Long Island Trail Lovers Coalition

preserving, protecting and enhancing
our nature and recreation trails

HOME ABOUT JOIN US TRAIL CARE TRAILS CONTACT

 

Paumanok Path Summit 2004

Saturday, November 20, 2004
Suffolk County Community College, Riverhead Campus

 

Left to Right: Gene Makl, Ed Goodell, and Steve Biasettii have a chat before the Summit.

Minutes

Welcoming Remarks

Ray Corwin, Vice President of the Long Island Greenbelt Trail Conference

Ray introduced himself, welcomed everyone and invited everyone in the room to
introduce themselves.

He said that we were here in order to accomplish two goals: 

1-         To address the issue of closing the gaps in the Paumanok Path

2-         To address the issue of stewardship of the Paumanok Path

The plan is to gather the information from all the issues that are raised today and to prepare a summary to give to everyone after the Summit is over.  He talked about the fact that this Summit has been in the works for some time and will be an introduction to what has been accomplished in the past 40 years and what needs to be accomplished within the next 1-2 years. 

One of the goals is immediate:  to close the gaps in the trail.  He asked everyone
attending the meeting to ask themselves the question, “What can I contribute to this goal?”  This issue along with the issue of who will care for (steward) this path must be addressed.  If not, he said, we will “be doing a lot of road walking” in the future.  He talked about the “modern day landscape” and the necessity of preserving natural open space.

Mr. Corwin introduced Ed Porco, President of the East Hampton Trails Preservation Society (EHTPS).  Mr. Porco gave credit to Ken Kindler for working to make this Summit happen.  He also spoke of EHTPS joining the NY/NJ Trails Conference and the benefit of this “excellent affiliation.”   Among other things this has allowed EHTPS to purchase insurance coverage at a lower rate.  Ed indicated that he looks forward to building a closer relationship between EHTPS and the NY/NJ Trails Conference.

 Keynote Speaker

Ed Goodell, Executive Director New York / New Jersey Trail Conference

Mr. Goodell thanked everyone for the invitation to be here and for the work that is being done regarding the Paumanok Path.  He acknowledged John Grob, NY/NJ

Trails Conference Trails Supervisor of the Jockey Hollow National Historic Park and NY/NJ Trail Conference Director Gary Haugland, who were also present at the Summit.

Mr. Goodell said that he would address the two main issued of the Summit: 

•           Closing the gaps in the Paumanok Path

•           Stewardship of the Paumanok Path.

He gave a brief history of the NY/NJ Trail Conference:

In 1920 the first park manager of the Palisades Interstate Park, Major William

Welch, had tens of thousands of acres to manage, no budget, and many people using the land.  He began talking to trails clubs (then called tramping clubs), and asked for their help in developing and marking trails.  A couple of years later, Benton MacKaye spoke of creating a “greenway” along the eastern seaboard and planning for “open space protection.”  The Trail Conference built the first section of the Appalachian Trail in 1923 and completed the New Jersey and New York sections in 1930. 

The NY/NJ Trail Conference was an all-volunteer organization comprised of hiking clubs and governed by club delegates until 1970 when the by-laws were changed.  There is now a board of directors, paid staff and individual members.  Club delegates representing the 96 member clubs and delegates-at-large representing the individual members still elect the Board and establish the bylaws.  Volunteers are given decision-making responsibility and are relied upon to do most of the work.  The staff “connects the dots that volunteers cannot”.  The goal is to get as many people involved as possible because these are the people who love the land.  There are 1000 volunteers working more than 30,000 hours within the organization in an average year and a record of volunteer hours is audited annually. 

