Access The Adirondacks consists of a diverse group of recreational users supported by local municipal leaders that share one common goal: reasonable access for ALL to the Adirondack forest preserve. This goal is perhaps best outlined in our MOU, available as a PDF file by clicking here or on the menu above. Visit our Facebook page for our latest news and updates.
Access the Adirondacks Alliance
For Immediate Release: 9/12/19
Contact: Roger Dziengeleski
Tree Cutting Court Decision Threatens All Adirondack Recreation
Access the Adirondacks Alliance, a coalition of Conservation, Recreation, Local Government, Businesses and Sportsmen's Groups including the 60,000 member-strong New York State Snowmobile Association is extremely concerned about a recent ruling by the New York State Appellate Court. The court's decision defining all trees, no matter how small as timber has provided a mechanism to successfully bring lawsuits that could potentially end all recreational activity in the Forest Preserve.
The court ruling found that trees, no matter how small, should not be removed to any substantial extent or to any material degree from the forest Preserve. While this case was focused specifically on Snowmobile Trail construction, the decision has prompted DEC to stop most trail maintenance and construction, pending an appeal of this court decision. This DEC decision affects trail construction or maintenance on the Forest Preserve regardless of use, including hiking, biking equestrian and all other trails!
This ruling could set the stage for even more legal challenges and potentially impact a wide range of non-trail uses of the Forest Preserve. It is conceivable a lawsuit could be brought from a group opposed to hunting, on the grounds that thousands of hunters walking through the Forest Preserve results in the substantial and material destruction of seedlings. The combined footfalls of thousands of hunters in a single season could impact more seedlings than those impacted by the snowmobile trail construction halted by the recent Appellate court ruling. While this may seem an extreme example, the recent decision has over-turned decades of standing with respect to tree cutting in the Forest Preserve so anything is possible. A similar argument could be made to ban hiking in most areas just think how that would be received. In the court case it was estimated that 25,000 "trees" would be destroyed, although no formal, independent, scientific survey was ever presented as evidence!
Access the Adirondacks Alliance believes all outdoor open space recreational uses should be allowed in the Forest Preserve, as defined in the State Land Master Plan. Three million acres is enough to accommodate all uses without impacting the forest ecosystem. The taxpayers of the State of New York paid to purchase these lands with the promise they would be open for public recreation and enjoyment.
The recent snowmobile trail lawsuit and the subsequent ruling has much more to do with control, than reflecting a true concern for the ecosystem or trees. At the end of the day, all recreational uses have an impact, but none of those uses are large enough to negatively impact 3,000,000 acres of Forest Preserve, Substantially or Materially. The members of the Access the Adirondacks Alliance support the NYS DEC appeal and feel a positive ruling in their favor, will help preserve the public's right to utilize the forest Preserve, not just a few special interest groups.
There are 45 diverse groups currently supporting the Access the Adirondacks Alliance they are listed below.
Access the Adirondacks Alliance (AtAA) was formed to advocate and support reasonable access to the Forest Preserve by people of all ages and abilities. We invite you to help our efforts by joining the Alliance and by contacting Governor Cuomo and your elected legislators to let them know you support equal and reasonable access to all lands owned by the people of New York State. You can learn more at our website www.AccessAdk.com or follow and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/accessadk.
Town of Indian Lake
Town of Newcomb
Town of North Hudson
NYS Conservation Council
Adk. Park Local Government Review Board
NYS Fish & Wildlife Management Board
Indian Lake Chamber of Commerce
NYS Snowmobile Association
Town of Minerva
NYS Conservation Fund Advisory Board
Grafton Trail Riders
Mid-Hudson Valley Fur Harvesters Association
Mohawk Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited
Deerfield Fish & Game Club
New York Crossbow Coalition
St. Lawrence County Snowmobile Association
Albion Fish & Game Club
Oswego County Federation of Sportsmen‘s Club
Town of Long Lake
Town of Morehouse
Warren County EDC
North Country Chamber of Commerce
New York Sportsmen Advisory Council
Northern Adirondack Snowmobile Trail Conditions
Pioneer Fish & Game Club
Rensselaer County Conservation Alliance
New York State Trapper’s Association
Long Lake Fish & Game Club
Indian Lake/Blue Mt. Lake
Fish & Game Club
Oneida County Sportsman’s Federation
Adirondacks Speculator Region
Chamber of Commerce
St. Lawrence County