To the editor:
I have watched the debate about the rails and trails from a distance for some time now. I have been busy with many other things and have not, until now, had a chance to make my voice heard. I am not speaking as the director of the Adirondack Green Circle here because I know there are some in the Green Circle that would disagree with me. That is their choice. I am speaking as a person keenly in tune with issues of local sustainability and what the future in the Adirondack Park will look like. I believe that removing the rails would be a regrettable mistake and here is why.
I see a future in the Park where all the rails between communities are connected, from Utica to Tupper, from Saranac Lake to Plattsburgh, from Lake Placid to Manhattan. I see vibrant economic growth spurred by rail transportation and the movement of goods in and out of the Park. Maintenance of roads and rising prices for harder to get fossil fuels will make automobile and truck transportation in and out of the Adirondacks more and more costly. We have a potential Erie Canal of rails running through parts of the Adirondacks. The choice comes down to a sustainable system of transportation that will foster real, Adirondack-grown economic development or a trail that depends on the influx of tourists. I say, now is the time to connect the dots and create a sustainable, low carbon future with a working rail system here in the Adirondacks.