Attorneys for Protect the Adirondacks submitted a response to the state’s motion to dismiss its lawsuit that challenges the state’s construction and management of snowmobile trails in the Forest Preserve. The case focuses on the legality of the construction and grooming of new “Class II community connector” snowmobile trails. Construction of the first group of these trails was begun in 2012; the Seventh Lake Mountain Snowmobile trail is the largest such trail undertaken to date.

PROTECT commenced its legal action in February 2013 and filed additional materials in April. Here’s an indepth discussion of the necessity to this legal action.

PROTECT has long opposed an expansion of snowmobile trails to widths of 12 feet or wider. We see these “trails” at that width as road-like with far-reaching ecological impacts. PROTECT believes that construction and grooming with large tracked groomers of these new types of wide, road-like trails violates state law and regulations.

PROTECT believes that state law and regulations are being violated by the allowing large, several-ton tracked “groomers” on designated foot trails on the Forest Preserve. PROTECT also contends that construction of these large, flattened road-like class II community connector snowmobile trails violates requirements in state laws and regulation that the “wild forest atmosphere” be maintained in the Forest Preserve.

In addition to violations of various state laws and regulations, PROTECT believes that recent actions on “Class II community connector” snowmobile trails violates the “Forever Wild” clause of the State Constitution due to the vast number of trees cut down and the vast alteration of the natural terrain.

Here are the main parts of the new filings:

PROTECT Complaint and Petition
Affidavit of John Caffry, PROTECT Attorney
Affidavit of Peter Bauer, PROTECT Executive Director
Memorandum of Law
Notice of Cross Motion

Here’s a recent post about conditions of the Seventh Lake Mountain Trail. Here’s a policy discussion about the problems with construction and grooming these road-like snowmobile trails.

PROTECT is represented by John Caffry and Claudia Braymer of the Caffry & Flower Law Office in Glens Falls.