The state’s acquisition of 69,000 acres of timber lands in the heart of the Adirondacks reopens a perennial debate over the future of New York’s rich wilderness: what “forever wild” really means.
For decades, advocates for hikers, bicyclists, anglers and other low-impact park users have clashed over land-use issues with those who would rather speed through the wilderness on motorized vehicles. An example of such compromise came in a plan put forward last June by the state departments of Environmental Conservation and Transportation regarding the roughly 120-mile stretch of railroad tracks from Remsen, near Utica, north to Lake Placid. The draft plan would remove 34 miles of track connecting Lake Placid, Saranac and Tupper Lake and convert the corridor into a multi-use trail for cycling, hiking and snowmobiling. Local economies, especially in the financially struggling Tupper Lake area, could receive a much-needed boost from the new tourists, just as rail trails elsewhere have invigorated old communities.
Read More: Times Union