Major Welch was a strong proponent of “cooperative management” through which public agencies and volunteer groups work together to manage the resource.  Besides serving as a key advisor to the fledgling National Park Service and chairing the Trail Conference from 1920-1930, Welch created the Appalachian Trail Conference (ATC) in 1925 in the same cooperative management model.  The Appalachian Trail, which is a NPS park unit, is managed through cooperative agreements by 31 separate hiking and not-for-profit groups.    For example, the Appalachian Trail consists of 2200 miles of trails and travels through many jurisdictions but has only one NPS ranger.  It works according to the concept of “cooperative management” and Mr. Goodell suggested that the cooperative management model has been demonstrated to work in complex jurisdictional situations and should be strongly considered by the Paumanok Path supporters and stakeholders.

Mr. Goodell displayed a map of the 1,600-miles of official designated and marked trails maintained by the NY / NJ TC.  A “Trail Council” comprised of 14 area trail committees are charged with setting overall trail policy and maintaining trails according to standards.  Individual trail committees may have cooperative agreements with Federal, State, County and Municipal parks and enforcement agencies.  Ideally, representatives from each of these jurisdictions meet regularly to address management issues and revise the management agreement.

Individual volunteers maintain a specific section of trails and collectively cover all 1,600 miles.  Maintainers take care of the clipping and look for erosion problems that may be affecting the trail.  Maintainers are required to submit two status reports annually, one in late spring and the other in the fall.  Supervisors oversee trail maintainers in an area and committee chairs oversee supervisors in a region.  In addition, there are volunteer trails crews; who respond to the needs of trail chairs for heavy construction and renovations.  Other workers include “boundary monitor positions”; these people prevent incursions at the boundaries and play an “ambassadorial role” to adjoining property owners.

Training is of “critical importance”; workshops for maintainers creates camaraderie and allow new people to come in at any given time and feel included and educated in the process.  The workshops help to develop people who will be leaders, the supervisors,
chairs and trail crew chiefs.  Workshops are a “key element of making this volunteer effort work”.  Trails projects are always educational projects and include ongoing training.

Mr. Goodell said that as there is less and less open space, people have become more concerned with preserving open space and creating open space funds.  This is a reaction to over development.  This “dire” situation may actually help to get more funding because the less open space there is the more people fight for it.  In addressing the issue of closing the gaps in the Paumanok Path, Ed suggests that we use the model that the National Park Service has employed for the Appalachian Trail:  First:  If you don’t have a trail in place in a section, road walk – don’t allow the gaps to stop you from continuing the trail.  Second:   Utilize “land acquisition tools”; Ask people for permission to walk across their land.  This is called “revocable permission” and may later lead to legal easements.  This also builds a positive relationship.  Sometimes this permission is only verbal, written is preferable but do take verbal permission if that is all you can get.  Sometimes people are reluctant to sign anything.  Easements can sometimes turn into donations of property.  Eventually the property will pass on to their heirs, who may be willing to give or sell the land for an easement.  Another land acquisition tool:  “limited development” which is to buy more property than you need and sell the road frontage and keep only the back portion for trail purposes.  There is a NYS law on the books that states that if a trail is drawn on an official map that land cannot be developed.

Mr. Goodell says that it is necessary to have a “vision map” in order to show the big picture of “connectivity” from an ecological and a political perspective.  Connectivity shows that the “sum of the whole is greater than its parts”.  A vision map shows the Path, as it will be in the future and gives people a visual concept of the “big picture”. 

Obtain addresses of the landowners whose cooperation you need and approach them for permission to use their land for easements.  Use GIS systems and “lot & block” maps in order to see this big picture.

The NY/NJ Trail Conference has a trails lobbyist in Albany who works to advocate for the Community Preservation Fund. 

Publish hiking maps even if the trail route is undergoing change.  Maps are necessary in order to get people out there.

There is a Statewide Community Preservation Act and an Off-Road Vehicle Bill. 

There is a proposal to increase registration of motorized vehicles.  Trails need to be built for ORV’s, but not on State land.  The goal of the bill is for “a point-of-purchase registration system: and automobile sized licenses.  Law enforcement officials cannot “create a greater danger” when in pursuit of an illegal ORV operator.  This is called rule of pursuit. This makes it difficult for law enforcers to enforce these ORV laws.

