Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor
Fall 2014 Public Meetings
The State Departments of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Transportation (DOT) have announced that they are seeking public input through December 15 on a possible amendment to the Unit Management Plan (UMP) for the Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor (the Corridor). The UMP governs the use of the 119-mile Corridor. Four public comment sessions on the possible amendment will be held in the coming weeks.
Specifically, DEC and DOT will develop a draft UMP amendment to evaluate the use of the Tupper Lake to Lake Placid segment for a recreational trail. The agencies are also examining opportunities to maintain and realize the full economic potential of rail service from Utica to Tupper Lake, and reviewing options to create and expand alternative snowmobile corridors, and other trails, to connect communities from Old Forge to Tupper Lake on existing state lands and conservation easements.
The agencies are asking the public to provide comment on these three questions regarding the future of the Corridor:
- Should the 1996 RLPTC UMP be amended to convert the Tupper Lake to Lake Placid segment of the Corridor to a recreational trail?
- Should the 1996 RLPTC UMP be amended to bolster rail service along the remainder of the Corridor?
- What opportunities exist to expand snowmobile routes and other recreational trails to connect communities between Old Forge and Tupper Lake?
Comments can be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org mailed to NYS Travel Corridor, NYS DOT Freight and Passenger Rail Bureau, 50 Wolf Road, POD 5-4, Albany NY 12232 or provided verbally during four public comment meetings scheduled to take place:
- October 28 - 6 to 8 PM at the State Office Building, 207 Genesee Street, Utica
- October 29 - 1 to 3 PM at View, 3273 State Route 28, Old Forge
- November 6 - 6 to 8 PM at The Wild Center, 45 Museum Dr, Tupper Lake
- November 7 - 1 to 3 PM at the Lake Placid Conference Center, 2634 Main St, Lake Placid
Public comment will be accepted through December 15. View the October 2014 Press Release for additional information
The agencies will provide a presentation (PDF) (855 KB) at each public meeting regarding the Corridor, the information obtained from the 2013 efforts and the steps for proceeding with an amendment to the UMP. A fact sheet (PDF) (35 KB) with the information obtained from the 2013 efforts was also provided.
The Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor is a railroad right-of-way approximately 119 miles long and generally 100 feet wide. Constructed in 1892 by William Seward Webb, the line was operated continuously by the New York Central Railroad, and then the Penn Central Railroad, until freight service ceased in 1972. In 1974, the Corridor was purchased by New York State. In 1977, the State leased the line to the Adirondack Railway Corporation. After the bankruptcy of the lessee, and following a long period of litigation, the State acquired the remainder of the lease in 1991.
Later in 1991, an Interdepartmental Task Force (or planning team) composed of representatives of the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT), the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) was formed to develop a management plan for the 119-mile Remsen-Lake Placid Corridor. Three public forums were held in October of that year to assess public opinion regarding the Corridor's future. More than five hundred individuals attended the forums and nearly one hundred of them gave spoken comments. The written and spoken comments were overwhelmingly in support of:
- Resumption of full rail service between Remsen and Lake Placid.
- Recreational use of the Corridor, particularly by snowmobiles.
Following the forums, the Commissioners of DOT and DEC appointed a twenty-four member Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) to consult with the Task Force in the development of the plan. Membership of the CAC included representatives of each of the counties crossed by the Corridor, members of the business community, landowners, sportsmen, environmentalists, railroad interests and recreationists. The Planning Team completed the Draft Remsen-Lake Placid Corridor Management Plan/EIS in consultation with the Citizen Advisory Committee in September, 1994. Following public review, the Final Plan was approved in March of 1996.
In 2013 the Commissioners of the Department of Environmental Conservation and Department of Transportation sought to gather information from the public and stakeholder groups to determine whether to amend the 1996 RLPTC UMP/EIS. Four public meetings were held as part of this effort. These sessions included a presentation by the state agencies and informational stations where the public could provide their comments and ideas verbally or in writing to DEC & DOT staff. The public also submitted their comments in writing through mail and e-mail.
View September 2013 Public Meeting Presentation (PDF) (1.4 MB)