RRMSEA in the News


MOST RECENT


The Victor Herald Article, October 21, 2009
The Auburn Trail -  Federal agency rejects plan for 6 foot wide extension - By Dean Lichterman

Excerpt:
The fate of the Auburn Trail extension was discussed from several angles at the October 13 meeting of the Victor Town Board. Most notably, Chris Smith of Fisher Associates reported that the Federal Highway Administration has rejected the Town's proposal for a 3,000 foot portion of undeveloped trail between Railroad Mills Road and Fishers Road. The area current;y has a 1 foot path with four feet of shoulder area on either side.

(View PDF below.)


The Victor Herald Guest Essay, December 16, 2008
The Auburn Trail Controversy - By Steven Daniel on behalf of the Coalition

Excerpt:
Most Victor residents agree that open space preservation is important. Most value the natural environment that still exists, in these times of rapid growth. So what is the controversy with the Auburn Trail Extension project? Why are people who share common values unable to find common ground? Why are there objections to the taxpayer funded project to create a multi-use trail from Fishers to Powder Mills Park? We are asking for 3000’ of this trail project to be treated differently than the rest of the trail project. We urge the Town Board to consider RRMSEA as the treasure it is, and to respect the current users, the public input, and the environmental sensitivity. It is not too late to develop a community-valued trail, a trail that is good for users, for the environment, and for the Town.

Read Full Essay


The Victor Herald Article, December 16, 2008
Not-so-happy Trails - Town Board hears both sides of the Auburn Trail Controversy - By Steven G. Poyzer

Excerpt:
Size does indeed matter when it comes to a 3,500-foot stretch of the Auburn Trail expansion project as it passes through the Railroad Mills Special Environmental Area. In a scheduled Public Input Session at the monday, Dec. 8 Victor Town Board meeting the factions lined up and, for more than an hour-and-a-half, offered their best defenses for widening, compromising or leaving the trail as is. [The rest of the article relays what many individuals stated to the Town Board.]

(View PDF below.)

Messenger Post Article, December 11, 2008
Hearing for Auburn Trail plan draws a crowd By Mike Maslanik

Excerpt:
“This is drawing people from the entire region to come and enjoy,” said Penfield resident Carol Southby, president of the Rochester Butterfly Club. “It has an excellent diversity of plants with a level track suitable for all age groups.” Many in attendance didn’t get a chance to sound off on the plan, which includes widening a roughly 3,000-foot section of the trail that many nature lovers say contains rare plants and wildlife — everything from mushrooms to butterflies — and should be preserved. The hearing lasted for nearly two hours — until new town Supervisor Jack Marren called it to a close. “If my math is right, that is 30 people who spoke tonight and I think we should cut it off after this,” Marren said after Pittsford resident Jim Davis spoke out against the proposal. “Everyone else is free to e-mail or fax their comments to us.”


The Victor Herald Article, December 3, 2008
Auburn Trail project threatens endangered species - By Steven G. Poyzer

Excerpt:
Ansel Adams, famed photographer of our nation's wilderness, once wrote "It is horrifying that we have to fight our government to save the environment." ...It's an area the group cites as environmentally sensitive and harboring several endangered species of plant and wildlife. The extension includes an area considered an environmentally sensitive section called "The Railroad Mills Special Environmental Area."...Daniel also told the board, citing legal text, that the coalition had been placed in a position of having to prove that there would be negative impact, when the burden of proof that there would be no adverse impact should rightfully been on Fisher Associates and the proponents of the trail extension.

(View PDF below.)

Messenger Post Article, December 1, 2008
Input sought on Proposed Auburn Trail Expansion - By Mike Maslanik

Excerpt:
The board will seek public input on the proposal at the next regular board meeting on Dec. 8. It planned to issue a State Environmental Quality Review declaration that day, but held off because of the public outcry. Members of the coalition — which includes the Rochester branch of the Sierra Club, the Rochester Birding Association and the Rochester Butterfly Club — said that a widened pathway would disturb a roughly 3,000-foot area brimming with wildlife and rare plants.

