Olive residents upset about use of tracks for rail bike tours

Riders in the Adirondacks.

Residents of the Town of Olive are up in arms about Rail Explorers, the company whose contract with Ulster County will allow them to run tours of rail bikes down the Ulster & Delaware tracks alongside 39 homes on Cold Brook Road, near Boiceville, beginning in August or September. Cold Brook Road residents say their research shows Rail Explorers came into conflict with homeowners over their past two years of operation in the Adirondacks due to the noise of the bikes and issues with the large quantity of tourists passing by their properties. Rail Explorers moved out of the Adirondacks at the end of last year’s season.

On March 8, a meeting at the Olive Library quickly grew tense as Olive residents presented their concerns to Chris White, Deputy Director of the Ulster County Planning Department, and Rail Explorers CEO Mary Joy Lu and Managing Director Alex Catchpoole. Lu and Catchpoole defended their operation as positive and uplifting for riders, while White insisted the bikes would be more environmentally friendly and economically beneficial than the excursion trains of Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR), which Rail Explorers is displacing between Phoenicia and Boiceville.

When CMRR’s lease on the county-owned railroad tracks was due to expire last May, the county legislature voted to turn the Ashokan Reservoir portion of the rail corridor into a rail trail and issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) for operation on the two sections of track where CMRR has conducted tourist rides. CMRR was allowed to retain its Kingston excursions, and Rail Explorers was chosen last summer to operate during the 2017 season in the Phoenicia area.

Advertisement

“Rail Explorers offered what we thought was a better value in terms of how many people they would employ and visitors they would bring to area,” said White at the March 8 meeting. “We like that they’re not operating heavy diesel trains.” He cited the county’s disappointment with the CMRR for their 25-year failure to maintain the tracks along much of the corridor, environmental offenses such as discarding old creosote-soaked ties on county property, and last fall’s derailment of a train due to faulty track conditions, among other issues.

Lu explained that she and Catchpoole, her husband, started Rail Explorers in 2015 with six rail bikes, quickly doubled the number to 12, then added another 10. “We have four- and two-seaters,” she said. “Over two seasons, we had close to 40,000 riders from July to October.” The company expects to employ about 22 local people with wages starting at $15 per hour. The positions of general manager and operations manager will be higher-paid full-time jobs. The company earned nearly 1200 customer reviews on the Trip Advisor website, many of the writers bursting with enthusiasm over the pleasure of pedaling with ease through the countryside.

Plans call for the rail bike tours to begin alongside the vintage train station in Phoenicia. After a procedural and safety orientation by an employee, riders will pedal, as a group, east on the tracks bordering the Esopus Creek, crossing Route 28 near the Mount Tremper train station. (Catchpoole said the crossing will take place after bikes have been halted close together, and road traffic would be blocked for less than a minute.) The last half-mile or so, the tracks are sandwiched between the creek and Cold Brook Road, a narrow residential street. Because the route is on a slight downgrade, said Lu, and the goal is to make the ride accessible to children, the elderly, and even people with disabilities, they will not ask the riders to pedal back along the upgrade. When customers disembark at Cold Brook Road, a bus will pick them up and convey them back to their cars at Rail Explorers’ base of operations in Phoenicia. They plan to put in a ticketing office and bathroom facilities near the Empire State Railway Museum, expanding the parking lot to accommodate at least 20 cars.

Lu and Catchpoole expect to run four to five tours a day between 8:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., seven days a week, during the 100-day season, with up to 50 people per tour, for a potential total of 30,000 customers per season. Cold Brook Road residents do not relish the prospect of hearing the bikes pass by or looking out their front windows at a pack of passing tourists several times a day.

“I don’t understand how you can make a decision for this to come through without consulting people,” an audience member said to White. The comment was echoed angrily by others in the room.

White said the shift from CMRR to Rail Explorers is not considered a change of use, since the corridor has been used for rail operations since the 1880s. Therefore, unlike the conversion of the Ashokan Reservoir section from railroad to rail trail, no public hearing was required.

“There were hearings for over a year on the rail trail,” pointed out Christina Himberger, one of the organizers of the meeting. “But not one person was aware you were going to bring in bikes. Once you got the approvals, it would’ve been good to notify people.”

