by Andy Arthur
ALBANY, NY – Two months I ago I wrote about the research I was doing into unpreserved Pine Bush parcels. I have gone through most of the 1994 Save the Pine Bush (SPB) Preservation Plan and have learned a lot about the lands that either are undeveloped, preserved, or sadly developed. I have collected tax maps from many of the surrounding municipalities and have checked many of them against tax rolls to find out their current status, ownership, and value.
I’ve discovered many interesting parcels, most from the 1994 study, that 17 years later still deserve preservation. Some are even government property – but not slated for preservation! I have made several FOIL requests to the Pine Bush Commission, to receive GIS Shapefiles for Computer-based Mapping, so SPB can have the same analysis tools available as the Commission. I also am starting to spend more time researching political and financial connections of developers and landowners. It’s helpful to know if a decision-maker has met with a lobbyist or received a campaign contribution prior to deciding on fate of these lands.
Public records research alone won’t Save the Pine Bush! We need people who live in communities around the Pine Bush to provide SPB with information on proposed developments. If you hear something, tell us! If you know decision makers – from the Pine Bush Commission to your Town Board Members to County Officials, we need your help to lobby them. And SPB always can use your financial support – we all hope elected officials make the lawful decision to preserve these important lands – however sometimes it may take expensive litigation to protect these lands. Thank you for your help!
Published in May/June 2011 Newsletter