With an Albany judge denying an environmental group’s request for a permanent injunction against tree cutting, the fight over a network of snowmobile trails that the state had started building is now headed to court.
The lawsuit filed against the state of New York for cutting trees to make new snowmobile trails in the Adirondacks has been sent to trial after both the plaintiff and the state were denied summary judgments in the case. Acting New York State Supreme Court Justice Gerald Connolly set a trial start date of March 1.
“Protect the Adirondacks” had filed the original suit in 2013 over the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s construction of “community connector” snowmobile trails. Protect argued that building the trails, which can be 12 feet wide, violated laws against taking timber on state lands.
In the summer and fall of 2016, the Appellate Division, Third Department, issued a series of preliminary injunctions to stop the State from cutting trees on the Forest Preserve to build new class II community connector snowmobile trails. That court extended this injunction in the fall so that it remains in place until the appeal of an earlier denial by the Supreme Court is resolved. This ban will likely extend into the field season in the summer of 2017 or longer.