Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Camp Santanoni access in question

Santanoni Great Camp Newcomb lake Historic Preservation farm ADKs

Great Camp Santanoni

There’s a difficult situation playing out in the town of Newcomb. Under a court settlement, the state Department of Environmental Conservation is required to provide access to Great Camp Santanoni for people with disabilities. But the horse and wagon operator it contracted with to provide those services, cannot provide them at the level required.

So now the operator’s contract has been terminated, though he may be able to operate under a different permit later this year. It still leaves the question of how the state will comply with its court settlement under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Read our update here.


Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a budget extender last week that will end April 4. The proposed $233 billion state budget was due today, April 1.

“For weeks, I have been negotiating with the Legislature to craft a budget that makes record investments for New Yorkers while putting the State on a fiscally stable path into the future,” Hochul said in a statement on Wednesday. “Working together, I am confident we can deliver a budget that increases the housing supply, invests in schools and health care, and makes New York safer for all.”

We’ll be taking a look at what makes it in (or is left out) of the final budget.

This brings me to invite you all to an event the Adirondack Explorer and the Times Union of Albany are hosting. From 9 to 10:15 a.m. on Wednesday, May 15, we will hold a panel discussion called “Navigating Environmental Legislation,” at The Times Union, 645 Albany Shaker Road Albany, NY 12211.

The panel includes:

  • Blair Horner, executive director of New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG);
  • Sen. Peter Harkham, chair of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee;
  • Sen. Dan Stec, ranking member of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee;
  • Assemblymember Deborah Glick, chair of the Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee; and
  • Assemblymember Matt Simpson, ranking member of the Environmental Conservation committee.

Register for this free event here. 

Adirondack Park Agency

We had a few stories involving the APA last week.

Two concerned the APA’s lack of adjudicatory hearings. Those are public hearings before an administrative law judge and are the only way the APA board can deny a permit.

An appellate court in Utica ruled the APA did not have to hold such a hearing when it authorized a permit for a mine in Forestport. Meanwhile, another appellate court is weighing whether or not the APA should have held a public hearing over the authorization of an herbicide to treat invasive Eurasian watermilfoil in Lake George.

In response to my records request, the New York State Office of the Inspector General acknowledged an “ongoing investigation” involving the APA.

The Adirondack Park Agency’s headquarters in Ray Brook

Photo by Gwendolyn Craig.

Read more on that here.

APA public comments

View all APA public comment and hearing opportunities at: https://apa.ny.gov/Hearings/index.cfm. There were no new projects posted as of Monday early afternoon.

Environmental Notice Bulletin

View all the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s weekly environmental notice bulletin projects.

  • The DEC has issued a tree-cutting notice for water and electric upgrades to Golden Beach Campground in the town of Arietta. The DEC proposes to cut and remove 265 trees three inches or larger in diameter at breast height and 173 trees between one and three inches in diameter at breast height. An estimated 39,000 square feet of soil disturbance is also necessary to perform the upgrades, according to the project description. These upgrades are necessary to meet current utility design standards and Department of Health codes. Public comments are due by April 10. To view the work plan and submit comments, go to https://dec.ny.gov/news/environmental-notice-bulletin/2024-03-27/public-notice/town-of-arietta-golden-beach-campground-utility-upgrades.

Photo at top: Santanoni Great Camp Newcomb Lake Historic Preservation Farm ADKs. Photo courtesy of NYSDEC.

This first appeared in Gwen’s weekly “Adirondack Report” newsletter. Click here to sign up.

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Gwen is the environmental policy reporter for Adirondack Explorer.

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