Press-Republican

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December 18, 2013

Pilot recreation trail in the works

(Continued)

Owners would allow trail signage and warning markers on their land, heavy equipment to be used and simple construction to take place, such as adding water fords, bridges and water-flow and erosion-control devices.

The property owner retains full use of the land and is held blameless for damages, liability and the cost of any claims for property damage, personal injury or death.

IMPACT STATEMENT

At the same time work on the pilot-trail plan is starting, the association is developing a general Environmental Impact Statement since it will be part of the process the State Department of Environmental Conservation will require to open a trail.

As the trial mapping starts, it will take into account any sensitive habitats, wetlands and conservation - preserve lands.

Miller said the Trail Association may need help from the County Legislature to become included in plans being formulated by the Tourism Advisory Committee, which determines how allocated tourism dollars are spent in Franklin County.

And she recently worked with the county’s Industrial Development Agency on a consolidated-funding application for $300,000 through the North Country Regional Economic Development Council for tourism promotion.

ECONOMIC IMPACT

“Even though we don’t have any trails in place here, it will be a tourist destination,” Miller said, adding that the economic impact of ATV users alone was $642 million last year across New York.

Local ATVs owners spend an average of $43 a day on their sport, she said, which could add up to $110,000 a year “just from residents.”

And with visitors coming to use a designated trail, Miller said, “the revenue potential is substantial.”

Email Denise A. Raymo:draymo@pressrepublican.com

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