by Tom Ellis
ALBANY, NY: Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission (APBPC or Commission) Conservation Director Neil Gifford spoke at SPB’s June 19 dinner about the ongoing work of the the Com- mission and the proposed Pyramid Crossgates 222-unit apartment development on Rapp Road inGuilderland. He began saying that “in no small part do we [the Commission] owe our existence” to the work of Save the Pine Bush.
At it’s best, he said the Pine Bush is a savanna with some trees. The Commission, now about thirty years old, uses many tools including fire and herbicides to manage the preserve. Using a PowerPoint and graphs, he showed how controlled burns have been increased in recent years with 358 acres burned already in 2019 despite all the rain.
With each passing year, Neil speaks morepositivelyandcon dentlyaboutthepreserve. He said the preserve looks and feels like it should. Between 10,000 and 15,000 Karner Blue But- ter ies (KBB) are counted each year but their actual number is probably at least twice as high because,duetostaffconstraints, theCommission can count KBB on only about one-third of their likelyhabitat. Hesaidmorethanninetypercent of KBB stay within 200 yards of where they are hatched, the remaining ten percent may travel up to one kilometer.
Published in August/September, 2019 Save the Pine Bush Newsletter