I mentioned in my last post that as a result of these blog posts that Dick Beamish founding publisher of the Adirondack Explorer and founding member of ARTA (Adirondack Recreational Trail Advocates) asked me to lunch to discuss my writings and the rails-trails issue. I’ve known Dick since the mid 1970s and he was my first employer as a winter x-c country skiing guide when he started Adirondack Ski Tours in the winters of 1978-79 and 1979-80.
I have tremendous respect for Dick. He’s been a great advocate for environmental causes and excellent entrepreneur. I also found him to be an excellent person to work for. We had a very cordial lunch and discussed many of the points I made in my blog posts about the rails-trails issue. In particular we discussed those comments I made about ARTA. Unfortunately neither of us had much luck influencing the other. The closest thing we came to agreement on was regarding the Unit Management Plan…at least in theory. I’m not against revisiting the Unit Management Plan process in theory. The original Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan called for UMPs to be updated every five years. So in theory a review of the Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor UMP is long overdue. The reality is a bit different however. I’m not sure but I don’t believe that any of the UMPs have been updated. They were supposed to have been completed over thirty years ago and many have still not been completed. Some haven’t even been started. So with that in mind here is my stand on revisiting the travel corridor UMP. When we complete all the Unit Management Plans we should then start updating the oldest ones first. When the time comes THEN the DEC and APA should do a thorough analysis of the issues surrounding the rails-trails issue.
The fact that we can’t get Unit Management Plans written and implemented is emblematic of one of the biggest issues. Financial resources. Whether we turn the rails to trails, create all the trails I recommend, or implement my “50 in 2” concept we have a money problem. Even if the sunniest projections for turning the rails to trails turn out to be true, and I’m very skeptical that they will be, we still need money to maintain and provide support for continued trail development. I’ll leave that discussion for my final summary entry on this topic.