Search Results for: Karner Blue Butterflies

Butterflies-Not Bulldozers: Keeping the Karner Blue in Clifton Park

By Bill Engleman, Jan./Feb. 92 Populations of the endangered Karner Blue Butterfly are dispersed throughout the sand plain in Saratoga County. This sand plain, of which Albany’s Pine Bush is a major part, contains isolated pitch pine/scrub oak communities in Clifton Park, Wilton, Moreau, and other areas. In 1988, the Planning Board of the Town of Clifton Park entertained several applications for subdivision and development in the “Wood Road corridor.,” a mostly pitch pine community. This is roughly 600 acres…

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Wanted Dead or Alive: Karner Blues — My Pine Bush History Report

Social Media Today and Then I’m a kid and I know that social media can take societal issues we care about and make them go viral in real time. But in 1977, way before the internet or even personal computers, when my grandfather Rocco Ferran was a resident in Albany New York and active to help secure the Pine Bush for future generations, like me, social media was, well, slower and had far less reach. From my research, social media…

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Build It And They Will Come: Cousin of Karner Blue Returns To Albany

By Laura Ferran, Founder of (SEBS) South End Butterfly Sanctuary, Albany NY ALBANY, NY: My mother Nadia Ferran, now age 89, remembers seeing hundreds of monarchs in the 1970’s in our family yard located in the South End of Albany. But when my young children and I came to live in Albany last year, we saw just ONE. This sighting was both exciting and frightening at the same time. We researched that monarchs are plummeting toward extinction. Numbering some 1.2…

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Help make the Karner Blue the New York State Butterfly!

by Karina Franke October 19, 2007 Dear Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission and Save the Pine Bush, My name is Karina Franke, and I’m a fourth grader at Furnace Woods School. Ms. Howell is my enrichment teacher, and Ms. Podesta is my classroom teacher. I’m writing to you for the Karner Kids from Cortlandt Manor in Westchester County. When my family visited the Discovery Center, I learned all about how your organizations work to protect the Pine Bush. I first…

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Returning to flight Efforts of New England biologists help usher in rebirth of the endangered Karner blue butterfly

CONCORD, N.H. – Two biologists crawled through a field thick with blueberry, black chokeberry, and scrub oak, searching for butterfly eggs the size of pinheads. Suddenly, one of them, Steve Fuller, thrust a hand into the air. “Found one!” he shouted. As his colleague, Heidi Holman, ran to his side, Fuller opened his hand to reveal a tiny white egg of the Karner blue butterfly, clinging to a twig. Eight years ago, it was impossible to find any sign in…

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Regal Cinemas at Crossgates Will Shade the Karner Blues

GUILDERLAND: Regal Cinemas at Crossgates Maul has requested to increase the height of one theater from about 24 feet to approximately 70 feet above grade. The theater will become a “True Imax” according to their application. Save the Pine Bush sued over the approval of the original theaters in the 1990s. Unfortunately, we lost, and the theaters were built in 1997. The theaters are very close to Butterfly Hill, just the width of a narrow road apart. The theaters cast…

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Nabokov’s Blues

Nabokov’s Blues Save the Pine Bush Sues City of Albany and Department of Environmental Conservation Over Illegal Landfill in the Pine Bush ALBANY, NY: Save the Pine Bush filed suit against the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the City of Albany over the permit approval for the City of Albany P-4 landfill expansion on Rapp Road. Save the Pine Bush is suing on the grounds that the permit approval was illegal because the authority to grant a…

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Bringing Back Sustainable Karner Blue Populations

by Grace Nichols   ALBANY: Using the Freedom of Information Act, both Save the Pine Bush and Brian Nearing of the Times Union requested data that has been collected about the number of Karner Blue populations. We were astounded at what we found. The numbers of butterflies counted have plummeted in recent years, dipping below 1000 butterflies. Figures of what population level is sustainable vary; some say 3000 butterflies are sustainable (even though Karner Blues were extirpated from New Hampshire…