Residents expressed concerns that the bike riders would be rowdy or would leave their vehicles, that property values along the road would diminish, that wildlife would be frightened away, especially the sensitive bald eagles that nest at the nearby Ashokan Reservoir and fly over the creek. Lu said each tour is accompanied by employees pedaling at the front and back of the line of bikes, enforcing the agreement riders sign that says they will not leave their vehicles during the ride. Riders are also asked to be respectful of any property they pass by. She said tourists frequently saw eagles overhead while pedaling in the Adirondacks. And White opined that property values would increase once the Ashokan rail trail is built, with a trailhead right across Route 28A from the junction with Cold Brook Road.

White said the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has not expressed concern about the eagles. “The bikes will bring less noise, less air emissions, less possibility of leakage of fuels than the trains. Our repairs to the tracks will also address sediment going into the reservoir. We’ll clear culverts that are plugged. We’re trying to do this in a very environmentally friendly way.”

 

No screens

Himberger, who had contacted neighbors of the Adirondack tours that ran between Saranac Lake and Lake Clear, said they described the noise made by the bike wheels on the rails as a loud grinding sound. Lu and Catchpoole said the noise isn’t that loud, although the volume goes up when the bikes pick up speed. They offered to make sure riders slow down as they pass Cold Brook Road. They also said most of the residents did not have a problem with happy people passing by, enjoying a dose of nature, and that the critics were people who wanted the rails torn up and replaced by a trail. Himberger, however, said she had made a number of calls. “Some were dead silent when I asked about Rail Explorers. If they chose to speak, I could not get one positive thing except that you bring in a lot of people.” Some of her contacts claimed the noise was audible a quarter-mile away.

“But it’s so transitory,” said Catchpoole. “We pass each house in a second. There’s not a constant barrage of noise.”

“We don’t want thousands of people on this road where people fish,” said one audience member.

“Would you rather have diesel trains going by?” asked White.

Several people shouted, “Yes!” Before floods washed out tracks at three points west of Mount Tremper, CMRR trains used to pass their houses three to four times a day, according to some residents, but only on weekends and never in the morning. The county will be repairing the washouts this spring and summer, before Rail Explorers begins its operation.

White said the county would consider building a berm or planting a screen of trees to muffle the noise, but a woman objected, “I don’t want a screen up — I want to look at the creek.” She added that she was convinced wildlife habitat would be affected. “When the railroad went through, the eagles were gone. Now they’re coming back. I don’t want to see that go away.”

When asked why they had left the Adirondacks, Lu and Catchpoole said the state was planning to tear up the railroad tracks and had become embroiled in a lawsuit with a scenic railroad that wants to keep the tracks in place. Due to the uncertain outcome, Rail Explorers decided to shift to the Catskills, with hope of reestablishing operations in the Adirondacks in the future if the tracks are allowed to remain.

White pointed out that a similar struggle in Ulster County involved people who wanted tracks removed from the entire rail corridor, but the county legislature had voted unanimously for a compromise that retained rails in some sections. His department’s job is to find the best way to implement both rail and trail.

 

Information gap

A lengthy discussion centered around the need for a bus to convey riders back to Phoenicia. When construction of the rail trail is finished at the end of 2018, the railroad tracks will go under the rebuilt bridge on Route 28A and end at the trailhead to be constructed by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). White hopes to negotiate with the DEP to allow Rail Explorers passengers to disembark at the trailhead and get on the bus in the trailhead parking lot. Until then, the bus may have to pick them up on Cold Brook Road. Residents said the road is not substantial enough to accommodate a big coach with an on-board rest room. When told that the bus would use the even smaller Nissen Lane to turn around, residents objected. Another option, said Lu, would be to rent a strip of private property along Route 28A to park the bus and allow the riders to disembark. “That’s what we did in the Adirondacks,” she said.

“I spoke to that landowner,” noted Himberger. “She said when it got out of control, she tried to withdraw permission, and you wouldn’t leave.”

At one point, when the meeting was growing contentious, a resident observed, “In general people feel hurt we weren’t consulted. From your side, you did what you were supposed to, but maybe you could apologize. There has definitely been an information gap.”

Shortly thereafter White did apologize, as did Lu, who said, “We can feel the hurt and anger. This is not the way we would’ve liked to have met you; we didn’t realize you weren’t aware. We’re a responsible company, and we want to work with you.” The couple, both from Sydney, Australia, have been in the U.S. for 15 years and are U.S. citizens. They have owned a house in Saugerties since 2005 and have two children.