 Read Full Article    (Or view PDF below)

Democrat & Chronicle Article, November 27, 2008 
Victor officials discuss foot path - By James Goodman

Excerpt:
“Let’s preserve this narrower section and make it a place where people could slow down — to be in a pleasant scenic place where we could slow down and suddenly see a beautiful spot of nature and appreciate it,” said Peter Debes, environmental education leader of the Rochester Regional Group of the Sierra Club. 

Lew Gurley, who is working with the coalition and is a former regional director of the state Department of Transportation, said that design exceptions to federal projects occur on a regular basis and that, in this case, a formal proposal seeking a narrower path has not been made.

Read Full Article
     (Or view PDF below)



ARCHIVES

Messenger Post Photo Gallery, May 6, 2008
RRMSEA part of Earth Day Celebration -  Photo by Vasilly Bazluk 

Amy Heltz of Victor and her kids, Jennifer 11, Christopher 5, Anna 5, Allison 7, and George, 9, listen to Steve Daniel talk about preserving a 3,500-foot ecological area along Auburn Trail that stretches from Fishers to Powder Mills Park.

See Photo


Messenger Post Article, May 28, 2008

A Trail Becomes a Warpath - By Jessica Pierce

Excerpt:
"As hikers made their way along the overgrown railroad, they gushed at warblers and thrushes, even sparrows, to say nothing of a rare plant that flowers for but a few days each year. It was a chilly and soggy morning on the Auburn Trail in Victor, but spirits were high. "I'm overdosing on the amount of life here!" exclaimed one of the binocular toters."

Read Full Online Article           (Or view PDF below)


WHAM Channel 13, May 29, 2008
"In the News" 6pm news
(Segment about the controversy surrounding the proposed trail.)


Rochester City Newspaper Article, June 11, 2008
Happy Trails to Whom? - By Jeremy Moule

Excerpt:
"Along the Auburn Trail in Victor, between Railroad Mills and Fisher Roads, birds and butterflies dart in and out of the meadowy brush and turtles bask in the sun. For many animals, the area is home. For others, it's a place to breed or nest."

Read Full Online Article          (Or view PDF below)


Messenger Post Letter, June 25, 2008
Railroad Mills Area Worth Saving - By Steven Daniel

Excerpt:
"Our environment keeps getting chipped away – small piece here, another there.  Each loss seemingly not a big deal.  On this short section of the Auburn trail extension we have a chance to protect and highlight a unique area where nature is close-up and personal. It is a gift for our children and community.  Why destroy it with a 10’ wide swath for some bicyclists to zoom through, while the current and future users and nature lovers (including bicyclists, joggers, people with disabling conditions, people with strollers, walkers, etc.) will have lost another natural treasure.  We say we are going green – let’s demonstrate it here."

Read Full Online Letter           (Or view PDF below)


Rochester City Newspaper Letter, July 2, 2008
Environment - Don't Pit Nature Against Accessibility - By Steven Daniel

Excerpt:
"As a member of the Advisory Committee for the Auburn Trail extension, representing the Coalition to Save the Railroad Mills Special Environmental Area, I agree wholeheartedly with Richard E. Williams (letter June 17) that the Auburn Trail be accessible to everyone.  We believe that the trail can be improved, accessible, and the environment protected. Yet we disagree with the Town of Victor’s claims of no significant environmental damage resulting from its plans, which call for unnecessary overwidening of the trail corridor."

Read Full Online Article        (Or View PDF below)


Little Gull - Newsletter for Rochester Birding Association, November 2008
Why Saving the Auburn Trail is Important - By Coalition Representatives

Excerpt:
"The railroad bed is quite narrow - only 10’ wide along much of the 3000’ stretch -  and much of it is surrounded by wetlands.  The proposed trail development would occupy much of the width, and the meadow would essentially be destroyed. The project could impact wetlands as well as state-threatened plant species, and the ‘wilderness feeling’ that so many users mention.  Yet Victor claims there will be no significant environmental impact.