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The Federal Karner Blue Butterfly Recovery Plan

by Sandy Sheridan What are we going to do about these butterflies? What the US Fish and Wildlife Service thinks should be done has been specifically outlined in the “Karner Blue Butterfly Recovery Plan” (October 2001). This 239-page plan comprehensively describes the Karner Blue, its plight and the plan of action to perpetuate its populations in the 13 recovery units (RU’s) identified. The Pine Bush is one of the 13 RU’s examined. Lycaeides melissa samuelis, the Karner Blue Butterfly, is…

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The Karner Blue vs Crossgates Mall – Secret Meetings and SEQRA Violations

The Karner Blue vs Crossgates Mall – Secret Meetings and SEQRA Violations The Karner Blue vs Crossgates Mall Secret Meetings and SEQRA Violations by Lynne Jackson Save the Pine Bush is pleased to announce that we joined with our famous Pine Bush resident, the Karner Blue Butterfly, and sued Pyramid Crossgates and the Zoning Board of Appeals of the Town of Guilderland over the theater expansion at the Crossgates Maul. This is the first time we have ever filed a…

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Town of Clifton Park Ignores Pleas for Butterflies

by Lynne Jackson We have made an annual pilgrimage to the Butterfly Station at Farnsworth Middle School for nine summers now and every year we learn something new. This year, we learned about the value of perseverance and broad purpose. We were greeted by a knowledgeable tour guide, 11-year-old Crystal Choi, who, like a score of others, is devoting her precious summer hours to instructing visitors on the science of raising native plants and the butterflies that feed on them….

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How fares the Karner Blue?

by Lynne Jackson ALBANY: Neil Gifford, Conservation Director of the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission shared hopeful news with Save the Pine Bush at the October veggie/vegan lasagna dinner. The Karner Blue butterfly feeds on wild blue lupine. There are two broods a year, the first brood comes out in late May/early June, and the second in July. The butterflies come out, lay eggs. Those eggs become butterflies which come out in July, at which point, the cycle starts all…

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Nabokov’s Blues – The Scientific Odyssey of a Literary Genius

Now in Paperback for 2001! A “Top Ten Books” in Science for 2000 at The American Library Association, The Washington Post, HMS Beagle (the Bio/Med/Tech website) An “Editor’s Choice” for 2000 at, Booklist, Library Journal, The Seattle Times Author Kurt Johnson spoke at our January, 2000 lasagna dinner about Nabokov and his butterflies. Nabokov visited the Pine Bush every year for many years, and gave our famous Karner Blue its Latin name. Available at all bookstores and website booksellers, McGraw-Hill…

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How fares the Karner Blue?

by Lynne Jackson The first part of this series was printed in the February/March, 2005 newsletter and is a summary of a presentation given by Neil Gifford at the October, 2004 SPB lasagna dinner. The Karner Blue Butterfly Federal Recovery Plan has three priorities. In New York State, scientists are focussing on priority one, which is doing those things necessary to prevent extinction of or the irreversible decline of the species, everything from monitoring populations to creating and implementing a…

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A Comfy White Quilt for Karner Blues

DEVI ATHIAPPAN Associated Press WILTON — Whiling away months of unforgiving cold beneath a deep quilt of snow might not seem like the best way to start life. But the snow is cozy for the eggs of endangered Karner blue butterflies. The small, white dots overwinter on stems or the ground, usually exposed to dry, cold air, but insulated this winter by heavy snowfall. The eggs are escaping “freezer burn” under a white blanket, said Kathy O’Brien, a wildlife biologist…

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A Journey to Nabokov’s Karner, New York – a Conservation Dilemma

  A recent date to speak about Nabokov’s blues in Albany, New York — the state’s capital — afforded me a chance to visit what is left of old “Karner”, New York. Karner is the little hamlet that, in common parlance, has attached its name to Nabokov’s famous endangered species Lycaeides melissa samuelis, the “Karner Blue”. Karner got the nod for samuelis’s common name because Nabokov chose specimens of samuelis from Karner for his type series (the specimens he used…

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Save the Pine Bush Goes to the Appellate Division Over Butterflies in Clifton Park

On February 15, oral argument was held in the appeal by Save the Pine Bush and 11 people who sued the Town of Clifton Park Planning Board in September 2006 after the board gave approval to seven industrial warehouses and hundreds of parking spaces adjacent to and in Karner blue butterfly habitat. The plaintiffs were all denied standing by Acting state Supreme Court Justice, Barry Kramer who granted the Town’s and developer’s motions to dismiss the case in November 2006….

