RAY BROOK —
“We’ll confer with the appropriate parties at the state level and see what their preference is, and we’ll try to support the state’s position,” he told the Press-Republican.
“Protect has not filed their specifics yet. They’ve only filed an intent to sue. It’s pretty SOP (standard operating procedure) to gain that kind of permission.”
Jacangelo said he traveled through the new Moose River connector trail this past winter.
“When I rode the lower level, and I looked again at Protect’s original statement, I didn’t think I was on the same trail,” he said.
“The connector is too winding and narrow for the large groomers. If a groomer is going to be used on it, it’s going to be the smallest track-groomer available.”
Jim McCulley, president of the Lake Placid Snowmobile Club, asserts this litigation could establish a sticky precedent.
“Just as snowmobile trails are groomed by large track groomers on Forest Preserve land, so are ski trails at Whiteface and Gore (ski resorts). If groomers are removed from snowmobile trails, then they must be removed from state ski areas.”
Planning for connector trails was aimed at preserving backcountry areas by moving wider — and therefore safer — trails to the edge of Wild Forest regions.
“This has been a very thoughtful process over almost 10 years,” Jacangelo said.
“The discussions started in 2002 under Gov. (George) Pataki, working to create a strategy for snowmobile trails in the park that provided not only economic opportunity for local communities but also better environmental protection.
“The primary reason for creating connector trails was to conserve the backcountry. A number of snowmobile trails in Moose River Plains were closed in exchange for the new connector.”
Planning through the years involved multiple state agencies, environmental groups and snowmobile clubs working toward a good deal of compromise, Jacangelo said.