Adirondack Council suing Town of Clare over ATV trail on Tooley Pond Road
Monday, October 7, 2019 - 9:59 am

CLARE -- The Adirondack Council has filed a lawsuit in state Supreme Court seeking to overturn a law in the Town of Clare town law allowing an all-terrain vehicle trail they say violates state vehicle and traffic law and endangers adjacent public “forever wild” Forest Preserve lands, the organization said.

The announcement alleges Town of Clare Resolution #4 for 2019, authorizing the use of a long stretch of road as an ATV trail, also endangers adjacent public “forever wild” Forest Preserve lands.

The road runs through and past state lands where trespasses by ATVs have caused damage, the organization says.

“We are troubled to have to bring this lawsuit,” said Adirondack Council Executive Director William C. Janeway. “We believe this trail system will be found to be illegal, just as the similar systems in the Town of Forestport and in Lewis County were found to be illegal, when we sued to overturn those.”

“The Clare law uses a long section of automobile roadway as part of the trail. There is no attempt to connect legal trails or riding areas to one another. That is required for the use of even a short section of road” he said.

The ATV trail system through the Town of Clare uses 10.75 miles of the Tooley Pond Road, which runs through both private lands and a section of the Forest Preserve known as the Grass River Wild Forest, Jane way said.

The Adirondack Council and others had urged St. Lawrence County not to jeopardize the network by using unlawful sections of roadway for its county trail network inside the Adirondack Park, which includes Tooley Pond Road.

“ATVs have their place in this Park on private lands, farms, construction sites and logging operations, but as an off-road recreational vehicle, they are in the wrong place on public roads. With rare exceptions, they don’t belong on State-owned Forest Preserve either, unless used for search and rescue, for actions relating to the management of the natural resources, or in providing access for persons with a disabilities,” Janeway said in the announcement of the suit.