The Coalition is recommending a compromise to a 3’ wide, ADA-compliant trail. Victor asserts that a 3’ trail is unsafe, as bicyclists would have to move off the trail and pass on the grass. We have pointed out that this has been done this for years with no safety issues. Despite substantial opposition (Coalition group members alone number over 5000), Victor is hoping to receive approval of its plans and begin construction in 2009."

Read Full Article            (Or View PDF below)



Democrat & Chronicle Article, November 6, 2008
Upgrade of Trail in Victor Criticized - By James Goodman

Excerpt:
...nature enthusiasts are worried about the effect of a proposed 6-foot wide path made of finely crushed stone that would be built on this 3,000-foot-long portion of the trail. More than 200 species of plants, 130 species of birds and 37 species of butterflies have been found in the area of (this) stretch of trail, according to the coalition.
[Note: This article contains some inaccuracies on our position.  See Letter to Editor below.]

Read Full Article   (Or View PDF below)


Democrat & Chronicle Letter to Editor, November 15, 2008
Group is mindful of accessibility - By Steven Daniel

Complete:
The Nov. 6 article on the trail controversy in Victor may have created a misconception. The proposal of the Coalition to Save the Railroad Mills Special Environmental Area has always recommended a 3-foot-wide Americans with Disabilities Act-accessible trail to preserve the environmental sensitivity and uniqueness of that area. See www.saveauburntrail.org for more information. The plan meets the requirements of the federal Access Board's proposal for "Accessibility Guidelines for Outdoor Developed Areas." The coalition has always been interested in getting as many users as possible onto the trail. Environmental education and awareness are so important today. The Railroad Mills Special Environmental Area is a little-known natural wonder in our area. Let's preserve it — and share it with as many people as possible.


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Not-so-happy Trails - Victor Herald Article - December 16, 2008  282k v. 1 Nov 11, 2009, 8:42 PM Auburn RRMSEA
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Auburn Trail - Federal agency rejects plans for 6ft wide extension - Victor Herald - October 21, 2009  422k v. 1 Nov 11, 2009, 8:48 PM Auburn RRMSEA
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A Trail Becomes A Warpath - Messenger Post Article - May 28,2008   106k v. 3 Oct 30, 2008, 1:59 PM Auburn RRMSEA
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Happy Trails To Whom? - Rochester City Newspaper - June 11, 2008   562k v. 3 Oct 30, 2008, 2:00 PM Auburn RRMSEA
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Railroad Mills Area Worth Saving - Messenger Post Article - June 25, 2008   775k v. 3 Oct 30, 2008, 2:00 PM Auburn RRMSEA
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Environment - Don't Pit Nature Against Accessibility - City Newspaper - July 2, 2008   197k v. 3 Oct 30, 2008, 2:02 PM Auburn RRMSEA
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Why Saving Auburn Trail Is Important - RBA Little Gull - November 2008  2231k v. 4 Oct 30, 2008, 2:03 PM Auburn RRMSEA
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Upgrade of Trail in Victor Criticized - D & C - November 6, 2008  1334k v. 2 Nov 7, 2008, 3:09 PM Auburn RRMSEA
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Victor Officials Discuss Footpath- D & C - November 27, 2008  561k v. 2 Nov 27, 2008, 1:12 PM Auburn RRMSEA
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Input sought on proposed Auburn Trail Expansion - Messenger Post Article - December 1, 2008  138k v. 1 Dec 2, 2008, 7:11 PM Auburn RRMSEA
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Auburn Trail project threatens endangered species - Victor Herald - December 3, 2008  2294k v. 1 Dec 9, 2008, 7:20 PM Auburn RRMSEA