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State lawmakers intervene: Popular Upstate NY snowmobile trail will be open  

Although Smith didn't mention any specifics in his original letter or in his statement today, local snowmobilers and others felt the action was connected in part to a huge, proposed windmill project in the towns of Redfield and Worth in Oswego and Jefferson counties, respectively. Snowmobile club officials and others told NYup.com earlier this fall that Smith's the letter was a surprise and appeared to be connected to the town of Redfield's discussions concerning the proposed, Mad River Wind Farm, a 125-turbine project proposed by Avangrid Renewables on some 200 acres of Timberland's 20,000 acre property."

Credit:  By David Figura | November 14, 2017 | www.newyorkupstate.com ~~

A popular snowmobiling route located in one of the prime snowmobiling areas of Upstate New York was slated to be closed this winter, due in part to hard feelings between the property owner and the town of Redfield in Oswego County.

Things have changed. State Sen. Patty Ritchie announced today that snowmobilers will now be able to use the route this winter after Ritchie and state Assemblymen Will Barclay intervened in the controversary.

The area that was to be shut off contained about 20 acres of trails that essentially amount to the southwestern gateway to the Tug Hill Region. The Tug Hill is popular with snowmobilers across the state and beyond because it gets more snow than any other part of New York. Sledders use the trail as a main route to ride back and forth between northeastern Oswego County and neighboring Lewis County.

Earlier this fall, Matt Smith, director of operations for the Salmon River Timberlands LLC, a subsidiary of Woodwise Land Company, informed Redfield Snowmobile Association President Edward B. Montieth in a letter that his company would not open snowmobile trails to the public on his company’s land because the Redfield Town Board had allegedly “rejected the idea of working with our company in a reasonable manner.”

Today, Smith issued the following statement:

“We certainly understand the importance of keeping these important snowmobile trails open, not only for the Redfield Snowmbile Association and other riders, but the businesses throughout the region that depend on sledders coming to our area and spending money,” he said. “I want to sincerely thank Redfield Supervisor Tanya Yerdon for opening the lines of communication and arranging our discussions, which remain extremely positive throughout thanks to the efforts of state Sen. Patty Ritchie and Assemblyman Will Barclay.”

Although Smith didn’t mention any specifics in his original letter or in his statement today, local snowmobilers and others felt the action was connected in part to a huge, proposed windmill project in the towns of Redfield and Worth in Oswego and Jefferson counties, respectively.

Snowmobile club officials and others told NYup.com earlier this fall that Smith’s the letter was a surprise and appeared to be connected to the town of Redfield’s discussions concerning the proposed, Mad River Wind Farm, a 125-turbine project proposed by Avangrid Renewables on some 200 acres of Timberland’s 20,000 acre property.”

Montieth said he believed Smith’s letter was the result of problems caused by Redfield’s efforts to create a zoning ordinance that was prompted by the project.

An Avangrid spokesman said the windfarm is expected to cost the company “hundreds of millions of dollars” and would generate some $2 million a year in revenues at the local and county levels.

Ritchie told NYup.com “the windmill project was not part of any of our discussions.” She confirmed, though, there were hard feelings between the two sides. She said the property owners felt they weren’t being heard by the town and the town officials felt “they were not being treated fairly” by the company.

Ritchie said the reason she got involved was because of the importance of snowmobiling to the Oswego County econony.

Woodwise Land Company, of which Salmon River Timberlands is a subsidiary, bought the land in Redfield and other nearby parcels totaling 28,000 acres in 2012 for more than $12.4 million, which at the time was called one of the largest private property sales in the history of the Tug Hill. The company owns 28 percent of the land area in the Town of Redfield.

Source:  By David Figura | November 14, 2017 | www.newyorkupstate.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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