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Newcomb Campus
Policies and Guidelines


  • Use of facilities or access to the Newcomb Campus & Huntington Wildlife Forest(HWF) property requires authorization from AEC staff.
  • The speed limit on ALL property roads is 15 mph.
  • A property use request must be approved prior to the initiation of any research activities on HWF (select Adirondack Ecological Center/Huntington Wildlife Forest - Newcomb).
  • Pets are not allowed on the property or in the buildings.
  • Camping and campfires on HWF are permitted only at designated locations and require prior approval of AEC staff. HWF Camping Policy
  • Sensitive research areas are located near Arbutus Lake. These areas are posted with red "Restricted Area" signs. Please keep out of these areas.
  • Guidelines for marking field research plots/sites have been established and will be enforced. Red has been designated as the only color approved for use in conjunction with marking research plots/sites.
  • Firearms and ammunition are not permitted at the Newcomb Campus.

The Newcomb Campus includes the Huntington Wildlife Forest (HWF), a 15,000 acre research facility in the central Adirondacks operated by the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF). The Adirondack Ecological Center (AEC), located at the Newcomb Campus, provides the organizational framework for the numerous research, instructional, and public service activities occurring on HWF. This handbook is intended to provide students, researchers and visitors with information relating to the appropriate use of Newcomb Campus resources.


Accommodations are available throughout the year and provide basic accommodations at minimal cost. Residents should provide: linens & blankets, pillows, toiletries and personal items. Residential cabins in the Arbutus Lake Area are capable of housing a total of 30 people on a seasonal basis or 14 individuals year-round. Bunkhouses in the Rich Lake Area provide space for 50 people. All residents and visitors are expected to exercise good judgment, discretion, and the utmost care in using these facilities. Seasonal residents are expected to share a large responsibility in the upkeep of these facilities. Housing facilities are intended to provide space for sleeping, dining (off season), storage of personal items, and a living area. They are not to be used for construction projects or laboratory space.

Accommodation Check In is after 3:00 PM and Check Out is by 9:00 AM. Other accommodations are available in the Newcomb/Long Lake area.

Laundry facilities are located at the Rich Lake Dining Center. You need to supply your own soap, bleach, etc. Follow directions and use College machines with care. If these machines break down, the laundromat in Long Lake is the closest alternative. Please report any issues to the Guest Services Manager (; 518-582-4551 ext. 108) promptly.

Garbage cans, lids, and plastic bags are provided and must be used for all refuse. Garbage is picked up weekly (Thursday). Improper storage of garbage will result in unwanted visitors (mice, raccoons, bears, etc.) and may cause a violation of the health code. Recycling specifications are posted in every building. A special bin is provided at each housing cluster for returnable bottles and cans. Please dispose of returnables promptly.

Please remember:

  • All Newcomb Campus buildings are smoke-, vape-, and tobacco-free.
  • Permission is required to stay in any Newcomb Campus facility.
  • Furnishings or equipment are not to be removed or relocated.
  • Pets, domestic or wild, are not allowed in any facility or on the property.
  • Harassment or destruction of any wild animal is not permitted (exception--mice may be trapped and removed from the buildings).
  • Buildings and gates are to be kept locked at all times. Combination locks or keys are available to secure facilities.

Mail is available after 11:00 am Monday-Friday and will be placed in a box at the AEC office for you.

Mailing address:

ESF Newcomb Campus
6312 State Route 28N
Newcomb, NY 12852.

Cell phone service on the Newcomb Campus is generally sporadic and unreliable. Pay telephones are located at the Dining Hall (518.582.9900) and on the outside of Algonquin Cabin (518.582.9961). Emergency numbers are posted in all buildings.

Meals & the Rich Lake Dining Center

The Rich Lake Dining Center operates daily during the summer field season (mid-May through mid-August) and by request at other times of the year (based on 15 person minimum). During the summer field season, three meals per day are served Sunday night through Friday (breakfast, make-your-own bag lunch, and dinner), with a continental breakfast and lunch served on the weekends. Please note: cancellation or group size adjustment information is required one week prior to arrival or you will be charged in full for the first three meals.

