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For Release: Thursday, February 16, 2017

DEC Announces New State Recreation Trail Supporter Patch

Patch Sales Support and Maintain Non-motorized Trails throughout New York

New trail patch in blue and white.
New blue and white trail patch.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced the release of the newly designed Trail Supporter Patch. The updated design is the first in a three-color series of patches and resembles the trail markers used by DEC to mark north-south directional trails, a blue round disc with white lettering.

"I encourage both New Yorkers and visitors to explore the thousands of miles of trails across the state that are built for hikers of all abilities, and to purchase a new Trail Patch to help support and maintain these superb recreational trails," said DEC Commissioner Seggos. "Every year patch sales help us maintain our trails and we're hopeful that this new design will invigorate sales so we can continue this work in the years to come. To further promote outdoor recreation in the state, Governor Cuomo's investment in this year's state budget for the Adventure NY initiative will work to improve access to state lands and DEC's campgrounds and facilities."

The Trail Supporter Patch is available for $5.00 at all sporting license outlets or on-line at the DECALS website for current New York State sporting license holders and will officially be available for purchase on March 1. Patch sale proceeds help maintain and enhance non-motorized recreation trails throughout the state. All monies raised from patch purchases will be deposited in the Conservation Fund's Outdoor Recreation, Trail Maintenance, and Development Account.

"This beautiful redesign of the Trail Supporter Patch should incentivize more hikers and trail users to contribute to trail maintenance statewide," said Neil F. Woodworth, Executive Director of the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK). "The program has already paid for valuable work on the state's trails including a magnificent new bridge on the Northville - Placid Trail. ADK's professional and volunteer trail crews perform tens of thousands of hours of trail work."

"The collaborative efforts of the NYSDEC and mountain bikers in the state continues to produce new and exciting trail experiences," said Anthony Duncan, Atlantic Region Director for the International Mountain Bicycling Association. "This long-standing program is a unique way to support those efforts and show that you support trails."

"The NYSDEC Trail Supporter Patch is a definite must have for all trail riders," said Stephen Ropel President, New York State Horse Council. "Money from their sales go directly toward maintenance and development of all New York's non-motorized trails, including our designated horse trails. Last year, for example, the Otter Creek Horse Trail System received monies for materials used in rebuilding several of those trails. There is never enough money to do all the work we would like on our horse trails, but this program is a nice step in helping us get more done. The NYS Horse Council encourages all its members, and even non-members, to purchase a patch to help improve our trails."

DEC remains committed to promoting all the amazing opportunities for hiking throughout the Adirondack Park, and is actively working with partner organizations and tourism promotion agencies to highlight and encourage responsible hiking on trails across the state. To further promote outdoor recreation in the state, Governor Cuomo's 2017 Budget plan calls for $70 million, up from $40 million last year, for the capital infrastructure program Adventure NY to improve access to state land, update campgrounds, and upgrade DEC's recreational facilities.

The patch was first introduced in 2007 to help raise funds to maintain trails across the state. To date, DEC has used funds from patch sales to build foot trail bridges on the Finger Lakes Trail and the Northville-Lake Placid Trail. It has also purchased materials for accessible horse mounting platforms at the Brookfield Horse Assembly Area, and erosion control structures at the Otter Creek and Independence River Wild Forest trail systems. Since 2007, sales of the trail supporter patch have raised $21,818.

For more information on the Trails Supporter Patch, visit DEC's website.

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