New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) has released a Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement (DGEIS) that calls for the removal of the historic lodge and other outbuildings. AARCH has advocated for the preservation and public enjoyment of this historic site for more than 15 years and has developed multiple alternatives for the site that are legal and compatible with its Forest Preserve setting. That NYSDEC has so completely and thoughtlessly dismissed these alternatives flies against its obligations under the State Historic Preservation Act and sections of Environmental Conservation Law.
Two of these alternatives include operating it as an historic site, using the Camp Santanoni model and, managed through a nonprofit partner, using it to provide healing retreats for traumatized veterans and their families.
NYSDEC has opened the first window for public comment on the future of Debar Pond Lodge. This initial public comment period is set to expire Thursday, November 12. For more information on DEC plans, see the draft DGEIS at: https://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/lands_forests_pdf/debarscope.pdf
We encourage you to speak up for the preservation and public use of Debar Pond Lodge by sharing your signature of support with AARCH here. Also consider sending your comments directly to NYSDEC via email to Steven Guglielmi at [email protected].