On February 12th, 2016 the APA voted almost unanimously to support the proposed rail-trail between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake and the possible extension of rail service north from Big Moose to Tupper Lake. The next step, was the May 17, 2016 formal announcement of the Governor's approval of the plan. In September 2016 the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) invited members of the affected communities along the 34-mile section of the trail between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake to join a "Stakeholders Group" that is advising DEC on trail surface, access points, safety, trail maintenance, and related topics. Meetings are being held every 2-3 weeks and will continue until a more permanent public/private steering committee or organization is chartered with trail coordination. A preliminary report from engineers was developed in April, 2017.
After the UMP revisioon was approved the Adirondack Scenic Railroad announced that it would file suit to block the construction of the rail-trail. The suit was heard by Judge Robert Main. In September 2017 he ruled for the plaintiffs, on three bases: the historic remediation had been approved by the Department of Parks after the UMP was issued, the title to three properties along the corridor had been cleared after the UMP was issued, and (most important) the definition of "travel corridor" in the State Land Use Master Plan did not, he opined, permit recreational uses.
The first two were procedural and easily remedied but the third which the State has challenged, interpretation of the Master Plan, would require a revision to that master plan and a re-start on the unit management process. On March 8, 2018 the Adirondack Park Agency proposed changes to the State Land Master Plan that would accomodate rail trails. Hearings were scheduled for April 2018 and a public comment period was provided until May 7, 2018. Assuming the judge's ruling is either revised or overturned or the UMP revision process is re-started, removal of the rails will follow swiftly. Proposal Requests for project work have already been drafted for rail removal and trail construction.
For current information on the status of the SLMP revisions and of the Staate's a[[eal of Judge Main's ruling please visit our Hot News page.