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Town of Clifton Park Ignores Pleas for Butterflies

by Lynne Jackson CLIFTON PARK: On June 26, the Town of Clifton Park approved an extension to the site plan on Wood Road, circumventing the State Environmental Quality Review Act and allowing DCG to build a warehouse complex on an inhabited Karner Blue butterfly site. William Engleman, the intrepid volunteer in the Clifton Park, found out about the meeting just four days prior, and was able to persuade a number of people to attend and speak in opposition to the…

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Environmental Study Requires Restoration of Karner Blue Habitat in Clifton Park

Clifton Park, NY: Tuesday, April 25, the Planning Board of the Town of Clifton Park held a public hearing regarding a proposal to build a “7 Flex-Space Light Industrial Buildings” on Wood Road in Clifton Park. A Karner Blue butterfly site is located on the North (also sometimes referred to as the “East”) side of Wood Road, where the industrial complex is proposed. Eight people attending the hearing spoke passionately against building this industrial complex and destroying the Karner Blue…

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Pine Bush burn feeds Karner blue

COLONIE – Save the butterflies, burn the forest was the Pine Bush Preserve’s approach on Thursday. The controlled burn creates the needed openings for the blue lupine, which is the endangered Karner blue butterfly’s only food plant while it’s a caterpillar, said Christopher Hawver, executive director of the preserve. Fire rejuvenates the plants, which adapted to burning, Hawver said. “Nowadays you don’t have natural fires, or if you do they’re put out quickly. What we do is mimic natural fire.”…

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Our Favorite Butterfly – The Karner Blue in 2001

The October lasagna dinner was the setting for Kathy O’Brien, Invertebrate Specialist with the Endangered Species Unit of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, to tell us about the current status of our favorite butterfly. O’Brien began by describing the butterfly. Karners are tiny, about the size of a quarter. The females are brownish, while the males are very blue. Perhaps the most endearing quality of the Karner is that it is not unusual for the Karner to land on…

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Roman Catholic Diocese Proposes – Senior Housing in the Pine Bush – Karner Blue in Serious Trouble

Roman Catholic Diocese Proposes Senior Housing in the Pine Bush Karner Blue in Serious Trouble It is with great sadness that Save the Pine Bush reports that the Roman Catholic Diocese has proposed Avila House Independent Senior Campus in the Pine Bush. This proposed housing would be located behind the Teresian House on Washington Avenue Extension, on an ideal spot for Karner Blue habitat. It is not too late to oppose the development Ñ no approvals have been given yet….

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Hi again, Karner blue

  Albany: More than 20 years of habitat restoration and breeding programs have helped the endangered Karner blue butterfly make a comeback in the Capital Region pine barrens where it was discovered by Russian author Vladimir Nabokov decades ago. “This project has been unbelievably rewarding,” said Neil Gifford, conservation director for the 3,200-acre Albany Pine Bush Preserve. “Getting to see an animal that was on the brink of extinction locally now have a robust and healthy population is just incredible.”…

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Karner blue to get habitat in Saratoga Spa State Park

By Stephen Williams   Reporters who devote more than a semicolon and three dashes to environmental coverage find their inboxes full on Earth Day. The delete button and recycling bin are wonderful things, but a few items seem worth passing on. First, the state Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation is creating new Karner blue butterfly habitat at Saratoga Spa State Park. That’s nice. The dime-size blue butterflies are pretty, and outside of a handful of places in the…

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Saratoga County’s Wilton preserve helps Karner blue

  Wilton: More land at the Wilton Wildlife Preserve and Park in Saratoga County is being restored to sand dunes, scrub trees, prairie grasses and lupines needed to support growing numbers of endangered Karner blue butterflies. This winter, the state Department of Environmental Conservation will clear trees from about 20 acres near Ruggles Road, east of Route 50, to restore it to meadow suitable for growth of wild lupines, the sole food for Karner blue butterfly larvae. About 145 acres of the…

