The following is part of an articlle printed in the New York Times. We are pleased that more land is being added to the Long Island pine barrens preserve.
New York to Buy Pineland Tract From L.I. Scouts
by The New York Times
RlVERHEAD, L.I., Dec. 17 When the Nassau County Council of Boy Scouts announced plans last summer to sell 147 acres in the Pine Barrens preserve to a golf course developer, many environmental groups were enraged,
But the specter of razed woods in the 53,000 acre core of the 100,000 acre preserve on eastern Long Island put pressure on the state.
Today, it was announced that the state had agreed to buy the parcel, near the Calverton National Cemetery in Riverhead, for $1.8 million, or $12,500 an acre.
In return, the council has dropped an application before the Long island Pine Barrens Commission for perinisslon to sell the site to the golf course developer, Roanoke Links of Middle Island, L.l., for $2.2 million.
Gary Sheffer, a spokesman for the State Department of Environmental Conservation, said the purchase would be made through the state's Environmental Protection Fund.
He said the golf course proposal "was clearly a consideration in our working feverishly to see that this land was preserved."
The agreement was negotiated by the Nature Conservancy, a conservation group that acted as the state's agent in talks with the council.
Trip McMillan, the Scout council's executive director, said the agreement "helps to solve our financial needs while preserving the land."
"We are very pleased," he added. The council has said it needs to sell the property because of financial difficuities that threaten programs for 11,000 Scouts in Nassau County. Its headquarters in Roslyn are also on the market, for $2.4 rnillion.
Council oflicials had rejected a suggestion by Ray E. Cowan, Governor Pataki's representative to the commission. that they sell the commission development rights to 550 acres of council owned property, including a Scout camp and the proposed golf course site, for $1.3 million
Under the agreement announced today, the council will continue to operate the camp, called Camp Wauwepex, and will retain development rights to all but the 147 acres to be sold to the state. Andrew G. Cangemi, a lawyer and vice president of the council, said the Nature Conservancy approached the council last summer. "They came in with a reasonable offer," he said. "Obviously we took a hit on this thing, But it's in the ballpark; it's rational."
Environmental groups said that a golf course would have threatened efforts to preserve the pine barrens, and that the pesticides and fertilizers used on the course would have imperiled the quality of the ground water below.
Richard L. Amper Jr., the executive director of the Pine Barrens Society said "This is a great Christmas present for Long Island."
Printed December, 1996