Supreme Court Justice Decides for Snowmobile Trails

Court Says Class II Snowmobile Trails Do Not Violate State Constitution

December 6, 2017 (Pine Bush, NY) NYSSA applauds the decision of NY Acting Supreme Court Justice Gerald W. Connolly to find for the State of New York Department of Environmental Conservation and the Adirondack Park Agency that the construction of Snowmobile trails within the Park do not violate the provisions of Article 14 of the State Constitution relative to the Forever Wild Clause.

“It is clear that the Justice kept an open mind in considering his decision and relied heavily on past decisions.”  commented Executive Director Dom Jacangelo.  Using past decisions to frame a current decision is important to building a sound foundation for future actions.

The court in its decision also considered who would be using these trails and when.  It appeared to acknowledge that access to the many, over many different uses through all seasons was a consideration in its decision. From the decision, “Simply put, these are trails, and trails for access would appear to be the quintessential example of an appropriate use of the Preserve.”

It is expected that this court decision will clear the way for the injunction to be lifted and for previously planned and approved trail projects to move forward once again in the Park.   This trail projects are important in creating connected communities and ensuring that all communities are able to share in the economic benefit that snowmobiling brings.

Over the years this lawsuit has gone on, the plaintiff has engaged in hyperbole regarding the character and use of these trails.  The Court clearly rejected those arguments and confirmed that these trails have been carefully constructed with the least impact to the Park as possible.

The New York State Snowmobile Association (NYSSA), a non-profit corporation, is the largest snowmobile association in the country working on behalf of registered NY snowmobile owners, who contribute more than $860 million to the New York economy, and 235 snowmobile clubs to improve trails, facilities and services for participants, and defend snowmobilers against discriminatory legislation.

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