Insurance for hiking clubs is available through membership in the NY/NJ Trail Conference.

In summation, Mr. Goodell stressed the concept of “connectivity” and “healthy
communities”.  These are terms that the public responds to.  He said that in the next decade Long Island will be “built out”; all the land will either be preserved or developed.  Trails are a “great mechanism” for preserving open space.

An Introduction to the Paumanok Path

Ray Corwin said that 3 overviews of the Paumanok Path would now be presented:  Each overview will look at the three separate parts of the Paumanok Path “the bulk of which is largely in place”.  The first of the three parts of the Path to be addressed is the westernmost end (from Rocky Point to the Southampton town line).  Ray Corwin will present this overview. The overview of the easternmost end (in East Hampton) will be presented by Rick Whalen.  The overview of the middle section of the Paumanok Path will be presented last since it poses the most challenge in terms of closing gaps.  This section travels through Southampton (where the gaps in the path are located) and will be presented by Steve Biasetti, Senior Environmental Analyst for Group for the South Fork.

Ray Corwin spoke about the western end of the Paumanok Path.  This section of the Path begins in Rocky Point on what was the RCA property.  This land came to NYS in the mid to late 1970’s.  These 5000 acres are under the management of the DEC. Thanks to Steve Englebright in the late 1980s, the Suffolk County Pine Trail Nature Preserve was established and now connects the State Rocky Point Preserve with the Robert Cushman Murphy County Park.  Suffolk Hills/ Manorville Hills/ and Riverhead Hills all refers to the same area.  This includes in part what was once the old Grumman property and used as a “safety” zone.  A NYS permit is needed in order to hike any DEC property.

Rick Whalen, member of East Hampton Trails Preservation Society, presented an overview of the easternmost section of the Paumanok Path.  This section of the Path begins at the Southampton/East Hampton border and runs out to Montauk Point. 

In 1998 the East Hampton portion of the Paumanok Path was completed.  The Path is “considered complete in East Hampton”.  The Path is “99% protected and complete”.  There is very little road walking and very little that will be rerouted in the future.  The Paumanok Path in East Hampton is a “spine of a trail web that connects all the trails in East Hampton:  It travels through town lands, Suffolk County Park land, private land, the Grace Estate Preserve, Stony Hill Peconic Land Trust Preserve, NYS Napeague Park, NYS DEC land, Hither Hills State Park, Hither Wood Preserve, Montauk Point State Parkway, Indian Field (Theodore Roosevelt) County Park, Camp Hero State Park, and Montauk Point State Park.  There are a few areas of the Path that may involve re-routing including:  the Suffolk County Water Authority property on the east side of Town Line Road; newly acquired Town parkland on the west side of Sag Harbor Turnpike; Fireplace Road where there is recently acquired Town land; Cranberry Hole Road; East of East Lake Drive where it is very wet – “we are trying for an easement on private land nearby; and Ogden’s Brook area where “we would like to move the Paumanok Path away from a horse trail.”  Mr. Whalen said, “the Paumanok Path in East Hampton is blazed and walkable today.”

Steve Biasetti, Environmental Analyst of the Group for the South Fork, presented an overview of the Southampton portion of the Paumanok Path assisted by Laura Smith of the Southampton Town Community Preservation Program.  Two handouts were distributed to all the attendees at the Summit:  one was a set of 2 maps: 

1-         “Proposal for Completion of Paumanok Path West”

2-         “Proposal for Completion of Paumanok Path East”.

The other handout was a list of  “Targeted Parcels, Possible Easements, and Use of Paper Roads” as a means of land acquisition for the purpose of closing the gaps in the Paumanok Path.  77 Proposed Parcels are listed in four geographic areas. 