Meal Schedule

Monday - Friday 7:30 - 8:00 AM
Saturday-Sunday is make your own

Bag lunch
Make your own at breakfast

Monday - Sunday 6:00 PM

Meals are served promptly and only at designated times. Please be on time.

Use of HWF Property

Seasonal residents are encouraged to use the property on weekends and after working hours. Opportunities for hiking, fishing, boating, swimming, and other forms of recreation are available, both on and off HWF. Car or bike trips around the road system often provide opportunities to see and photograph wildlife (SPEED LIMIT—15 MPH).

Rich Lake provides bass and pike fishing, as well as swimming and boating. Catlin Lake provides excellent catch and release bass fishing. Special fishing restrictions are posted and enforced at both Catlin and Arbutus lakes. Persons fishing on HWF are required to have a NYS license and to fill out a creel form summarizing their fishing activity. These forms are available at boat landings on the lakes. No fishing is permitted in Wolf Lake.

Camping and campfires are permitted on Catlin Lake at 1) Birch Point lean-to and 2) designated tent sites at Sabattis Pass. Prior approval of the AEC staff is required to reserve this area for camping. The HWF camping policy is available here.

Several areas on the property are open to the public (Visitor Interpretive Center, Goodnow Mountain Trail, Rich Lake Boat Access). Many summer visitors who use these facilities have trouble finding them. Treat visitors courteously and provide directions as needed. Occasionally, unauthorized people find their way onto areas of the property not open to the public. If you encounter someone you do not recognize, treat them courteously and contact an AEC staff member regarding their presence at the earliest opportunity.

Boats and canoes are available for recreational purposes when not required for research activities. All boats are to be returned to the location from which they were taken. Use extreme care while boating and have U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation vests on board as required by NYS law. No motors of any kind are to be used in conjunction with recreational activities without permission of the AEC staff. Any damage to boats, paddles, or oars should be reported to an AEC staff member promptly.

To prevent disturbance of potential nesting sites of the common loon, please stay away from all islands on HWF lakes between 1 May and 15 August. Loons are listed as a Species of Special Concern in New York. Their preferred nesting sites are on islands at the water’s edge. Your presence may cause them to abandon their nest or alert potential predators to the nest location.


A property use request must be approved prior to the initiation of any research activities on HWF. Property Use Requests (select Adirondack Ecological Center/Huntington Wildlife Forest - Newcomb)

There are four areas posted with red "Restricted Area" signs that are off-limits to all persons except authorized research personnel. These areas are: Atmospheric Monitoring Site (north of the Animal Studies Lab); the SWAMP Site (directly northeast of the Adjidaumo gate), the Integrated Forest Studies Site (along the east side of Arbutus Lane between the Maintenance Garage and Marcy Cabin), and the Arbutus Watershed Study Site (north inlet of Arbutus Lake). Please avoid these areas.

There are several other areas on HWF that are devoted to short or long-term research. In many cases, permanent markers and/or sensitive equipment are located on these sites. These areas are generally marked with permanent metal pipes, painted red on top with an AEC red plot tag attached. Disturbance of these markers or adjacent equipment could result in irreparable damage and loss of important data.

A set of guidelines for plot marking has been established and must be followed when marking sites in the field. A copy of these guidelines is available from the Director. Red has been designated as the only color approved for use in conjunction with marking research sites.

Adirondack Ecological Center (AEC)

The AEC office building is open from 7:30 am to 4:30 pm on weekdays. Access to the building after working hours is limited to AEC staff, ESF Faculty, and graduate students.

AEC Library - All persons at HWF are encouraged to use the AEC library. Questions regarding the use of the library should be directed to an AEC staff member. Material removed from the library, except for the purpose of photocopying, must be signed out. No graduate theses may be removed from the library.

