobile Club, said, "The Lake Placid Snowmobile Club would like to thank Governor Cuomo and Commissioner Seggos for their ongoing support of the Adirondack Rail Trail. Their support will allow snowmobiling from each of the Tri-Lakes communities an average of eight extra weeks per year. Snowmobiling has a $280 million impact in the Adirondacks and this trail will allow communities to have a reliable trail surface for tourism to add to the regional economy. The year-round trail will quickly become a quintessential trail in the Adirondacks that can be enjoyed no matter the season by residents and visitors. The Governor's vision of a growing diverse economy in the Park will take a major step forward when this project is complete and will show the way forward for the Park's future tourism of long-distance hiking, biking, and snowmobiling on a sustainable trail through the beauty that the Park has to offer."
Dominic Jacangelo, New York State Snowmobile Association (NYSSA), said, "NYSSA is very pleased New York State is now one step closer to building this world class and one-of-a-kind Adirondack rail-trail. We look forward to working with all the stakeholders on this important project and making our official comments to the DEC and DOT."
Joe Mercurio, Adirondack Rail Trail Advocates, said, "The Adirondack Rail Trail Advocates (ARTA) are pleased that the revised Unit Management Plan for the Remsen to Lake Placid Travel Corridor recommends that the portion of the corridor between Tupper Lake and Lake Placid -- 34 miles -- be converted to a recreational trail for walking, bicycling, snowmobiling and cross country skiing. Our organization was formed more than 10 years ago to promote this concept, and we are grateful to Governor Cuomo and the DEC, DOT and APA for making this happen."
"This extraordinary investment assures the ability to extend accessible passenger rail excursion and scenic services, and their related economic development benefits, to Tupper Lake and the northern region of the Adirondacks," said Adirondack Railway Preservation Society President Bill Branson. "The Adirondack Railway Preservation Society and its large body of riders, volunteers, and supporters look forward to continued initiatives supporting the success of the Adirondack Scenic Railroad."