Save the Pine Bush, You can fight City Hall and win!

No Credit Given

A Letter From the Commission

By Daniel Van Riper

In their latest newsletter the Albany Pine Bush Management Commission gives credit for the rehabilitation of the parcel of land off Apollo Drive that used to be a truck parking lot to 3 corporations, 4 municipalities, 2 state offices, the Girl Scouts and the Nature Conservancy. Somehow Commission Director Willie Janeway forgot to mention that this land would now be a cheesy go-cart track if Save the Pine Bush hadn't fought the developer in court for two years. Although we lost, the delay forced the developer to sell the land to the Nature Conservancy for what turned out to be a hefty pile of cash. The Commission is a State agency created in 1989 as a result of the epic Save the Pine Bush landfill suit.

Furthermore, Janeway stole a photograph of a Karner Blue Butterfly for use in the letter from our giant website (www.wizvax.net/lynjax/SPB.html) without giving us credit. Here's some more highlights from their letter:

1) "Five prescribed fires burn 65+/- acres under controlled conditions," much less than the goal of 200 acres a year. It's more than high time the Commission figured out how to increase the acreage burned. What's the problem?

2) "The Commission is focused on the goal: a 3950 acre Preserve..." Say what? There are 5800 acres of contiguous Pine Bush remaining, what happened to the rest?

3) "Five uniformed naturalists start patrolling the Pine Bush." Instead of buying land, they hire more employees.

4) Here's the best item. "Economic growth increases development pressure in the Pine Bush . . . such projects include:

Rapp Road Office Park proposal, City of Albany

Feeney and Ford residential development, Guilderland

Fox Run Mobile Home Park expansion, Village of Colonie

Route 155 proposals, Colonie, Guilderland and Albany

300 and 365 Washington Ave. Ext., Albany

Pyramid Crossgates Expansion, Guilderland"

What about the luxury houses at the end of Willow Street in Guilderland? Not a mention that Save the Pine Bush volunteers are battling these encroachments at every turn, attending hearings, fundraising, filing lawsuits, raising public awareness. Meanwhile, the paid employees at the Commission can't be bothered to fight for the Pine Bush, but it's nice that they mentioned the threats in their newsletter.

published Aug/September, 98 Newsletter


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