Adirondack Base Camp header image

Entries Tagged as 'economic development'

Environmental Org Warns ‘Snirt’ ATV Rally Has Grown Too Big

April 11th, 2014 · 1 Comment · Adirondack News

April 12 Event Now Draws 3,600 All-Terrain Vehicles to Tug Hill’s Lewis County Trails & Roads, Leaves Lasting Scar on Landscape & Rivers

Adirondack CouncilLOWVILLE, N.Y. – The Adirondack Park’s largest environmental organization has called on the Lewis County Board of Legislators to reconsider its prediction that an annual all-terrain vehicle (ATV) rally causes no environmental harm.

The Adirondack Council wants Lewis County officials to conduct a full environmental impact study of the annual SNIRT (Snow/Dirt) Rally, which allows ATV riders from across the Northeast to use public highways and the county’s trails to travel between local taverns.

The event causes erosion, excessive noise and disturbances to fish and wildlife, while destroying vegetation, intrudes on quiet neighborhoods and imperils human lives, the Adirondack Council said. Any one of these is reason enough to require a full environmental review under state law, the organization warned.

The SNIRT event drew only a few hundred participants when it began 11 years ago. In recent years, however, more than 3,500 riders have participated. The event’s impact has expanded from Tug Hill into the Adirondack Park, near Brantingham Lake, at the edge of the Independence River Wild Forest.

“We are extremely disappointed that the board of legislators has decided to operate an all-terrain vehicle rally without implementing the necessary changes that would minimize the environmental damage this event has caused in the past,” said Adirondack Council Legislative Director Kevin Chlad in an April 8 letter to the board.

“SNIRT’s rapid and uncontrolled expansion has overwhelmed the capacity of law en forcement, leading to an epidemic of trespassing on both state and private lands. Such lawlessness should be unacceptable to the county’s lawmakers,” Chlad wrote. “Further, we find it troubling that you continue to allow this event on public highways within the Adirondack Park.”

Chlad noted that that operation of ATVs on public highways is illegal, unless roads are properly opened.

“We believe that Lewis County has violated the provisions of section 2405 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law,” which limits the roads that may be opened to ATV traffic to only short distances, and onlywhere they can connect two already-legal ATV-riding areas or trails. Instead, the county opens roads that connect only to other roads.

Chlad said the county appears to be mistakenly relying upon another section of the V&TL (section 2408) to justify its road openings, when that section is merely a set of instructions for how to notify the public of special events.

“The Adirondack Council continues to recommend that a formal State Environmental Quality Review be conducted so that officials may monitor the full extent of damage that the event inflicts, both on the region’s roads and its natural resources,” Chlad advised.

Chlad said the organization strongly disagreed with the county’s finding that the annual event has so little impact on the environment that there is no need for a formal environmental impact study. He reminded county officials that the NY State Environmental Quality Review Act requires a formal environmental review of any proposed event that would cause one of the following to environmental changes:

  • Substantial adverse change in noise levels;
  • Substantial increase in soil erosion;
  • Destruction of large quantities of vegetation;
  • Substantial interference with the movement of fish or wildlife;
  • Impairment of aesthetic resources of community or neighborhood character; or,
  • Creation of a hazard to human health.

Over the past five years, the SNIRT Rally has caused all six of these impacts, Chlad said.

He noted that most of them can be witnessed on Youtube.com videos posted by the event’s participants.

“The Adirondack Council believes that this overdue assessment is a reasonable and necessary step towards improving this event in the future, as it would allow for proper environmental safeguards to be put in place,” he wrote. “We understand and support the county’s desire to boost tourism. However, we strongly believe that state law calls for events such as this to be carefully planned and strictly supervised to prevent the widespread abuses of public and private property that have been left in the wake of every previous SNIRT event.

“A lack of attention to these details encourages a culture of wanton environmental destruction, and at worst, simultaneously promotes drinking and driving with reckless disregard for public and private property and the well-being of other riders,” he noted.

