Trails Council Meeting - December 4, 2014

Thursday, December 4, 2014 - 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Trails Council

New York-New Jersey Trail Conference
Trails Council 
December 4, 2014

5:30 PM – Networking

6:30 PM – Meeting begins

(Severe Weather Date – Thursday, December 11, 2014)



 The Trails Council is a forum for discussing trail-related projects and concerns as well as sharing information and strategies. It makes decisions concerning adoption of new trails, blazing procedures, and matters that directly affect the building and maintenance of hiking trails. Voting members are the council chair, trails chairs, supervisors, trail crew chiefs, and crew leaders. Club trail representatives and visitors are welcome at these meetings, routinely held on the first Thursday of even numbered months, except when inclement or hazardous weather causes cancellation.  In which case, the "severe weather" meeting will be rescheduled for the Thursday of the following week.  Please submit items at least one week before the meeting. We will try to accommodate late submissions if there is time.


Note: All items requiring a vote must be submitted in advance in writing so that we have an accurate record in the minutes.





Approval of minutes


  • Conservation
  • Publications
  • Volunteer Committee
  • Web Team Report


Trail Approvals and Updates – 5 minute time limit per presentation.


For Discussion:

  • Blaze Changes in Turkey Mountain – Jane Daniels
  • North Salem Open Land Foundation – Jane Daniels


Old Business


Sandwiches and beverages will be servedDonations to cover costs are greatly appreciated

Directions: NY NJ Trail Conference: 156 Ramapo Valley Road (Route 202), Mahwah, NJ

It is located on Route 202, near its intersection with Route 17. Coming from the south, take Route 17 to the Route 202 exit in Mahwah, and turn right at the bottom of the ramp.  The Trail Conference office is the first building on the left.  Coming from the north, take the New York Thruway to Exit 15A and continue south on Route 17.  Take the exit for Route 202 (the second exit on Route 17), turn right at the bottom of the ramp, and cross under on Route 17. The Trail Conference is the first building on the left.



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October 2, 2014


          1.  Trails Council Chair Gary Haugland called the meeting to order at 6:32 p.m. at the Trail Conference office in Mahwah, N.J.  Present were: Ed Goodell - Executive Director; Peter Dolan - New Jersey Program Coordinator; Rose Bonanno, Jim Canfield, Daniel D. Chazin, Chris Connolly, Patrick Dalton, Jane Daniels, Walt Daniels, David Day, Monica Day, Jim Haggett, Gary Haugland, Sam Huber, Rich Jobsky, Dick Katzive, Ed Leigh, John Mack, Joel Pinsker, Chris Reyling, Keith Scherer, Frank Schoof, Andrew Seirup, Fred Stern and Bob Ward.


          2.  Announcements.  The following announcements were made:


                   a.  Long Pond Ironworks Bridge.  Peter Dolan announced that funding has been obtained for the replacement of the bridge over the Wanaque River at the Long Pond Iron Works that was washed out by Hurricane Irene in August 2011.


                   b.  Summit.  Chris Connolly announced that background materials, including an agenda, will be sent out about a week in advance to all participants in the Summit meeting scheduled to be held on Thursday evening, October 23rd.  He stated that the purpose of this meeting is to solicit input from volunteers and the Board, and that the second Summit meeting will have actual proposals to discuss.  He also noted that at least 16 trails chairs are planning to attend the October 23rd Summit. 


                   c.  Annual Meeting.  Gary Haugland announced that the Trail Conference Annual Meeting will be held on Saturday, October 18th, at the Caputo Community Center in Ossining, New York.


          3.  Minutes.  The minutes of the Trails Council meeting of August 7, 2014 were approved as submitted. 


          4.  Reports.  The following reports were presented:


                   a.  Report of Publications Committee.  Daniel Chazin reported that the new edition of the Hudson Palisades map set has been printed and is available, and that copies of the new edition of the East Hudson Trails map set should arrive in the office next week.  He also stated that work is progressing on the new digital South Taconic Trails map.


                   b.  Report of Volunteer Committee.  Jane Daniels reported that awards will be presented at the Annual Meeting on Saturday, October 18th, and that if award recipients are unable to attend, alternative arrangements will be made for the presentation of their awards.


                   c.  Web Team Report.  Walt Daniels reported that a contract for the redesign of our website has been signed with the Singlebrook Company of Ithaca, New York and that work is proceeding on the redesign.  He stated that all those who have relevant comments regarding the website should talk to him following the meeting.


          5.  Trail Approvals.  The following new trails and relocations were presented:


                   a.  Adoption of Trails in Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.  Peter Dolan reported that it has been proposed for the Trail Conference to adopt nine miles of trails in Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Morris County, New Jersey.  He explained that although the nearest trail region to the refuge is the Central North Jersey Region, the trails chairs of this region have declined to accept responsibility for these trails.  As a result, he stated, Don Tripp, West Jersey Trails Chair, has agreed to accept responsibility for trails in the refuge for reporting purposes.  Peter Dolan also explained that the trails in the refuge are actually maintained by a friends group which has existed for a number of years. 


