Deadline for Submissions Feb. 23, 2024
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced a call for submissions for input on providing horse and wagon operations to enable people with disabilities to enjoy the historic Camp Santanoni in Newcomb, Essex County. DEC is seeking feedback on a scope of work related to providing access to the site through horse-drawn wagon, including the site, location, and frequency of service as it pertains to the capacity, ability, and availability of vendors, as well as any adjustments that can be made to improve the service.
Regional Director Joe Zalewski said, “DEC has provided horse-drawn wagon rides to Camp Santanoni for many years as a service to members of the public who may not otherwise be able to visit this historic site. This RFI will allow DEC to explore all of our options regarding this service, including learning about potential vendors, the needs and interests of the disabled community, and how we can continue to offer this accessible option in a reliable way in keeping with the character of the area.”
DEC is seeking plans and ideas that address site objectives to include access to the site for people with disabilities through horse-drawn wagon rides on the nearly 10-mile round trip trail. This provision was envisioned and described in the 2016 Camp Santanoni Historic Area Unit Management Plan. While horse-drawn wagon service to the site has been in operation for more than 20 years, this RFI seeks to improve access to people with disabilities and promote a long-term, sustainable plan to continue this service for members of the public.
The Camp Santanoni Historic Area includes one of the oldest Adirondack great camps and is a unique historical treasure managed by DEC in partnership with the town of Newcomb, the Friends of Camp Santanoni, and Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH). DEC provides non-motorized access to the site in keeping with the wild character of this historic area in the Adirondack Forest Preserve. During the spring and summer months, Camp Santanoni is a popular destination and accessible by foot, mountain bike, or horse. DEC seeks to contract with private entities to provide reliable horse-drawn wagon rides along the access road to safely serve users with disabilities.
In winter months, the site offers a moderate ski or snowshoe opportunity and traditionally opens its buildings for three winter weekends each year. These weekends allow users unique winter access to the buildings, warming huts, and guided tours.
DEC partners with AARCH to manage interpretation and restoration projects at Camp Santanoni, with significant support from the town of Newcomb. AARCH was awarded a DEC-administered grant of $1 million for fire protection and assistance with site management, and $500,000 was appropriated under the Environmental Protection Fund for stewardship of State lands in both the 2023 and 2024 New York State budgets.
RFI submissions must be emailed or postmarked by Feb. 23, 2024. More information about the Camp Santanoni Historic Area and the RFI can be found on DEC’s website.
DEC also welcomes questions about this RFI process, as well as requests for a site tour to better inform submissions. RFI Submissions, questions and site tour requests should be submitted to [email protected] or to the address below:
NYSDEC, C/O Robert Ripp, Forester
Re: Santanoni RFI
1115 State Route 86, PO Box 296
Ray Brook, NY 12977-0296