Steve Biasetti began by stating that since the conception of the Paumanok Path as an idea in the late 1980’s trail advocates have recognized that Southampton Town would pose the most challenges to completion.  A variety of circumstances contributed to this
understanding. 

(1)        Large sections of proposed trail existed only on paper, especially east of the Canal. 

(2)        There was a scarcity of public lands in the eastern part of Southampton.

(3)        The particularly challenging section – from Hampton Bays through

Shinnecock Hills to Tuckahoe – combined the lack of public lands with a moderate amount of residential development. 

The western section of the Paumanok Path in Southampton is completed.  There is a contiguous trail from the Central Pine Barrens in Rocky Point through to Red Creek Park.  The eastern section of the Path is complete from Big Woods Preserve in North Sea to the Southampton/East Hampton town line, though there are potential opportunities for trail improvement and enhancement.

Mr. Biasetti said that the major challenge to completing the Paumanok Path lies between Hampton Bays and Tuckahoe.  For the purposes of the Summit, this problem area was segmented into three parts. 

Gap #1 is the area between Red Creek Town Park and the Shinnecock Canal. There are a number of possibilities for getting the trail off the road.  Still chances are slight that all road walking will be eliminated between Red Creek and the Canal. The land in this area includes property owned by the Shinnecock Indian Nation.  An interesting possibility for getting from Newtown Road to the Canal involves utilizing the Sunrise Highway right-of-way

Gap #2 is located in the area between the Shinnecock Canal and Southampton

College.  Again, there are a number of possibilities for getting the trail off the road.  Paper roads – roads shown on tax maps but not existing on the land – are an intriguing wild card. There are three places (sections of Canoe Place Road, Sugar Loaf Road, Shinnecock Hill Road) where paper roads could be helpful for bridging the gap between the Canal and the College.  Rick Whalen, an attorney with extensive knowledge in real estate law, pointed out that “ownership of the land on which paper roads are located is unclear.  They are usually privately owned, but there are exceptions to that.”  Mike Bottini raised the possibility of using the concept/process of “eminent domain” in order to obtain these properties.  In addition, the idea was raised that there are LIRR and LIPA easements near this property that could possibly be used in order to close this gap in the path.

Gap #3 is from Southampton College to Tuckahoe Woods. A major question for this section is:  How do we get to the north side of County Road 39?  Three options exist, Tuckahoe Road traffic light, St. Andrews Road underpass, Magee Street traffic light, none of which are optimal It may be possible to erect a pedestrian bridge as is done for the US Open golf tournament when it takes place at Shinnecock Hills.  Mr. Biasetti said that a Magee Street crossing is safer than an “at grade” Tuckahoe Road crossing, but would require substantial sections of road walking.   In conclusion, much of the Paumanok Path is completed in Southampton, but there are still significant planning challenges in the gap between Red Creek Park and Tuckahoe Woods.  Major strides can be made if the questions on using paper roads and the Sunrise Highway Right-of-way can be answered in a favorable way.

Question and Answer / Comments Period for all presentations that have so far taken place:

Mike Bottini, following up on what Ed Goodell said, feels it would be beneficial to form a committee to go out and get some verbal permissions especially near the golf courses and other “out-of-play” areas.  He feels this approach may have potential for closing the gaps in the trail in Southampton.

Rick Whalen said that this has been done successfully in East Hampton.

Q.         Ed Porco asked what “competent authorities” are involved in this.

A.         Steve Biasetti said the Southampton Town Board has helped tremendously through CPF acquisitions in eastern Southampton, and Suffolk County Parks continues to be a good partner in completing the Path.  Additionally, NYSDOT may be able to play a role regarding the Sunrise Highway right-of-way.

Q. Ed Porco asked Ed Goodell if the NY/NJ Trails Conference keeps an inventory for their tools and how do they handle liability.