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Karine Franke Vote for the Karner Blue for New York State Butterfly

by Lynne Jackson Update: Alas, on January 7, 2008, the Karner Blue came in second in the vote for NYS Butterfly. Here are the election results. ALBANY: Karina Franke spoke at the November Save the Pine Bush vegetarian/vegan lasagna dinner at the First Presbyterian Church. Karina began by explaining how she became involved in her work to make the Karner Blue to be chosen as the NYS butterfly. Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, "Karner Blue" Kampaign Manager Karina Franke, NYS Senator Vincent…

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Opinion – Saving butterflies

Opinion – Saving butterflies Opinion – Saving butterflies The following editorial is reprinted with permission from the Concord New Hampshire Monitor. This editorial appeared on the Opinion page on September 1, 1989. This editorial is about a tiny plot of land near Concord New Hampshire, where a few Karner Blues make their home. It may soon be time to kiss the Karner Blue goodbye. As a story in Wednesday’s Monitor by reporter Tad Shannon pointed out, the last New England…

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Building called threat to butterflies

by: DENNIS YUSKO Staff writer CLIFTON PARK — A 142,000-square-foot facility proposed by DCG Development along Wood Road would further undermine the area’s endangered Karner blue butterfly habitats, town residents and area environmentalists told the Planning Board. DCG wants to build a warehouse or a light industrial space on 37 acres its owns between the east side of Wood Road and Route 9. "We don’t know who the tenants are at this point," said Gordon Nicholson, who represented DCG at…

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Petition: Shield Karner blue habitat

  ALBANY — The state Department of Environmental Conservation should enforce a 1994 agreement with a landowner to protect endangered Karner blue butterflies in Clifton Park, Capital Region environmentalists said Thursday. In a petition filed with the state agency Monday, the Albany-based Save The Pine Bush and 22 area residents asked DEC general counsel James Ferreira to make sure DEC protects a Karner blue habitat located off Wood Road near Northway Exit 10. They cited a 1994 agreement between DEC’s…

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Letter-Writing Made a Difference Your Letters Needed to Help the Karner Blue Butterfly

by Lynne Jackson, Mar./Apr. 92 The Karner Blue has been proposed to be listed as an endangered species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. If the butterfly is listed as an endangered species with a designated critical habitat, any developments proposed within the habitat would need to have a federal permit in order to be built. Obtaining a federal permit is a much more rigorous and difficult process to go through than the zoning changes or Planning Board approvals-and…

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The Karner Blue Butterfly: The Pine Bush’s Most Famous Resident

So much controversy over such a tiny butterfly-the Karner Blue, Lycaeides melissa samuelis. A beautiful pale blue, this tiny creature only lives in its adult form for one to two weeks. Named by Vladimir Nabokov (probably better known for his writing than his lepidoptery), there were once so many butterflies that all one could see were clouds of blue. Now, only a few hundred survive in the Pine Bush. There are no laws to protect an ecosystem. But there are…

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Another Missing Letter

by Lynne Jackson ALBANY: The Final Environmental Impact Statement submitted by the developer for the proposed Residence Inn is so inadequate, it is appalling. The Albany Common Council must reject this document as incomplete. In analyzing this document, it is difficult to choose which area of inadequacy to attack first. Disappearing Letters First, the FEIS omits two of the most damning letters, one form the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the other from Dr. Kurt Johnson, a lepidopterist who…

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Save the Pine Bush Action Alert on Proposed Hotel

Proposed Office Complex in the Pine Bush A developer proposes to build a 5-acre office complex on Washington Avenue Extension in front of the Daughters of Sarah Nursing Home. Karner Blue Butterflies used to occupy this site, which is classified as a full protection area in the Pien Bush by the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission. It may be very important to the survival of the Karner Blue Let Your Voice Be Heard The Albany Common Council will hold a…

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Amanda Dillon: Science in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve

by Tom Ellis ALBANY, NY: Amanda Dillon, field ecologist and entomologist for the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission (Commission), was the speaker at the November 16 Save the Pine Bush virtual meeting. She discussed “Science in the Albany PIne Bush Preserve.” Amanda Dillon earned both a BS in Natural History and Interpretation in 2007 and a MS in Environmental Forest Biology with a concentration in entomology from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry Ms….