In 2013, dozens of SNIRT participants had to be rescued by local rescue and law enforcement officials when they left the highways that had been opened to them and trespassed into local farm fields, where they were stranded by deep snows. Lewis County still has a significant snowpack as this weekend’s event approaches.

The Adirondack Council is privately funded, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to ensure the ecological integrity and wild character of New York’s six-million-acre Adirondack Park. The Council envisions an Adirondack Park comprised of core wilderness areas, surrounded by working forests and farms, and vibrant rural communities. The Council carries out its mission and vision through research, education, advocacy and legal action. Adirondack Council members live in all 50 United States.

VIDEO:

Recent video of SNIRT Rally: Note that multi-passenger vehicles with roofs are too large to be legally registered as ATVs in NY State. Note also the constant presence of alcohol in these videos, as well as the riders leaving the roads and trails to cross wetlands and farm fields, both of which are supposed to be off-limits to all riders.

ATV RIDE! OVER 3500 BIKES! SNIRT RUN 2012 BARNS CORNERS NY

Snirt Run 2012 (Whiskey Riders)

SNIRT RUN 2013 POLARIS POWER! PLAYING IN THE MUD AND WATER!

2013 Snirt Run

Tags: ·····

DEC Submits Proposal to Amend Jay Mountain Wilderness Unit Management Plan

April 3rd, 2014 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Action to Ensure the UMP is Consistent with Voter-approved Constitutional Amendment That Allows NYCO to Conduct Exploratory Sampling

NYSDEC LogoThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today submitted a proposed amendment to the 2010 Jay Mountain Wilderness Unit Management Plan (UMP) to the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) to ensure the UMP is consistent with the constitutional amendment approved by voters in November 2013 that permits exploratory sampling on the state-owned parcel in the Town of Lewis, Essex County, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens announced.

The constitutional amendment authorizes NYCO Materials, Inc. to conduct sampling on the 200-acre parcel, known as Lot 8, to determine the quantity and quality of wollastonite on the site, which is adjacent to the company’s long-standing mine. The exploratory sampling will also provide information that DEC will use to accurately appraise the value of Lot 8 for a potential land exchange if NYCO decides to expand its mining operations.

“This is an important step in the process to evaluate the site for a potential land exchange between the State and NYCO that would expand public access and recreation opportunities in the Adirondacks, while also supporting the regional economy,” Commissioner Martens said.

The current Jay Mountain Wilderness Area includes Lot 8, which is part of the State Forest Preserve and is governed by Article XIV, Section 1 of the State Constitution (Article XIV). The property is also subject to the provisions of the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan (APSLMP) as outlined in the 2010 Unit Management Plan for the Jay Mountain Wilderness area.

The amendment is intended to:

recognize that a constitutional amendment approved by the voters on November 5, 2013 implicitly repeals APSLMP guidelines for Wilderness that otherwise would prohibit NYCO’s mineral sampling operations within the Jay Mountain Wilderness area;
make the UMP consistent with the constitutional amendment; and
note that detailed terms and conditions governing the mineral sampling operations will be set forth in a Temporary Revocable Permit (TRP) issued by DEC.
If Lot 8 is ultimately conveyed to NYCO, an amendment to the APSLMP’s area description of the Jay Mountain Wilderness Area will recognize that Lot 8 will no longer be contained in the Wilderness Area.

The Constitutional amendment approved by statewide voters revised restrictions related to Lot 8 to allow NYCO to conduct mineral sampling to determine the quantity and quality of wollastonite on approximately 200 acres of Forest Preserve lands. Data and information from this the drilling sampling will be provided to the State so that a land appraisal can be made.

During this first phase to implement the constitutional amendment, Lot 8 will remain part of the State Forest Preserve, subject to Article XIV. However, for the limited purpose of the sampling operations, the amendment suspends Article XIV directives that Forest Preserve lands must be “forever kept as wild forest lands” and that timber situated on the lands will not be “removed, sold or destroyed.” This will allow for the creation of corridors and areas required for transportation of equipment, development of drill pads and the use of mechanized mineral sampling equipment. The second phase, conveyance of Lot 8 to NYCO, will occur after the State has appraised the value of Lot 8.