A.  Ed Goodell said that they have very few tools and the volunteers only use hand tools.  The trails are remote and it is not possible to use power tools.  The liability issue depends on the municipality that is involved.  Volunteer trail maintainers are covered on NYS Workman’s Compensation policy.  The State now requires that all volunteers sign on each year.  When the volunteers are on private lands, the Trails Conference takes out an insurance policy to cover volunteers; they also recommend that the volunteers “up” their homeowner’s policies.  New Jersey “indemnifies” the state for any work that is done.  Mr. Goodell said that the liability issue was “largely ignored for 80 years” and they are now still working to address this issue.

Q. Ken Kindler asked a yes or no question to Ed Goodell, “Will the NY/NJ Trails

Conference help us build a cracker-jack trails building and maintenance team?”

A. Ed Goodell said, “yes.”

An attendee asked the question of Ed Goodell if the NY/NY Trail Conference has any plans to create maps for Long Island.

Mr. Goodell said that they have no such current plans but suggested that an effective way to get maps created is to work in conjunction with the local businesses surrounding the trail.  For example, stores that sell hiking gear, restaurants, Bed & Breakfasts, in other words other people who have a vested interest in the successful promotion of the Paumanok Path may work cooperatively to produce and/or fund the creation of maps.

Someone asked how hikers might obtain maps of the trails and several members of various hiking groups said that maps are available through each of the hiking groups.  Rick Whalen said that his brother, Charles Whalen, had created a map of East Hampton trails and that he had some with him for sale today.  Ken Kindler said that the East Hampton maps are available through the website he developed and maintains, www.hike-li.org.  

Laura Smith said that Southampton Town is working on a trail map.

Ray Corwin thanked Ken Kindler for creating the map showing the entire length of the Paumanok Path.  It was on display at the Summit.  He also thanked Larry Paul for his maps.  Mr. Corwin announced (at 11:10 am) that there would now be a break and that we would re-convene at approximately 11:20.

The Summit re-convened at 11:30.  Ray Corwin said that the first part of the

Summit addressed the issue of closing the gaps in the path, and now this second session would address the issue of the stewardship of the path.

  • Achieving the Paumanok Path:

  • Addressing the Issue of Stewardship

Ray Corwin introduced Gene Makl, a member and past president of the East Hampton Trails Preservation Society who would make the first presentation regarding stewardship.

Mr. Makl said that, regarding stewardship, the Objective is to “ensure the Paumanok Path is safe, easily accessible and user friendly”. 

There are 8 main problems as stated by Mr. Makl.  These are: 

1-         Long Island soil is sandy – the island is basically a sandbar with a very shallow layer of topsoil. The trail easily wears and is eroded away.

2-         Volunteer abilities are limited – “99% of the work done on the trails is done by volunteers” – the capability of these volunteers is getting “maxed –out”. 

Trails maintenance no longer requires just blazing and trimming, but now reconstructing the trails, using power equipment that is often unwieldy. Liability is and issue, he feels the work is becoming too difficult and dangerous for the volunteers to handle.

3-         Trail Design. Many segments of trails, he feels, have not been designed properly; the soil washes away when design is poor; degree of slope and elevation has not always been taken into account in the design and this can lead to rapid erosion. 

4-         Misuse of Trails.  ATVs are becoming a major problem.  He referred to an article that appeared in the NY Times regarding trails in Florida that have been torn up by ATVs – the article included an aerial view of the trail damage.

5-         Lack of adequate signs and maps.  People need more information in order to go out hiking on their own without a leader.  Maps are necessary for hikers to have in order to navigate and also if rescue is required; hikers need to be able to give their location to a rescue worker if necessary.  It is important for hikers to carry cell phones.

6-         Parking.  EHTPS hikes often draw as many as 45 hikers or more with 20 or more cars.  People often don’t know where trailheads are and where they can park.

7-         Code enforcement has inadequate resources, especially regarding the use of ATVs and dumping on the trail. 

