To the editor:
The rail trail issue is again in the news and, as usual, there are pros and cons on both sides. As a proponent of the trail and sustainable business in the Adirondacks, I would like to offer some data:
In 2009, 136,471 snowmobiles registered in New York state, creating more than $1 million in surplus funds. Snowmobilers are trying to retain these funds to further enhance snowmobiling in the state.
Old Forge had sold more than 6,000 trail permits by Dec. 18. One year, Old Forge trail permits funded more than 400,000 dollars to the local ski mountain.
New York (SUNY Potsdam) claims that 1998’s $476.2 million in economic impact grew to $875 million in 2003, with 2010 registrations the greatest number yet.
There are 28 bicycle shops listed as serving the Adirondacks with 5 in the Tri-Lakes alone.
With the local problems with DEC and APA rules governing the maintenance of snowmobile trails, designated travel corridors such as the Adirondack Travel Corridor (the railroad) with their own classifications are absolutely necessary to maintain the corridor system so vital to our economy. Because the corridor is owned by the state, there is no mandate removal of structures such as bridges, so it is the most economical way, to have a major North-East, South-West multi-use trail with the least environmental impact.
Scott S. Thompson