For Immediate Release: September 8, 2005
For Further Information: please call:
Lynne Jackson at 434-6659
ALBANY, NY — Save the Pine Bush asks that the Albany
Common Council pass a resolution tonight to take land the
City of Albany acquired from the Nature Conservancy for preservation
and dedicate it to the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission
as required in its permit to operate the landfill. Save the
Pine Bush further asks the Council to reject Mayor Jennings
proposal to further expand the landfill into the ecologically
unique area known as the Pine Bush.
“The Mayor is playing dirty tricks on the Pine Bush and on the citizens
of Albany. With his announcement that he will seek to expand the landfill again,
he has broken another promise to stop dumping garbage into this rare, unique
ecosystem,” said Lynne Jackson, volunteer secretary for Save the Pine Bush. “We
have documents showing the City weaseling out of its obligation to preserve
this part of the Pine Bush.”
The landfill FEIS states on page 11 “Upon issuance of a permit for the
P-4 Project, the City will acquire the existing option, held by The Nature
Conservancy, . . .for the 60 acre site . . [known as] Fox Run Estates [mobile
home park] . . .with dedication of the undeveloped portion (approximately 40
acres). . . to the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission, upon
dedication of the developed portion (approximately 20 acres) to the Albany
Pine Bush Preserve Commission upon closure of the mobile home park; . . .” [emphasis
The City is operating the Landfill without having full-filled
this requirement for five years and Save the Pine Bush believes
the City is in violation of its permit and should immediately
Dedication of the land to the Commission will preserve
the land as forever wild and protect it in perpetuity from
any development or destruction.
Not only has the City not dedicated the 40 acres of land
as required, the Mayor is calling for expanding the landfill
in the 20 acres of land that is specifically required to
be preserved, once all of the residents have moved out of
the mobile home park in 2015.
Last October, in response to a letter written by the Honorable
Dominick Calsolaro to the City Corporation Council, the City’s hired, outside
law-firm, Nixon Peabody, LLC., wrote a letter to the Department of Environmental
Conservation stating that the parcels of land making up the mobile home
park had to be sub-divided before dedication could happen.
Save the Pine Bush today contacted planners in both the
Town of Guilderland and the Village of Colonie where the
land to be dedicated is located, and inquired about any application
the City would have made to sub-divide the property. Both
planners stated that they have not been contacted by the
City to sub-divide the property. Sub-division of land is
a quick and easy process – “Ask
any Pine Bush developer, ” said Jackson.
“The letter sent by the City’s outside lawyer last year is a smoke-screen
to stall and delay the Department of Environmental Conservation in enforcing
the permit,” said Jackson. “They were saying they needed more time
to look into sub-division of the land and in the past year, they have not even
taken the first step in the process — to call the planners. This
proves the City never planned to full-fill its obligations to preserve
this important Pine Bush land.”
The City acquired the option to purchase the land from
The Nature Conservancy. According to its website, The Nature
Conservancy is dedicated to land preservation. “Here
the City promised to dedicate this land for preservation, and now the Mayor
wants to turn it into a dump? What a dirty trick to play on The Nature Conservancy!
I am sure The Nature Conservancy does not sell land to have it made into a
dump!” said Jackson.
In the news article, Mayor Jennings said that the City
would acquire 20 acres elsewhere to swap for the landfill
expansion. “This is inadequate,” said
Jackson. “This 20 acres is a bridge or link between the Rensselaer
Lake section of the Pine Bush and the main part of the Pine Bush. Without
this ecological link, the Lake Rensselaer area becomes an island, cutting
it off from the main preserve. Essentially, 300 acres of Pine Bush would
“In addition, the Pine Bush is on top of a principal aquifer. The City
should stop dumping in the Pine Bush to protect the fragile and beautiful Pine
Bush and to protect this important source for clean water,” said Jackson. “Remember,
the original landfill expansion destroyed 300 lupine plants and an entire
colony of Karner Blue butterflies. The Karner Blues have been declining
in population ever since.”
The Pine Bush is a rare ecosystem of pitch pine and scrub
oak trees. It is home to the endangered Karner Blue butterfly.
There are approximately 5800 acres of Pine Bush ecosystem
remaining of the original 58,000 acres. Save the Pine Bush
is an all-volunteer organization, dedicated since 1978
to preserving all of the remaining Pine Bush ecosystem.
A principal aquifer is one that has enough volume and flow
to be used as a municipal water supply.