8-         Diverse land management. There are over 200 miles of landowner sanctioned trails in East Hampton alone including approximately 50 miles of trails connecting to the Paumanok Path.  These trails travel through various municipalities including State, County, Town and the Peconic Land Trust.

Mr. Makl said the heavy reliance on volunteers to maintain the trails becomes more of a problem, as the bulk of the volunteers are senior citizens whose capabilities are becoming limited.  Mr. Makl said that EHTPS has had success in working with Suffolk County officials who have relocated proposed buildings and parking areas and have also assisted in the preservation of acreage between the Grace Estate and Cedar Point Park.

The “Root Problem” according to Gene Makl is the diverse land management
responsibilities.  The land managers feel a great responsibility for the land but perhaps not as much for the trails.

The “Actions Required” according to Mr. Makl is for “Land managers to take full
responsibility for trails stewardship”. This would include: trail designing; maintenance; signs and maps; parking and code enforcement.  Mr. Makl proposes that trail stewardship be a “line item” in the budgets.  Funds should be allocated for trails in the same way that they are allocated for parks and beaches.  People come out east, Mr. Makl maintains, for the natural beauty of the area.  “Trails are the conduit into the natural beauty of the area.  Town Boards need to recognize the potential for eco-tourism benefits.  People come out here for the natural beauty, and while they are here they spend money on restaurants, shopping and lodging.” 

Mr. Makl also said that 1/3 of East Hampton is preserved and an excellent job has been done but there is more to be done in order to preserve and maintain the trails- “it is our #1 priority to do so.” 

Mr. Makl posed the following question to the group, “How do we get the land managers to take full responsibility for trails stewardship?”

            Questions & Comments from attendees to Mr. Makl:

            Q. Rick Whalen feels that some of what Mr. Makl said is “controversial” and takes issue with the term “full responsibility”.  The model, Mr. Whalen said, for trail maintenance in this country is the use of volunteers to do the bulk of the work.

            A. Mr. Makl clarified his position by saying that he means that volunteers still do trails maintenance, but that the land managers should “drive” the initiative – not the other way around.

Larry Paul commented that municipalities are understaffed and he proposes that volunteers trails groups each take responsibility for their segment of the Paumanok Path.

John Black said we should consider limiting access to the trails to the amount of traffic the trails can withstand.  He feels increasing the parking availability may increase usage of the trails ever further, and cause more problems.

            Rick Whalen maintains that overuse is not an issue – ATVs, poor trail design and lack of sufficient maintenance (esp. lack of water bars to curb erosion) are the main problems facing trail maintenance.  Mr. Whalen said that Ken Kindler’s concept of increased map availability and user friendly trails and thus increased usage by hikers (citing the Manorville Hills project as an example) leads to the positive outcome of having more people who care about the trails, becoming aware of them, and wanting to help maintain them.

            John Black gave examples of overuse, citing the Walking Dunes and the disappearance of the Phantom Forest as what can happen with overuse.  He proposes a permit system to limit the number of people who have access each day.

            Dianne Rulnick does not agree that limiting access is an answer, she said “this is an enormous resource” and Southampton Town is now taking more of a leadership role and funding issues are now being addressed.  She proposes a “volunteer brigade” who would work with code enforcers.

            Ray Corwin reminded everyone who is commenting to avoid using global terms such as “the town” or “the county” and to remember that these municipalities are made up of many individuals.

            Lanny Wexler of NYS DOT said they have a program called “Local Safe Streets” through which the parking issue may be able to be addressed.

            Ed Goodell returned to the front of the rooms to say that the term “environmentally benign” should be added to the objective statement presented by Gene Makl.  He illustrated on the presentation board a hierarchy of funding and decision making model showing 

Park Unit - Staff - Users

as all being a necessary part of the equation.  Mr. Goodell said that there should be a volunteer labor advocacy group such as a “Friends of the Trail Groups” in order to augment the work of the land managers.  He said funding should be put into parking and signage and he advocates the usage of trails saying that more funding and the addressing of issues (problems) will follow the increased usage. 