Catchpoole said he could look into coating the bike wheels with polyurethane, which would reduce the amount of noise. A resident suggested ending the tours before reaching Cold Brook Road. There would be no road access from that point, but perhaps the passengers could ride the tracks back to Phoenicia. Plans call for the rail bikes to be linked together and towed back by a car adapted to run on rails. White said this plan is not practical. If riders were brought back along the tracks by a motorized vehicle, they would be considered rail passengers, and a whole other set of regulations would be brought to bear by the Federal Railroad Administration.

One resident asked White how much vetting the county had done before deciding to grant a permit to Rail Explorers. “We called their references,” he said. “We ran it like any RFP in the county. If they commit any violations, we can pull their permit immediately until it’s remedied. Or we can terminate the contract with 60 days’ notice with no cause. This going to be much better regulated than CMRR ever was. Folks who have businesses in Phoenicia are pretty excited about this.”

Advertisement

Boiceville businesses will not receive a similar largesse, since riders will be herded immediately onto the bus to make sure they don’t trespass on private property or the county tracks. Once the trailhead is built, that rule may be relaxed, if the DEP agrees to let Rail Explorers use the trailhead. “Please give them [Rail Explorers] an opportunity to work with us,” said White. “Give them a season and see how it goes.”

“I’m looking to leave this meeting with the sense that we have moved from a fait accompli to a consulting situation,” said one resident. “There needs to be compromise.”

“Yes,” said Lu. “There needs to be compromise now that we’ve met you.”

In a phone call a few days after the meeting, White agreed that the residents’ concerns are legitimate. “We’re going back and evaluating, seeing what changes we might make, looking to set this up in a manner that’s less or not at all disruptive.”

Catchpoole stated on March 14, “Based on the feedback from the Cold Brook Road residents we are considering other route options to accommodate their concerns.”

For more information on Rail Explorers, see https://www.railexplorers.net. 

There are 19 comments

  1. ITR?

    A typical, From the County. The residents are always the last to know. Nice to see they went and did their homework. Some residents even said the Railbike company had problems in Delaware State also.

  2. David

    The county should have just left the CMRR alone, renewed the least and none of this fighting and money wasted in the courts would have happened. The county should have leased the section of track alog the resivor to the Rail bike company. Then all would have been happy.

  3. Bryan A. Blas

    The ignorance of this county never ceases to amaze me. How narrow-minded can we be??? We had a great asset with the Railroad train in the Phoenicia stretch of track and we let it die. With some mutual partnership between the County and the CMRR, we could have had a world-class tourist attraction right here in our County, but, NO, the powers that be (and the “wannabes”) said NO. Now we have the Rail Bikes as a substitute along the same track and, again, Chris White’s lies and half-truths plus local residents stirred up by this and another person (who shall remain nameless for now) false statements, are jeopardizing this venue as well. There is also a significant problem that nobody seems to have addressed: Crossing Route 28 on a rail bike could prove to be a very dangerous idea. It is obvious that this should have been a deciding factor on location of this enterprise. But, there is a very good solution to this and all other matters the people of Olive are concerned about, and that is, start the route for the rail bikes east of the destroyed Boiceville Bridge and allow them to use the entire length of track down to Shokan or beyond. Yes, the same track that Chris White wants to tear up for a trail, except now he will have to reconsider that ridiculous idea of his (and Hein’s). This would eliminate the “noise” and the busses and create a beautiful environment for the tourists to enjoy. Plain and simple and with common sense!

  4. LeRoy Hogan Jr.

    Chris White and his boss Dennis Doyle have completely ignored my concerns through several emails I have sent them concerning this matter.
    Besides that, Ulster County complained CMRR did not maintain the track being leased and I wonder will Rail Explorers become responsible. Another point is Ulster County was not happy with CMRR. The county could have used more than willing Railmark as a tourist train vendor. Ulster County does not want you to know there are vendors out there to use for tourist trains.

  5. Pete Baker

    Rail Explorers and the U & D Corridor….

    Are the Olive residents being egged on by Ulster County’s professional obstructionist? This individual incites with “fear factors”.

    In my humble opinion Olive residents are over reacting to fear of the unknown. Last summer my wife and I spent three days in the Tupper Lake & Saranac Lake area of the Adirondack with our two grandkids. We are in our 70’s they at the time were 12 & 10. One of the highlights was riding the rail bikes from Lake Clear to Saranac Lake. The bikes are far less obtrusive than your neighbor’s lawnmower, motorcycle of some of the vehicles on the road. Yes there is a low frequency wiring from the wheels on the track and a clickety clack as the bike cross the rail joints. For the average person I doubt that either is objectionable. We and all of our tour mates thoroughly enjoyed our 7 mile ride along the corridor.