Computers - Although primarily a field research facility, the AEC maintains a networked computer lab. Students may use the computers in the AEC office basement during working hours. Computers with internet access are also available at the Animal Studies Laboratory for use by undergraduates and research technicians. Personal computer files saved onto any computer are to be placed in the Users [Z:] directory. Computers are networked to facilitate file saving and retrieval. If you are unfamiliar with how the network operates, ask an AEC staff person. No software should be loaded nor default settings altered on AEC computers without permission from an AEC staff member. Internet access is available using your Evergreen credentials for ESF students or a guest log in available from guest services. Up-to-date antivirus software must be current on the personal computer.

Equipment and Vehicles

A variety of commonly used field equipment is available at the AEC, the sawmill storage building and the Animal Studies Lab. Use of this equipment must be approved by an AEC staff member. All equipment needs to be signed out on an appropriate record sheet by the user. Any lost or broken equipment should be reported promptly.

Nearly everyone will have occasion to use the two-way radio system. Your supervisor will give you instruction on proper use of this equipment. Radios are provided especially for the purpose of emergency communication. People using axes, chainsaws, climbing gear, etc., must have radio communication nearby. Frequency #2 is for field communication while frequency #1 is for communication with the AEC office only. Be aware that two way radio transmissions can be heard by listeners outside of HWF.

College vehicles (cars, trucks, ATV’s and snowmobiles) are to be used in conjunction with assigned work activities only. All drivers must be College employees and possess a valid drivers license.

Gasoline is available at the Newcomb Town Hall for College vehicles only. Record all information on the form at the pump. Report any vehicle problems to the Maintenance Supervisor or your immediate supervisor promptly.

HWF roads are narrow and have many sections with limited sight distance. Often there are vehicles parked on the edge of the road or researchers standing in the road who may not see or hear you coming. Use extreme caution when driving on HWF roads. The maximum speed limit on all HWF roads is 15 MPH. Drivers exceeding this limit will receive one warning only; speeding on a second occasion can result in loss of all driving privileges (including use of a personal vehicle) on HWF roads. No passengers are permitted to ride in truck beds or anywhere not designed for passenger use. Seasonal residents using the AEC must park in the upper parking lot. Lower lots near the office are for staff and visitors.


Your personal safety is a primary concern while you are at HWF. One of the greatest potentials for injury is when operating vehicles, particularly on forest roads. Drive carefully, be alert for other vehicles, and observe the 15 mph speed limit. Safety equipment is available for your use while working. Eye protection, face shields, ear plugs, chainsaw chaps, rubber gloves, hard hats, etc. must be worn when working with certain tools/equipment. Anyone using an ATV must wear a helmet. Check with your supervisor as to the location and proper use of this equipment.

Safety is also a major concern at housing facilities. Do not leave appliances running unattended, do not overload electrical circuits, and familiarize yourself with the location and operation of fire extinguishers.

If you are planning to be away from HWF for a day/weekend, please notify your supervisor and the dining hall staff. Be sure to inform someone of your destination and approximate return time. You can leave a note on the bulletin board at the Dining Hall or leave a message on the AEC answering machine (518.582.4551 ext 108).

All accidents on the Newcomb Campus involving personal injury or vehicle damage (no matter how minor) must be reported as soon as possible. This includes accidents occurring during and after working hours. If a severe injury occurs in the field, contact the AEC via radio as soon as possible so that a doctor and/or ambulance can be summoned.

Drug, Alcohol and Firearm Policies

The established policies of SUNY ESF pertaining to the use of alcohol and other drugs on College properties shall govern all such activities on HWF. These policies prohibit the possession, use, or sale of illegal drugs. With certain exceptions these policies also prohibit the possession and consumption of alcohol.

The possession and/or use of firearms and ammunition at the Newcomb Campus is strictly prohibited.

JPO 04/20