Mr. Goodell also introduced the concept of “limits of acceptable change” – saying that having a clear picture of what you want the area to look like in the future is very important.  He also said that there is a need for ongoing education for the public.

Nancy Manfredonia of the LI Greenbelt Trail Conference said that change is often slow and cited the example of finally gaining signage on the Greenbelt after 25 years – “eventually things do change.”

            Gary Hoagland of NY/NJ Trail Conference said that we should strive for consistency along the Paumanok Path and that should not be left up to the land managers.  What is needed is a volunteer base with excellent standards; a maintenance manual and consideration for safety issues  - all through frequent workshops.  He said that well trained volunteers will be able to do a good job of maintaining consistency along the Path.  The staff ensures that the volunteers are doing their job.  A structure for consistency must be implemented along with cooperative agreements.

            Gene Makl feels that final decisions must rest with the land managers.

            Ed Goodell agrees.

            Graham Hawks, of the Peconic Land Trust, said that people must be responsible for their public lands – the public is responsible to inform agencies of the issues and goals attained.  There must be a relationship between volunteers and the land managers.  He feels that there has to be a “50/50 arrangement.  The people who use the land are the ones who know the issues best.  “Each side must do 110%”.

            Ed Porco says that perhaps we need to form a Paumanok Path Committee that will meet with the land managers and create a “uniform policy”

            Laura Smith proposes a concrete plan for goals – not legislated so that individual land managers can adopt a standard.

            A comment was made that more young people need to be brought into the initiative.

            Ken Kindler says that all discussions must be framed with the term “we” and that coalition and teamwork are necessary.  The trails groups have already agreed to be responsible for trails maintenance with the land managers.  The illegal use of ATVs and other inappropriate use and abuse, and the design issues on glacial soils poses great challenges, causing the trails to wear at an “accelerated rate.” These issues weren’t contemplated when we originally agreed to take on total responsibility for caring for the trails.

            Mike Bottini said that parking is a problem because cars are being parked in areas where they should not be and are causing drainage and erosion problems.  He proposes “simple, low-keyed parking spots” not ones large enough for 40 cars.  He addressed the issue of overuse citing the Walking Dunes area previously referred to by John Black.  He said that the Walking Dunes were established in 1988 and that it is now in better condition than it was before they were marked and mapped and people were able to walk them.  He proposes “dispersing use” not limiting access to trails.

            Ken Kindler handed out a copy of his presentation.  He proposes that nonprofit groups take the responsibility for trail maintenance, saying that trails must grow from the support of local communities.  The Paumanok Path Initiative is a coalition of hiking groups and promotes direct involvement by the public.  He feels that getting more people involved in the initiative will lead to more people wanting to do their part to care for the resource.  Mr. Kindler said that the land managers need the trails in order to take care of the land.  We need to increase involvement in stewardship of the trails and proposes workshops for education and to introduce and maintain standards.  He said that potential projects will be posted on the Internet so that volunteer groups can “shop for projects.”  “The trail cannot take care of itself” – it needs community support.  Representatives from all the groups who have a vested interest in the Paumanok Path need to work together for stewardship. 

For the full text: http://www.hike-li.org/ptrail/sustain.htm

Tom Isles, Commissioner of Planning for Suffolk County talked about the County’s Active Open Space Acquisition Program” He said that a $75 million bond issue was recently passed.  The population of Suffolk County is one and half million people.

Mr. Isles offered the assistance of the County Planning Department.  He said that the trails groups should let the County know about key areas of land that are needed for completion of the Paumanok Path.  He also said that the County is in the process of producing a map and that the County still has funds available for preservation of natural open space.  He said, “County Executive, Steve Levy, is committed to the preservation of natural open space.      

Pat McGloin of Nassau Hiking and Outdoor Club, Inc. feels that more people need to be attracted to visit the trails so that more people will care about them and be motivated to help maintain them.