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Save the Pine Bush Appeals Decision Approving Illegal Landfill in the Pine Bush

For Immediate Release: June 25, 2001 ALBANY, NY: Save the Pine Bush filed an appeal to the State of New York Appellate Division, Third Department over the Albany County Supreme Court’s ruling to approve the expansion of the Albany Landfill in the Pine Bush. Save the Pine Bush is appealing on the grounds that the permit approval was illegal because the Department of Environmental Conservation’s authority to grant a variance expired on Dec 31, 1995. Lewis B. Oliver, Jr. filed…

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Save the Pine Bush Appeal Heard in the NYS Appellate Division, Third Department

by Lynne Jackson ALBANY: On March 23, the Supreme Court, Appellate Division Third Judicial Department heard Save the Pine Bush’s appeal of the dismissal of our case against the Town of Guilderland and Pyramid over the proposed apartments, Costco and office buildings. Todd Ommen, of the Pace Environmental Litigation Clinic argued for Save the Pine Bush. The main argument was that the issues Save the Pine Bush raised in our case in Supreme Court have never been heard. Residents in…

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Proposed School Bus Garage at 100 Broderick

Do you ever walk the Karner Barrens Yellow Trail from the Discovery Center, past the large vernal wetlands and the recently restored area that was a former trailer park? You might soon be joined by the rumble and toxic smoke of school buses, should South Colonie School District build their bus garage next to one of more wild and remote areas on popular Yellow Trail. On Monday, November 1st, the South Colonie School District asked the Colonie Village Board to…

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Just Say No to the Bridge!

The Village of Colonie is proposing to build a bridge in the Pine Bush over the Rapp Road/Lincoln Avenue railroad tracks. To allow for high-speed rail, all Òat gradeÓ crossings over railroad tracks are to be eliminated. The Village wants to eliminate the Rapp Road/Lincoln Avenue crossing by building a bridge. Save the Pine Bush knows a much better, much less expensive way: dead-end the road on either side of the railroad track. This would save about $3.5 million taxpayer…

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The Pine Bush & the Pandemic – April 2021 Save the Pine Bush Lecture by Long time Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission (APBPC) Conservation Director Neil Gifford

By Tom Ellis, June/July 2021 Save the Pine Bush Newsletter ON THE INTERNET: Long time Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission (APBPC) Conservation Director Neil Gifford began his April 17, 2021 SPB meeting comments saying, “Thirty years of managing the world’s best scrub oak pitch pine barrens has taught us a lot.” His topic was “The Pine Bush and the Pandemic: Update on the Preserve.” He offered an update on land protection, management and monitoring. His comments focused on paleoecology. He…

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Neil Gifford Brings Good News

by Lynne Jackson   ALBANY: Neil Gifford, conservation director of the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission, spoke at the Save the Pine Bush Earth Day dinner on April 22. He brought good news. Neil began by describing “young forest management.” Young forests are dominated by shrubs and saplings, and are often found where old farm fields and pastures used to be, in places regenerating from timber and in pine barrens. Many species of greatest conservation need live in these young…

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Devil Eats Developer – Massive Coverup Alleged Devil Eats Developer Massive Coverup Alleged By Daniel Van Riper The endangered Albany Pine Bush Devil, making it’s first reported appearance since last April Fools, has attacked and eaten developer Charlie Touhey, thus dramatically ending his stubborn and irrational plans to destroy Pine Bush acreage at 300 Washington Ave. Extension. The Albany Pine Bush Devil is a rare subspecies of the equally rare Jersey Devil found in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey….

