PROTECT files formal papers in lawsuit challenging APA and DEC management of road-like snowmobile trails on the Forest Preserve

April 22, 2013

Last week, Protect the Adirondacks’s attorneys at Caffry and Flower filed the formal papers for the lawsuit challenging the state’s management of class II community connector snowmobile trails in the Forest Preserve. The case has been filed in Supreme Court, Albany County. At present, the state must serve its answer by May 20th, and the return date is June 28th. The schedule is subject to change. These papers include the:

Complaint and Petition
Notice of Petition
Summons

On March 28, 2013, the Appellate Division, Third Department, granted PROTECT’s motion for consent to maintain its suit pursuant to Article 14 of the State Constitution, which seeks to establish that community connector snowmobile trails administered by the NYS Adirondack Park Agency (APA) and Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) violate Article 14’s Forever Wild clause.

The second aspect of the case, which demonstrates that the use of large tracked motorized grooming machines, such as snowcats, violates the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan, did not require the consent of the Court to file.

The lawsuit challenges construction and grooming of class II community connector snowmobile trails in the Forest Preserve by the DEC and APA. The lawsuit contains two parts: 1) allegations that the construction by the DEC of new 9-12-foot-wide “community connector” snowmobile trails violates the “Forever Wild” clause of the NYS Constitution; and 2) allegations that the DEC and APA violated the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan and DEC regulations in authorizing the mechanical grooming of snowmobile trails with large tracked groomers.

See a detailed background report on this lawsuit here.

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