    As for the riders… Mary Joy, Alex staff have high expectations from and for the service they provide. We saw no evidence of riders breaking that trust. In the 7 miles the only trash that I saw was at the road crossings. There was nothing along the rails.

    As for disturbing the wildlife… We saw no evidence of the wildlife running or flying away because of the Rail Explores. We saw wildlife on the ground and hawks and Herons. Certainly wildlife disturbances are a consideration but again in my opinion not a problem.

    Please don’t let other create you opinion. Try the Rail Explorers as my wife and I did. I believe that you with be pleasantly surprised by the recreational service that Mary Joy, Alex and their crew provide. Form your own opinion!

    The one complaint that I have isn’t with the CNRR or the Rail Explorers but with Ulster County and their mode of operation. They seem to make decisions that affect all of us with no public input in formulating their decisions. I’m a firm supporter of shared decision making process that includes ALL stake holders. The County apparently feels that they call make decision based on input by their chosen few.

    LET”S ALL WORK TOGETHER AND STOP THIS NONSENSE AT THE TOP.

  6. Pete Baker

    Here is an alternative plan for the RAIL EXPLORERS and the U & D Corridor. I submitted this to UC Officials, Mike Hein & our Legislators last December. I have yet to hear from any of them. My main concern was crossing Rt. 28 in Mt. Tremper.
    ———-
    An Alternate Plan For The Use Of The Ulster & Delaware Corridor

    As Remembered By Pete Baker -12 Dec 2016
    We had an interesting discussion at the U & D Railway Revitalization table this past weekend with one of our visitors. It basically had to do with a more logical use of the rail corridor. At present the Catskill Mountain Railroad has be allocation a section of track in Kingston westerly to mile post 8.33. The Rail Explorers have been allocated a section of track in the Boiceville/Phoenicia corridor.

    The proposed change would be to have the CMRR’s western terminus at the Basin Rd. Bridge. In addition, move home base for the Rail Explorers to Shokan and the proposed Trail Head as their western terminus and the Basin Rd. bridge as their eastern terminus. A multi-purpose visitor’s center could service Trains out of Kingston, Rail Explorers and trail users. The Shokan Rail head could service both the Rail Explorers and trail users. Furthermore, trail users could take the train from Kingston to avail themselves to the 11.5 miles of the NYC DEP property along the Ashokan. Tourists could take the train from Kingston to West Hurley where a shuttle bus could take them into Woodstock for the day. This plan has all of the advantages mentioned for a truly multi-use corridor.

    The rails would be revitalized and saved while accommodating both the rail and trail proponents. It would allow for a more methodical evaluation of the corridor west of Phoenicia. Incorporating designs for future rail service to the west with a partnering trail to the Delaware County line. In the not too distant future, with the expansion of Belleayre Mt. & the addition of the two Belleayre Resorts, the influx of tourists will tax the capacity of Rt. 28. Limited passenger service would lessen that impact to the highway. It’s called planning ahead. SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT!

  7. Dave

    Also the rail bike company would have had a very nice place in Shokan to base there operation. There is even a historic RR building there they could have used for ticket sale ect. and lots of room for parking. The RR is much more level in this section. It seems to me it would be the perfect place for rail explorers.

  8. pat

    In response to Pete Baker that the Olive Residents have a “fear for the unknown”, in all due respect your pedaling a cart one sunny day on the tracks with your family and ascertaining the effect it had on the local wildlife, is a bit different than someone who lives on a road that saw the Eagles leave when the train came through six years ago and have just started coming back over the past couple years. Have you ever sat on your front porch and seen an Eagle in flight or sitting in a tree near your home? The road is quiet, people are respectful, we would like to keep it that way. So nice of the County of offer to set up a berm or plant trees to muffle the noise. I would much rather look at that then my current view. I respect your opinion but it’s easy to give when your not the one being affected.

  9. Anne

    Rt 28 is a State Route connecting the I-87 corridor with counties to the West. It’s used for commerce and travel as a scenic route through the Catskills by thousands from other counties. CMRR’s use was not as a regular rail service and any regular rail use was decommissioned years ago. The frequency of crossings of Rt 28 should not be allowed to exceed that of the CMRR, which operated at a maximum of 4x per day on weekends only, with each crossing taking about 1 minute. I really hope there will be a legal challenge from the State against the County for taking this decision. If anything was to come out of ending CMRR’s use of that segment, it should have been to remove the crossing and disruption to traffic on Rt 28. As stated in other comments, there would seem to be better options both to maintain peace in the community and enhance tourism.