          In response to a question by Keith Scherer, it was stated that the various trails in the refuge will be listed on Trail Conference records as being maintained by individuals, although most of these individuals are members of the friends group.  Ed Goodell pointed out that the Federal Government provides insurance coverage for volunteers who work on the trails in this refuge.  After discussion, it was moved, seconded and unanimously carried that the Trails Council recommend to the Board that the nine miles of trails in the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge be adopted by the Trail Conference.


                   b.  Adoption of Trails in Clay Pit Ponds State Park.  Patrick Dalton explained that Clay Pits Ponds State Park, located in Staten Island in New York City,  formerly was the site of a quarry.  He noted that the park contains five miles of hiking trails as well as five miles of bridle paths, which are also used for cross-country skiing, and that it also is the site of a nature center, which could be used for trail workshops.  He also noted that it is proposed to have only the Trails Council approve the adoption by the Trail Conference of the trails in this park and that approval by the Board should not be required.  Jane Daniels explained that since this park is a state park, the adoption of trails in this park need not be approved by the Board, since approval by the Board is required only when the adoption of trails on lands of a new trail partner is involved, and the Trail Conference already maintains trails in a number of New York State parks.  Daniel Chazin questioned this interpretation, pointing out that under this interpretation, the adoption by the Trail Conference of trails in a state park near Buffalo would not require Board approval, even though such trails are far removed from our existing trail system.


          Patrick Dalton explained that the trails in Clay Pits Pond State Park are currently maintained by the Boy Scouts, and he stated that when adopted by the Trail Conference, the trails will be shown as being maintained by individuals.  It was agreed that the Trail Conference would adopt only the existing five miles of hiking trails in the park and not the bridle paths (which are for equestrian use only and largely parallel the hiking trails).  It was noted that two additional miles of hiking trails have been approved by the park manager and can be opened once a new bridge is constructed.  However, it was agreed that, at this time, the Trail Conference would not adopt the two miles of trail that have not yet been completed.


          Daniel Chazin stated that, to reduce confusion and facilitate intelligent discussion at Trails Council meetings, relatively complex trail proposals, such as this one, should be presented in writing to the members of the Trails Council in advance of the meeting.


          After further discussion, it was moved, seconded and unanimously carried that the Trails Council approve the adoption by the Trail Conference of the existing five miles of hiking trails in Clay Pits Pond State Park in Staten Island, except that Daniel Chazin abstained because he believed that the adoption of these trails by the Trail Conference should be approved by the Board (as explained above).


                   c.  Adoption of Lusscroft Farms Trails.  Ed Leigh explained that it has been proposed that the Trail Conference adopt the five miles of trails in Lusscroft Farms, a part of High Point State Park, and he noted that these trails are shown on the Trail Conference’s Kittatinny Trails Map 123.  He stated that volunteers from the Heritage and Agriculture Association currently maintain these trails, which are primarily used by hikers, although there is some equestrian use.  After a brief discussion, it was moved, seconded and unanimously carried that the Trails Council approve the adoption by the Trail Conference of the five miles of trails in Lusscroft Farms. 


                   d.  Relocation of Willow Crest Trail in Swartswood State Park.  David Day explained that a section of the blue-blazed Willow Crest Trail in Swartswood State Park has been flooded by beavers, and he proposed a relocation of this trail section onto ground that is about 15-20 feet higher.  He noted that the new trail route would be about a quarter mile long and is in the process of being approved by the Park.  After discussion, it was moved, seconded and unanimously carried that this proposed relocation be approved by the Trails Council.


                   e.  Relocation of Lackner Trail in Stokes State Forest.  Monica Day outlined a very short relocation of the Lackner Trail in Stokes State Forest, which substitutes a new bridge for the former stream crossing on the remnants of an old dam.  After discussion, it was moved, seconded and unanimously carried that this proposed relocation be approved by the Trails Council.


          6.  Training for Swampers and Sawyers.  David Day reported that the initial training class for swampers and sawyers was held two weeks ago, with seven people attending, two of whom were sawyers.  He noted that the remainder of the attendees were swampers, although most of them wanted to be trained as sawyers.  He stated that, by and large, the class was successful, but that it needed to be clarified whether it was a swamper class or an “introduction to sawyer” class.  Walt Daniels commented that the participants in the class generally had favorable comments, although some expressed the view that more time should have been spent in the outdoors.


          7.  ATVs on Hiking Trails.  John Mack pointed out that the management of the parks object to the use of parklands by ATVs as much as we do, but that they find it difficult to catch the ATVs on park property.  He noted that the policy of Harriman State Park is that if ATV activity is called in and there are police officers available to intercept them, the police will be sent to deal with the ATVs, but he stated that this rarely happens.  He also noted that the park police have stated to him that if we can identify times and locations in which ATVs regularly use park lands, they would try to assign police officers at these times and locations to intercept the ATVs. 


          John Mack reported that Sona Mason is now collecting ATV reports, and the park police is trying to find a way to identify the calls that have come in reporting ATV activity, which are recorded on police blotters.  Walt Daniels pointed out that the information contained in police blotters is a matter of public record.  John Mack stated that the Trail Conference has offered to input all of the information into a spreadsheet, so that it could be analyzed and patterns ascertained.


          David Day reported on instances in which the police in New Jersey have tracked ATVs back to their owners’ property, and he pointed out that this method proved effective in reducing incursions by ATVs on parklands.  Monica Day suggested that hiking clubs be asked to contact the park police whenever they observe ATV activity along trails.  Gary Haugland commented that whenever stings against ATV on parklands were scheduled in the East Hudson area, no ATVs showed up, since local police officers (who had been tipped off as to the raids) ride ATVs extensively.


          John Mack urged that all hikers who observe ATVs in Harriman State Park contact the park police, if possible, immediately from the scene, noting that the phone number for the park police is set forth on the back of our Harriman-Bear Mountain Trails maps.


          8.  Next Trails Council Meeting.  The next Trails Council meeting will be held on Thursday, December 4, 2014.


          9.  The meeting was adjourned at 7:49 p.m.


                                                                             Respectfully submitted,


                                                                             Daniel D. Chazin