Train and trail

To the Valley News:

Teddy Roosevelt, an Adirondack enthusiast, provided this guidance to those questing to achieve great things: “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

There is abundant enthusiasm and emotion on display by the two camps representing rail or trail support in the heart of the Adirondacks. Each has passionate opinions and members who want what is best for our region. We’d like to try and approach this complex issue from a slightly different viewpoint, one which suggests that both sides may have more in common than either may have thought.

We all agree that we live in a unique and beautiful area that offers year around, world class outdoor activities for every age and ability .

We also agree that our local economies are in jeopardy and that by better utilizing our natural resources we could build stronger more vibrant communities that are less reliant on government jobs. We could build hope and options for our children who now have to leave the Adirondack Park to seek a better future. Recent news about jobs should alarm us all: cut backs at AMC, state aid budget woes at the Tupper Lake Central School District and the likelihood that government employment will shrink rather than grow throughout the state is troubling. We must be able to build employment internally- not wait and hope for some state entity to do so.

We also agree that both sides have the talent, perseverance and will power to tackle difficult problems with positive approaches.

There is no doubt that trail enthusiasts will come in droves to use new trails that link our communities, forests, mountains and waterways. They will enjoy the scenery, especially between Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake and through the Bob Marshall Preserve, and they will eat and sleep in our villages and shop in our stores. Rail riders will do the same.

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