  10. ITR

    Daves comment makes perfect sense. Rail explorers based out of Shokan running along the reservoir on NYC property would be the ultimate use area for this group. No Grades No local homeowner impact. No buses on local roads. But then Mr Bakers comment Also makes sense Is the anti railroad/local obstructionist to the Belleayre resort. Stirring up the locals in order to see her trail built???? One might wonder.

  11. Ann M.

    The rail trail should not be built, either. Why did they bother to close the roads on the south side of the reservoir to protect from “terrorists,” if they’re only going to open the north side to anyone who wants to go there? There isn’t going to be any way to keep people on the trail. They put businesses out of business that had been there for years, and now the rail trail is an insult.

  12. Michael J. Biondo

    Regarding the Rail Explorers Project:

    With the continued opposition from the newly formed Cold Brook Road Coalition and with the support of the Olive Town Supervisor, Sylvia Rozelle, Olive board members, and with an added boost with a bit of help from the Almighty above, the Ulster County rubber stamp of approval for the Rail Explorers project will NOT materialize along the sanctity of Cold Brook Road in Boiceville. My family and specifically my great uncle, The Right Reverend Monsignor Henry O’Carroll were one of the road’s first occupants along this green tranquil path dating back to the early 1920’s. The torch was passed to my family and I to ensure that it remains a haven of domestic bliss.

    To reply to Peter Baker’s comments about the Town of Olive’s residents ‘reacting to fear of the unknown’ caused by ‘Ulster County’s professional obstructionist’, may I simply say ‘BALDERDASH’ to put in mildly. Peter, maybe try manning up a bit and name specifically to whom you are omitting. Also Petey Boy, where do you live and perchance will the Rail Explorers mosey on by your front door?? I doubt it.

    I am far from being narrow minded regarding economic development in the Catskill region, but in having the Rail Explorers operate on a 6 mile stretch of rails will not in my opinion prove to be a bona fide revenue generator for the region, especially in Boiceville. The increase in local tourism which has proved to be a boon for such businesses as The Emerson, The Phoenicia Diner, etc. can for the most part be attributed to the expansion of social media. This will undoubtedly continue. Again, I doubt that the Rail Explorers will have much of an economic impact. The only impact that the Rail Explorers will create is one of negativity for the residents of Cold Brook Road resulting from excessive human activity, garbage, sanitary issues, rail bike noise, air and noise pollution from the added volume of passenger cars and tour buses, etc. The Cold Brook Road corridor is also a daily route used by the protected bald eagle. Most likely the bald eagle activity would virtually cease if the Rail Explorers are permitted to operate. I ask that anyone not living on Cold Brook Road to put yourselves in our position and see how you would respond if placed in a similar situation given the fact that 99% of the Cold Brook Road residents were not directly advised of the County’s unethical decision to allow the Rail Explorers project.

    Contrary to the comments by Chris White aided by the Rail Explorers presentation at the Olive library that this project was welcomed by the locals in the Adirondacks(where they no longer operate), we have spoken to various home and business owners who quite frankly told us to ‘do everything possible to keep them from operating in your neighborhood, they were nothing but trouble.’ Amen!

  13. LeRoy Hogan

    This reminds me of my house being built close to the NYS Thruway. Do I now have good reason to complain of the traffic noise coming from the thruway? I don’t think so and feel the same if you build or buy a house close to train tracks. True story from Westchester County of a housing development built next to a many generations old farm. The new home owners complained of the farm smell and believed the farm had to go.

  14. Steven L Fornal

    Rail Explorers CEO Mary Joy Lu and Managing Director Alex Catchpoole do not despair. What you’re getting is continued disgruntlement of those unable to give up on the noisy, diesel belching train that CMRR owned and operated here for years.

    You offer what seems to be a fine entertainment venue perfect for the area. Continue on and you’ll be rewarded with a thriving business and fans for life.

    The complaints will, in all likelihood, stop once you get the operation up and running and the people complaining realize they were overly worried. A non-motorized rail bike passing by several times a day shouldn’t be a problem for any but the most easily irritated. As it was mentioned, a car driving by will create more noise than a rail bike.

    Continue on. Good luck. Looking forward to riding a rail bike soon!