If NYCO decides not to expand its existing wollastonite mine onto adjacent Lot 8, then the company is required to compensate the State for the disturbance resulting from the mineral sampling operations. NYCO will be required to convey to the state an amount of land no less than the acreage and value of the portions of Lot 8 disturbed by the sampling operations. These parcels, to be added to the Forest Preserve, would be subject to approval by the State Legislature.

If NYCO opts to expand its mine onto Lot 8, the company must convey to the state other lands that are equal to or greater than the acreage and assessed land value of Lot 8, and the total assessed value must be at least $1 million. The lands to be conveyed also would require State Legislature approval.

In addition, when NYCO terminates all mining operations on Lot 8, the company will be required to reclaim the site and convey title to these lands back to the state for inclusion in the Forest Preserve.

Lot 8 was assessed by the New York Natural Heritage Program in July 2013 and inventoried by DEC staff in early 2014. These site visits helped to determine if any significant natural communities or unique forest traits are present and to obtain a general assessment of the existing forest stand relative to surrounding forest areas. The assessment did not identify any unusual or unique resources on the site, especially in the context of surrounding state lands.

Tags: ····

Riding Bikes Will Make You Live Longer

September 11th, 2013 · No Comments · Destination Marketing

Le P’tit Train du Nord Linear Park and here.

A tourist and recreational trail designed along an old railroad between Bois-des-Filion and Mont-Laurier, this 230 km (143 mi) corridor provides a north-south crossing through the magnificent Laurentian region. Summer activities include cycling, hiking, and inline skating; winter activities include snowmobiling between Labelle and Mont-Laurier (93 km/58 mi), and cross-country skiing between Saint-Jérôme and Val-David (40 km/25 mi, classic and ski skating); mechanical maintenance and easy level. All along the trail, railway stations have been renovated and many have been converted into welcoming cafés and rental and repair shops for sports equipment. bonjourquebec.com

And it’s true, cycling can extend your life: Tour de France Cyclists Live Longer

Tags: ···

Public Meetings Slated On Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor

August 28th, 2013 · No Comments · Adirondack News

State DEC and DOT to Host Four Sessions in September
NYSDEC LogoThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) today announced they will hold four public meetings in September about the management of the Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor, a 119-mile rail line in the western Adirondack Mountains.

Information and comments gathered from the public and stakeholder groups will help the commissioners of the two state agencies determine whether to amend the Remsen-Lake Placid Corridor Unit Management Plan. The plan, adopted by DEC and NYSDOT in March 1996, assesses the natural and physical resources along the 100-foot-wide corridor and identifies opportunities for public use. It guides how the corridor is used and managed.

The public meetings are scheduled for the following dates and locations:

  • Monday, September 9, 6-9 p.m. at the Town of Webb Park Avenue Office Building, 183 Park Avenue in Old Forge
  • Tuesday, September 10, 1-4 p.m. at the DEC Region 5 Headquarters, 1115 State Route 86, in Ray Brook
  • Monday, September 16, 1-4 p.m. at the State Office Building, 207 Genesee Street, In Utica
  • Tuesday, September 17, 6-9 p.m.at the Wild Center, 45 Museum Drive, in Tupper Lake

The sessions will include a presentation by the state agencies and informational stations where the public can give state agency staff their comments and ideas verbally or in writing.

All of the meeting facilities are wheelchair accessible. Requests for directions or specific accommodations for any of the meetings may be directed to 518-897-1200 or 315-793-2327.

Written comments also may be submitted by Sept. 25 to NYSTravelCorridor@dot.ny.gov, faxed to 518-457-3183, or mailed to Raymond F. Hessinger, Director, Freight & Passenger Rail Bureau, NYS Department of Transportation, 50 Wolf Road, POD 54, Albany, NY 12232.

