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DEC Imposes New Fines For Illegal Trail Building
I recently returned from a meeting with the head folks at the DEC. They have been working on new regulations that are specifically aimed at illegal mountain bike trails and structure building. The new fines will be up to $15,000.00

They don't want to be the fun police but they are armed now (or soon will be) to make the charges stick.

It's better to work with them and ask for permission first than to go in and build things on your own and risk being arrested.

They showed me lots of pix of illegal trails and structures (some I recognized) and they said they will be going after the folks who are building them. I think they said if you are using them you are just as guilty but I need to clarify.

Be forewarned.

Mountain bikers are already getting a bad rap for this type of behavior and it will prevent us from getting access to more trails in the future.

Here are the new regs:

Lands and Forests Emergency, Proposed & Recently Adopted Regulations

Some recent and proposed regulations that affect recreational use of State Land, you can read the full text at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/2359.html Some excerpts follow:

Proposed Regulations
Operation of Motorized Vehicles, Vessels, Aircraft and Motorized Equipment in the Forest Preserve

This proposed amendment to Part 196 protects the wilderness qualities of Forest Preserve areas classified as wilderness, primitive, canoe, and primitive bicycle corridor by restricting the use of motorized equipment in these areas.

6 NYCRR Section 196.8 Express Terms

The title to Part 196 is amended to read as follows:

OPERATION OF MOTORIZED VEHICLES, VESSELS,[AND] AIRCRAFT AND MOTORIZED EQUIPMENT IN THE FOREST PRESERVE

A new section 196.8 is added to 6 NYCRR to read as follows:

§196.8 Operation of motorized equipment in wilderness, primitive, primitive bicycle corridor and canoe areas within the Adirondack and Catskill Parks.

(a) Applicability. This section applies to all state owned lands in the Adirondack Park which are classified as wilderness, primitive and canoe by the Adirondack Park Agency. These lands are depicted on the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Adirondack Forest Preserve Land Classifications Map, 2009. This section also applies to all state owned lands in the Catskill Park which are classified as wilderness or primitive bicycle corridor by the department. These lands are depicted on the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Catskill Forest Preserve Land Classifications Map, 2009.

(b) No person or employee of a city, village, town or county government agency or employee of a state government agency other than the department shall possess or operate motorized equipment within the boundaries of an area of state land classified as wilderness, primitive, or canoe in the Adirondack Park, or an area of state land classified as wilderness or primitive bicycle corridor in the Catskill Park, except at times and locations and for purposes authorized by the department or in the performance of activities authorized by an easement or use reservation on lands subject to such easement or use reservation.

(c) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Adirondack Forest Preserve Land Classifications Map, 2009 and Catskill Forest Preserve Land Classifications Map, 2009 are available from and published by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, 625 Broadway, Albany, New York and on file at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Central Office and Regions 3-6 Regional and Sub-Offices.

Public comments on this proposed regulation will be accepted from Wednesday, September 16, 2009 until 5 P.M. on Monday, November 2, 2009.
Peter Frank
625 Broadway, 5th Floor
Albany, NY 12333
(518) 473-9518
Email comments about this proposed regulation [email protected]

Recently Adopted Regulations

State Lands

This regulation became effective May 13, 2009 and appeared in the State Register on May 13, 2009.

The proposed amendment to Part 190 protects public safety, manages public use and protects natural resources on State lands. Following is the text of the regulation:

6 NYCRR Part 190 Express Terms

Repeal subdivision (a) of 6 NYCRR section 190.0 and add a new subdivision (a) of section 190.0 to read as follows:

(a) Except as otherwise provided, the provisions of this Part shall apply to all persons entering upon or using State lands under the department's jurisdiction that are administered by the Division of Lands and Forests, the Division of Operations, or both, including but not limited to such lands as unique areas, State forests, reforestation areas, multiple use areas, forest preserve, conservation areas, natural resource management areas, preserves, campgrounds and environmentally sensitive lands, and to those rights owned and managed by the State as conservation easements as defined in section 190.12 of this title.

Paragraphs (13) and (14) of subdivision 190.0(b) are renumbered paragraphs (14) and (15) and a new paragraph (13) is added to read as follows:

(13) "Structure" shall mean any object or improvement constructed, installed or placed on State lands, including but not limited to trails, roads, bridges, ramps, buildings, sheds, lean-tos, picnic tables, monuments, memorials, permanent tree stands or permanent hunting blinds, posts, rails, handrails, steps, fences, pipelines, oil, gas and other well structures, septic systems, fuel tanks, utility lines, including but not limited to telephone, electric and cable, mobile homes, campers, trailers, signs, docks and dams, except that tents, campers, temporary blinds and other temporary objects related to authorized recreational activities shall not be considered structures for the purposes of this definition, provided that such objects are in compliance with rules and regulations governing such activities on State lands.

Subdivision (a) of section 190.8 is repealed and a new subdivision (a) is added to read as follows:

(a) The use of State lands or any structures or improvements thereon for private revenue or commercial purposes is prohibited, except as authorized by section 190.7 of this title and Environmental Conservation Law sections 9-0505, 9-0507 and Article 11. This subdivision does not apply to the exercise of rights of fee owners of private lands subject to conservation easements.

Subdivision (g) of section 190.8 is amended to read as follows:

(g) No person shall deface, remove, destroy or otherwise injure in any manner whatsoever any tree, flower, shrub, fern, fungi or other plant like organisms, moss or other plant, rock, soil, fossil or mineral or object of archaeological or paleontological interest found or growing on State land, [excepting] except for personal consumption or under permit from the Commissioner of Environmental Conservation and the [Assistant Commissioner for State Museum and Science Service,] Commissioner of Education, pursuant to section 233 of the Education Law [as amended by chapter 121 of the Laws of 1958, nor shall songbirds and their nests and other wildlife be molested or disturbed at any time, except during the open season therefor, if any].

New subdivisions (r) through (ff) of section 190.8 are added to read as follows:

(r) No person shall operate or possess a snowmobile on forest access roads, truck trails, roads, trails or other areas on State lands outside of the forest preserve which are posted or designated by the department as closed to snowmobile use.

(s) No person shall operate or possess a bicycle on forest access roads, truck trails, roads, trails or other areas on State lands outside of the forest preserve which are posted or designated by the department as closed to bicycle use.
 
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