National Politics

New York appeals court ruling halting Adirondack trail work

New York is appealing a court decision that has halted trail work in the Adirondacks.

The Department of Environmental Conservation is asking the state's highest court to reverse a mid-level court ruling in a lawsuit filed by the environmental group Protect the Adirondacks. The group sued in 2013, claiming the state was cutting 25,000 trees to make its new "community connector" snowmobile trails. The state said the number was far less.

The "Forever Wild" clause of the state constitution prohibits removal of excessive amounts of timber in the Forest Preserve. At issue in the court case is the definition of "tree." The state says trees less than three inches in diameter don't count, but the lawsuit argued slender trees can be very old and important to the forest ecology.

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