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APA Chairman Curt Stiles (PHOTO: APA)
APA Chairman Curt Stiles (PHOTO: APA)

APA plans to adopt mileage cap for snowmobile trails

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For Adirondack communities that rely on snowmobile tourism, next week's Park Agency meeting could play a big role in shaping their future. The APA is considering a proposal to formally adopt a limit on snowmobile trail miles, set at 848 miles. The cap would allow state officials to add roughly another 80 miles of trails on all state forest preserve land. But after that, any new trails would have to be offset by cuts in other parts of the park. The cap would affect any new forest preserve acquisitions, but wouldn't restrict trail miles on private land covered by conservation easements. Snowmobile clubs fiercely oppose the fixed limit. And some pro-environment groups say the cap still allows too much motorized recreation in the Park. The APA received more than fifty letters from snowmobilers opposing the mileage cap. The issue is on the APA agenda for March 13 meeting in Ray Brook. Brian Mann sat down to talk about the debate with Curt Stiles, who chairs the APA board. Stiles says next week's decision will clear up a muddle that has existed for more than thirty years.

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