  15. ITR

    Re Ana M. The way I see it, The Rail trail is being built to attract Grant money to Ulster county. A county that in My opinion depends way to much on grant money instead of a healthy balance of grants and tax producing business. Business which the county has failed miserably in attracting post IBM leaving. The Trail folks are looking to score big$10 Million in grants for ulster county. That is in addition to the Millions NY city has already offered. That is why there is so much of a push by them to get rid of the Railroad entirely. I suspect the railbike people will be next. That would lead the way for a trail built along coldbrook road. So, What exactly is the lesser of three evils? The Railroad, with people on the train Friday sat and Sunday afternoons. The railbike group 4 times a day 7 days a week. Or trail walkers having access at all times of the day. Those are the choices left for Those living on Cold Brook Road.

  16. Pete Baker

    Pat & Michael,
    I live on Hurley Ridge in West Hurley in a subdivision. We live perhaps 120 yards from Rt. 375. As you can imagine there is plenty of vehicular traffic,: cars, trucks, buses and motorcycles. All deliver there share of noise etc. that you complain about. In spite of the traffic we have a pair of red tail Hawks that have been nesting for several years now, They sit in trees within 30 feet of our house. Daily we have deer in our front and back yards. We have had bear, foxes, coyotes and wild turkeys in our yard. This past week we had a barred owl. all with more local and highway traffic than you will ever see on Colebrook Road.

    Do you own a lawnmower, a motorcycle, a snowmobile or a quad? I’m pretty sure that if you don’t some of your neighbors do. Perhaps those activities also contribute to the eagles did appearing. I suspect however that it’s more to the nature of birds of prey. They prefer fish, thus the eagles perhaps moved closer to the Ashokan. They are seen along the walking and biking trail frequently. They are seen on the Rondout Creek in Kingston by Island Dock and the Lighthouse.

    https://hudsonvalleyone.com/2015/04/02/hudson-river-bald-eagles-defend-their-turf/

  17. Sue Ann Biondo

    Regarding the Rail Explorers and their plans for Cold Brook Road: The County needs only to refer to the Overlook Mountain and Blue Hole issues to know that crowds swarm to these attractions via the viral nature of social media and websites. As with those destinations, Cold Brook Road too is vulnerable and is in no way equipped to handle the attention that Rail Explorers will bring it when tourists decide to revisit the road for its access to the Esopus Creek. We foresee a rise in swimming, traffic, parking, trespassing, trash, urination, injuries, etc. We know that neither the County nor the Town of Olive will be able to control this potential influx 24 hours a day and Homeowners should not be put in the position to police, rescue, assist, control the public or defend our properties and pets from intrusive or disrespectful tourists.

  18. ulsterfarian

    A railroad operator would not have to get the neighbor’s permission to pass, so why would/should a railbike operator have to?

    Instead of using subjective observations of noise from disgruntled neighbors to the north, simply measure the sound of the railbikes and check that it is below code for neighborhoods.

    Way too much NIMBY in Ulster County to grow our tourism economy sadly.

  19. Pat

    In response to Peter and Steve, You are both entitled to your opinion, but as I stated previously you don’t live on Cold Brook Road. Peter, How wonderful for you to see Red Tail Hawks in your development. Have you seen any Bald Eagles sitting in the trees by your home? Now that would be something to see. To think they were once on the “endangered species” list and were moved to the “threatened species” list is quite an accomplishment thanks to the DEP and their Conservation Plan, which is on going. Our road is located at the Upper Basin of the Ashokan so the Eagles hunt this corridor. They are hunting for trout, and have seen them snatch fish right out of the Creek. I do own a lawnmower, but don’t mow my lawn, seven days a week, several times per day. No snowblower, no quads, no motorcycles. Steve, I’m making an assumption that you have a love for pedal cars and we could go on and on and argue, but the bottom line is we have done our homework and know what’s at sake. We will continue to proceed with what we know to be right and whatever the outcome, both sides will have to accept that. However, don’t think we are a bunch of “bumpkins” and have a fear for the unknown. Peter, thank you for the website, which I’m familiar with. You should also check out: audubon.org-birdareas/ashokan-reservoir-area, dec.ny.gov/animals/7068.html, https://nctc.fws.gov/resources/knowledge-resources/pub5, wppc@dos.ny.gov, willnixon.com/insights/ashokaneagles, and finally Conservation Plan for Bald Eagles in New York State. Peter, I will give you a thumbs up for your suggestion of moving the whole business down to Kingston and Basin Road, the track is more level, but as you stated that would be too simple a solution. Thank you to both of you for taking the time to express your opinions.

Post Your Thoughts