Conservancy, Albany are Partners in Pine Bush Land Deal

The following is part of an article from the Times Union, Nov. 14, 91 by James Denn. We're not sure about some of the details, but here it is.

The Nature Conservancy, a national not-for-profit environmental group, recently purchased 181 acres of environmentally sensitive property in the Pine Bush for $1.99 million.

Albany is also a partner in the land deal, agree-ing to repay the nature group more than $2.2 million over a three-year period for the property. The city's repay-ment plan in-cludes interest.

The Nov. 7 purchase from Nicholas V. Iarossi Jr. of Voorheesville was one of the Nature Conservancy's largest Pine Bush land acquisitions, topping a controversial acquisition of 102 acres in July.

The Nature Conservancy now owns or controls more than 500 acres in the Pine Bush. The Iarossi parcel is accessible by Willow Street in Guilderland and lies within the boundaries of three municipalities: Albany, Colonie and Guilderland.
Peg Olsen, executive director of the Nature Conservancy's NY chapter, said the Iarossi deal represents an important part of the group's plans for the Pine Bush. "It is adjacent to other properties we own," she said.

The Nature Conservancy has its sights set on only two more parcels in the Pine Bush: 70 acres owned by Shirley Fusco and 21 acres owned by the Hellman Foundation. Negotiations to acquire these properties are continuing, said Olsen.

The Daily Gazette's excellent lead editorial for Nov. 27 91 was titled Doing Better for the Pine Bush. It begins with:

"The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission has proposed a sound management plan for that environmentally sensitive area. If its recommenda-tions are followed, and if additional land is acquired, a unique eco-system can be saved." It ends with: "Most of the Pine Bush has already been lost, but much has also been done to save what is left. Purchase of a few hundred more acres, and implementation of the commission's management plan, will ensure that this precious resource is there for us and our children to enjoy."

It's absolutely wonderful to read that the Gazette acknowledges that the Pine Bush is a "unique ecosystem" and should be saved. This is a refreshing change from the anti-conservationist attitude of the Republican Times Union. We wish, however, that the role of SPB had been acknowledged in their editorial. After all, without the lawsuits we've been filing for the past 14 years, there would be no Pine Bush left today for the commission to manage.

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