Help a community under siege


From railroad tracks to a controversial mountainside resort, more and more people outside Tupper Lake are claiming to know what’s best for this community.

It’s only 22 miles from Tupper Lake to Saranac Lake, but it might as well be 2,200 miles from the opposite direction. Average Saranac Lake and Lake Placid residents don’t usually visit unless they’re driving through. That’s why it’s so surprising outside groups are now interested in Tupper Lake.

But are these people joining the proactive, grassroots movements to reopen the ski center, rebuild the train station, and bring tourists and businesses to the Tip Top Town? Are they trying to help the community?

The answer is no. They’re motivated by their own interests. Instead of assisting a community that needs economic help, they’re swooping in with their own agendas and trying to take over.

At a time when Next Stop! Tupper Lake is working to restore the railroad tracks to Saranac Lake — extending the Adirondack Scenic Railroad’s Saranac Lake-Lake Placid excursion and bringing more tourists to town — members of the new Adirondack Recreational Trail Advocates (ARTA), based in Saranac Lake, are lobbying the state to tear up those tracks so they can build a recreational path.

At a time when ARISE (Adirondack Residents Intent on Saving Their Economy) is working to support the proposed Adirondack Club and Resort project on Mount Morris, environmental groups like the Adirondack Council, based in Elizabethtown, and Protect the Adirondacks, based in Schenectady, are trying to minimize the development, in essence destroying an ambitious proposal to bring tourists and jobs to Tupper Lake.

On the surface, this feels like another case of outsiders trying to protect the Adirondacks from the Adirondackers; however, the anti-railroad and anti-ACR efforts have a new twist. Key players in these groups are Adirondack residents, and many have comfortable jobs or retirement plans. Some are even supporting both ARTA and the Adirondack Council, which shows they don’t really have Tupper Lake’s best interest in mind. It sounds like these groups are trying to protect Tupper Lake from the Tupper Lakers.

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