Pine Bush adds properties and builds momentum towards 5,380 acre goal
October 29, 2019
with help from Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy and Friends of the Pine Bush Community
"These two properties move us ever closer to our goal of nearly 5,400 protected acres. Most people don't realize the preserve 'isn't done' and we have more work to do." - Christopher Hawver
By Christopher Hawver, Executive Director
ALBANY NY - The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission (APBPC) announces the acquisition of two new properties, a move which brings its total protected acreage to more than 3,350 acres and heralds a new era of conservation for the APBPC.
The acquisition of these 28+ acres are a result of revised priorities thanks to the 2017 Management Plan Update for the Albany Pine Bush Preserve. The 1988 Legislation (NYS Environmental Conservation Law, Article 46) which established the Albany Pine Bush Preserve and the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission, requires that the Preserve Management Plan be reviewed and, if necessary, updated every five years. The 2017 Management Plan Update encompassed a study area of 13,000 acres with the ultimate finding that 5,380 acres should receive “full protection.” To achieve these conservation goals, the APBPC is working under new 2018 legislation guidelines that enable the Commission to acquire land directly, as well as in partnership with the Capital Region’s land trust, the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy (MHLC).
The first property (7.2 acres) acquired by the APBPC was donated by the owner, the Cirillo Family Partnership, to the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy. The Cirillo family had owned the land for many years and they were determined to add their acreage to the ecologically-unique National Natural Landmark. The donated property is located on Albany Street in the Town of Colonie and adjoins land owned by The Nature Conservancy. MHLC has subsequently donated this property to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for dedication to the Albany Pine Bush Preserve. This is the first property ever donated by an individual to the preserve for permanent habitat protection since the APBPC was established in 1988. The Friends of the Pine Bush Community (Friends) contributed funding for this protection effort through its Land Protection Fund to help defray the MHLC’s acquisition costs.
The second property (20.9 acres) was purchased from a willing seller at fair market value directly by the Commission using its new ability to directly acquire real property from those wishing to add their land to the preserve.
Christopher Hawver, APBPC Executive Director said, “These two properties move us ever closer to our goal of nearly 5,400 protected acres. Most people don’t realize the preserve ‘isn’t done’ and we have more work to do.” Hawver continued, “these are two ‘firsts’ for the Pine Bush – the first individual donation and the first property the APBPC directly acquired since our legislation was updated to give us the ability to directly hold title to land. We’re incredibly grateful for our partnerships with the Friends, MHLC and NYSDEC to continue to grow the preserve – we couldn’t do it without them.”
Mark King, Mohawk Hudson Executive Director said, “The Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy is pleased to partner with the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission in support of the expansion of the Albany Pine Bush Preserve. The Pine Bush is one of the most unique ecological features of the Capital District and is one of the most successful examples of effective public/private partnerships to address environmental issues."
The Friends is a nonprofit organization created to help protect the unique habitat of the Albany Pine Bush Preserve as well as help people enjoy this special place and seize opportunities to participate in local learning, scientific research, and stewardship in the preserve. They are inviting the public to help protect more Pine Bush by donating to their ongoing Land Protection Campaign. Richard Naylor, President of the Friends of the Pine Bush Community said, “In order to take advantage of opportunities to add to the preserve, the Friends have added land protection to its ongoing goals. In some cases, the Commission cannot directly acquire land. Fortunately, it can be done through our partnership with the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy. Any funds you donate specifically for this cause are put in a special reserved account so that we are always ready to help acquire land. Your contributions to this program are completely tax deductible.”
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