Appellate Court Again Stops Tree Cutting by the Department of Environmental Conservation on the “forever wild” Forest Preserve

August 19, 2016

Appellate Division Justice stays further tree cutting on the Forest Preserve by the NYS DEC for the next ten days pending a hearing on a temporary injunction during an appeal by Protect the Adirondacks of a Supreme Court decision denying an injunction against tree cutting on the Forest Preserve during construction of new snowmobile trails

A justice from the Appellate Division, Third Department, of state Supreme Court, issued an order to show cause today to stay further tree cutting on the Forest Preserve by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) as it builds a new 9-12 foot wide community connector snowmobile trail between Newcomb and Minerva in the central Adirondacks. Last week a Supreme Court decision denied a motion for preliminary injunction against tree cutting by DEC, which had work crews cutting trees on the Forest Preserve this week. Tree cutting had been stopped for 25 days in mid-July thru mid-August. This new decision will remain in effect for the next ten days while the Appellate Division considers whether to issue an injunction against tree cutting during an appeal by Protect the Adirondacks of the Supreme Court decision.

The DEC has cut over 7,500 trees on 6.5 miles of the new community connector snowmobile trail from Newcomb to Minerva, including many located in old growth forest habitat. The DEC is planning to cut another 7,500 in the weeks ahead.

“Protect the Adirondacks is grateful that the Appellate Division, Third Department has acted to stop tree cutting by the Department of Environmental Conservation while we appeal the decision by the Supreme Court. We believe that the state is violating Article 14, Section 1, the forever wild provision of the State Constitution, with this high level of tree cutting and there should be no further tree cutting until this court case is completed,” said Peter Bauer, Executive Director of Protect the Adirondacks.

“This is one part of a larger lawsuit on the constitutionality on this high level of tree cutting on the Forest Preserve. Protect the Adirondacks believes that the Department of Environmental Conservation has overstepped what is lawful by cutting and destroying tens of thousands of trees to build a network of these new road-like trails. The Forest Preserve has never seen this level of abuse before by a state agency,” said Peter Bauer.

In mid-July, the Appellate Division issued a temporary injunction to stop tree cutting on the Forest Preserve, which was lifted on August 9th by the decision in Supreme Court. Protect the Adirondacks is now appealing this decision and is pursuing a preliminary injunction against further tree cutting until this lawsuit is resolved.

A newly built part of the Newcomb to Minerva class II community connector snowmobile trail that was cut and graded with heavy machinery. These wide trails bear little resemblance to foot trails and see over 1,000 trees per mile cut down and destroyed. A newly built part of the Newcomb to Minerva class II community connector snowmobile trail that was cut and graded with heavy machinery. These wide trails bear little resemblance to foot trails and see over 1,000 trees per mile cut down and destroyed.

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