No matter what side of the coin you're on when it comes to the state Department of Environmental Conservation's controversial snowmobile trail, read the New York Court of Appeals's decision handed down on Tuesday.
It is so much more than judges saying they are for or against the trail. It is an in-depth history of the Adirondack Park and the laws governing it.
Sometimes it's nice to read a refresher.
Chief Justice Janet DiFiore reminded us that the Adirondack Park was created in 1892, is 6 million acres, and is "(l)arger than several New England states and incorporating more territory than Yosemite, Yellowstone, Glacier, Grand Canyon, and Great Smoky Mountain National Parks combined."
She underlines combined.
What a place we all live in (or near).
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The decision gives the DEC the OK to move forward with a snowmobile connector trail linking Indian Lake and Minerva, despite about a mile of it that runs through a "wild" river area. Adirondack Wild, an environmental organization, contested the trail because it argued a portion called the Chain Lakes Road (South) is protected from motorized vehicle use.
Ultimately, the Court of Appeals has decided with DEC on this one.
The decision discusses how Finch, Pruyn & Co. used to own the land for logging. It references a report with interviews of 19 individuals who are familiar with the land.
Judge Rowan Wilson, in his dissent, delves into the 1873 "Report of the Topographical Survey of the Adirondack Wilderness of New York," when the legislature appointed Verplanck Colvin as superintendent of the survey.
In 52 pages, we see a snap shot of how the Adirondack Park came to be, how people flocked to the area, how laws came into place to protect the area and how we are handling its use and management today.
— Gwendolyn Craig