The state acquired the Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor in 1975 from the bankrupt Penn Central Railroad. The rail line was constructed in 1892 and was operated by New York Central Railroad and, later, Penn Central Railroad until freight service ended in 1972.

NYSDOT manages the line in keeping with a Travel Corridor Unit Management Plan developed in conjunction with DEC. Approximately 100 miles of the corridor is located within the Adirondack Park. An additional 19 miles is located outside of the Park in the Tug Hill.

Tags: ······

Adirondack Rail Controversy

May 23rd, 2013 · No Comments · Adirondack Life

Rail or Trail or “First-world Problem”?

All the “very cool, passionate, community-minded people” on both sides seem to have ignored a third-option – Rail-biking.

Richard B. did this back in the 90’s – A Ride on the Adirondack Railway.

Rail-bike at Stillwater Reservoir

Rail-bike at Stillwater Reservoir.
Photo courtesy of: R. Bentley

Non-motorized Re-Use. Leave the tracks. Get rid of the train. A healthy, cost-efficient, and non-polluting activity.

Look what they are doing in Koreawww.oceanrailbike.com.

As far as I can tell from my very brief research, Lake Placid, NY to Remsen, NY could be the longest Rail-biking trip in the world. Ride On!

Sweden, Belgium, Austria, UK, and FRANCE!!

Enjoy these Rail-biking videos.

Anyway, don’t do this here – you could get injured or die.
It might be illegal too, you could get arrested.

Tags: ······

Syracuse University Students Present Re-use Proposals For Oval Wood Dish Factory

November 27th, 2012 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Tupper Lake, NY – Since the Oval Wood Dish factory in Tupper Lake closed in 2008, residents of this tight-knit community have often wondered what would become of the 103,000 square foot factory that once employed three generations of village residents. On Wednesday, December 12th at 6pm at The Wild Center, five student teams from Syracuse University will present their ideas. Refreshments will be served.

Syracuse University conducts an annual Industrial Design competition that presents students with a design challenge. In 2012, Syracuse faculty chose to study the former Oval Wood Dish factory site in Tupper Lake for their challenge.

The competition titled “Product, Factory, Community: Creative re-use of the Oval Wood Dish Factory” promotes consideration of regional resources, community development, factory re-use, and sustainable product development.

The industrial and interaction design (IID) program in the College of Visual and Performing Arts’ (VPA) Department of Design runs the 360 Competition. Professor Donald Carr, who led the students through the process, noted, “The goal for the IID 360 competition is to explore ideas for the creative re-use of an idle factory. By leveraging the ‘renewable resources’ of the region, the goal is to create a design proposal that speaks to the needs of a community. Tupper Lake has met the challenges faced by all rural communities in the region with energy and optimism; the community will be an active partner in facilitating redevelopment of the site.” Carr hoped the students would develop ideas for creative products that could be made at OWD or uses for the building that incorporate sustainable wood products.

Both the property owner, Mr. Norman Bobrow, and the community of Tupper Lake have been supportive of the student’s efforts. Members of the Revitalization Committee toured the students on a site visit in September. Syracuse University student ideas will inform a feasibility study of various redevelopment options that will be conducted by the Revitalization Committee this winter, using a Brownfield Opportunity Area grant from the Department of State. Tupper Lake Mayor Paul Maroun stated, “I have met with these students, and I was impressed with the depth of their questions and knowledge of the area. I look forward to their recommendations.”

Syracuse University professor, Philip Stevens, set up an endowment that funds the annual 360 Competition. The winner of the competition will receive the Philip H. Stevens Award, which is named in honor of Stevens ’51, an industrial designer and president of Philip Stevens Associates Ltd. in Skaneateles, who made a generous gift of $100,000 to the program with his wife, Margueritte.

Tags: ···

Great Opportunity !

March 30th, 2012 · No Comments · Adirondack Life

Great Opportunity ! - Choice Timber Lands in the Adirondacks

Tags: ··