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Holiday Party

DecemberÕs Save the Pine Bush Holiday party was a fun time for all. Lawrence Lessner, magician extrodinaire, gave a superb magic show, pulling silver dollars from pockets, hiding eggs in most unlikely places, and predicting which invisible cards the audience will choose. He persuaded members of the audience to join him on stage and participate in his tricks. He left us all believing that magic really exists! Cavanaugh and Kavanaugh played guitars, banjos, mandolins and other instruments. Playing many tunes…

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Devil Eats Developer – Massive Coverup Alleged

Devil Eats Developer – Massive Coverup Alleged Devil Eats Developer Massive Coverup Alleged By Daniel Van Riper The endangered Albany Pine Bush Devil, making it’s first reported appearance since last April Fools, has attacked and eaten developer Charlie Touhey, thus dramatically ending his stubborn and irrational plans to destroy Pine Bush acreage at 300 Washington Ave. Extension. The Albany Pine Bush Devil is a rare subspecies of the equally rare Jersey Devil found in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey….

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The Deer Crisis – No Easy Answers

The Deer Crisis – No Easy Answers   The Deer Crisis No Easy Answers By Daniel Van Riper The Pine Bush ecosystem is in great danger from many enemies, particularly greedy developers and ignorant politicians. Invasive plant species, pesticides, runoff from the dump and highways, fire suppression and general abuse by humans have all hurt the Pine Bush. There is one more enemy, white-tailed deer, which may in the end completely destroy the Pine Bush and make all of our…

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Protecting the Ohio Oak Openings

I first heard of the Oak Openings when a lepidopterist told me that the Karner Blue butterfly had once lived there, but was now gone. A sad story before it even started! But, now there is good news coming from Ohio. A project to reintroduce the butterfly to the Oak Openings has begun. This first reintroduction of the Karner blue butterfly to its native habitat in the United States occurred in Ohio. This pioneering effort began in May 1998. Female…

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Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission Proposes a New Plan – Mark October 18 to Attend Hearing

Maps available: A new graphic Pine Bush trail map is now available. The new map was produced using a Global Positioning System to record trail locations. The brochure includes a mural depicting many of the typical plants and animals, interpretive information and a summary of the Preserve’s public use rules and regulations. The Preserve guide and trail map can be obtained from the Albany Pine Bush office or at trailhead kiosks. (785-1800). Preserve Regulations: BICYCLES may only travel on the…

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Fire? What Fire? – Pine Bush Better Than Ever

Fire? What Fire? – Pine Bush Better Than Ever   Fire? What Fire? Pine Bush Better Than Ever By Daniel Van Riper The April 27 wildfire in the State and City Pine Bush Preserves along the Thruway and Rt. 155 left 65 acres stripped of vegetation, with only brown and black Pitch Pine trees rising from the apparently lifeless black charcoal and white ash covering the ground. For the first time in more than 30 years the outline of the…

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In Flurry of Motion, Lessons Take Wing

by ANNE MILLER Staff writer On a wing and a cheer, more than 50 monarch butterflies left their birthplace at the Farnsworth Middle School Friday afternoon for their ancestral winter grounds in northern Mexico. More than 50 students gathered in the school’s courtyard, where the butterflies were raised, and launched the orange and black beauties on their transcontinental migration, chanting, “Gotta go, gotta go, gotta go to Mexico,” to speed the insects on their way. “It’s getting buggy out here,”…

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Jennings Makes A Dump – Plans To Defile Pine Bush

Jennings Makes A Dump – Plans To Defile Pine Bush   Jennings Makes A Dump Plans To Defile Pine Bush By Daniel Van Riper Current Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings, recklessly violating mitigation agreements from eight years ago, is pushing for an expansion of the Albany Dump that will sacrifice 25 acres of Pine Bush land. The new mountain of garbage, already christened “Jenning’s Pile,” will eventually be over 440 feet high and have incalculable negative impact on bordering Pine Bush…

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Pyramid Submits the Draft Environmental Impact Statement

GUILDERLAND, NY: On Christmas Eve, Pyramid Crossgates submitted the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for their project, “Rapp Road Residential /Western Avenue Mixed Use Redevelopment Projects.” When first brought before the Town of Guilderland Planning Board in late 2018, the project consisted of building 222-unit apartment complex on Rapp Road. The project has morphed into 312-unit apartment complex on Rapp Road, a CostCo complete with a gas station plus other commercial development. According to the NY State Environmental Quality Review…

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