Ray Corwin announced that we would now take a lunch break of one half hour.

After lunch, Nancy Manfredonia asked that each participant answer the following 5
evaluation questions and that these would be collected at the end of the Summit.

28 out of the 46 participants responded:

            #1) Rate the Summit from 1-5

6 people gave it a rating of  3

1 person gave it a rating of  3.5

9 people gave it a rating of  4

2 people gave it a rating of  4.5

10 people gave it a rating of 5

            #2) What was the most important outcome of the Summit?

-Various responses, many citing networking, communication, good info, “getting
everyone in one room”; “to see so many dedicated people united in one cause”, etc.

            #3) What do you see as the greatest challenge?

-Various responses including: User conflicts, enforcement, trail degradation,
prevention of degradation, closing the gaps, stewardship, interjurisdictional
management, etc.

            #4) What specific things can you and/or your organization do to help address
the two main issues concerning the Paumanok Path?

-Answers included: educate people, meet with officials, help publicize effort, help with trail work, etc.

            #5) What would you like to see happen at a future Summit for the Paumanok Path?

-Progress update etc.

Ray Corwin asked everyone to identify the one issue they feel is most important from what was discussed today.  Each person gave one issue:

            -Complete the Paumanok Path

            -Form a group for the PP

            -Complete the PP

            -Make the Path easier for the public to use by eliminating use / parking permit requirements between various municipalities.

            -Pleased to see so many government officials present

            -Trails degradation

            -Guidebook and map of PP needed

            -Pleased with the work that was done today

            -More enforcement to prevent ATV and dirt bike usage

            -Hikers need to become more vocal – too much emphasis is placed on the needs of bikers and horseback riders

            -Complete the PP; produce a map; promote the PP

            -Hikers need to become more of a voice

            -Connectivity – bring trails into public awareness

            -Cooperation between multiple groups and representatives is excellent, there is a great need for this to be developed and continued

            -Close the gaps – Increase communication with the land managers

            -Create more trails off of the PP

            -ATV usage must be addressed

            -Advertise the trail to the public

            -Explore the possibility of using paper roads as easements

            -Comprehensive management plan needs to be formulated for the PP

            -Getting all the groups and interested parties together is excellent

            -Ken Kindler said that we need to have the PP Summit as an annual event and we need to create more coalition among the various parties

            -Ed Goodell said that “a cooperative agreement is needed – the Paumanok Path is hot.” Something needs to be done for publicity, perhaps have a one day hike when everyone is hiking a different portion of the PP simultaneously.

            -The 3 trails groups need to have a follow-up meeting

            -Complete the PP; create a map

            -“Nuke the DEC permits” – Tom Casey

            -Finish the trail; also re-route the section by Halsey Manor by the LIE – use existing trails, do not create more – there are already too many

            -Nancy Manfredonia said she is thrilled to see the enthusiasm and appreciates the work that is being done. She is optimistic that the PP will be completed.  Mrs. Manfredonia also said that a document will be produced from the conference and there will be a follow-up planning meeting.

            -Ray Corwin said that we must trust each other and work together

            -Laura Smith said that we should invite the press to a hike of the gap areas in order to highlight the need to remedy this problem

It was announced that there would be a brief hike at the conclusion of the Summit, and for those interested to meet in the front of the room

Ray Corwin thanked everyone for coming and for the work that went into the conference.  Mike Bottini thanked Ken Kindler for introducing the idea of having a Paumanok Path Summit and for working with everyone in order to make it happen.

The Summit ended at 2:00pm.

 

home   I    about   I    join us   I    trail care   I   trails   I    contact

Long Island Trail Lovers Coalition

Ken Kindler
Open Space & Trails Advocate
Post Office Box 1466
Sayville NY 11782
ken@litlc.org

Web site design and management by Web Strategies
Please contact the Webmaster with any comments about this Web site