After the Guilderland Zoning Board of Appeals meeting last August, I spoke with Mike Shanley, the attorney for Crossgates. He said to me that if we just worked together we could really protect the butterfly and the Pine Bush. He blanched when I said the only way to protect the Pine Bush was to stop all development in the Pine Bush. But, to be nice, I gave him my phone number anyway.
A few weeks later, a woman in Mike Shanley’s office called me to say that Crossgates was planning to have an exhibit about the Karner Blue butterfly. This exhibit was to be a fund-raiser, with the money raised to be split between Save the Pine Bush and the Albany Pine Bush Management Commission. She was calling to get our input on the exhibit to make sure that it was what we would like. For example, they might think that having a wishing-well was a good idea, but that we might have different ideas.
Needless to say, I gave her quite an earful about Save the Pine Bush and our goal to preserve all of the remaining contiguous Pine Bush and what Crossgates had done to the Pine Bush. I told her I would get back to her.
Of course, I never did. Crossgates is not the first developer to offer Save the Pine Bush money, but there was something about this I found particularly disgusting. On one hand, Crossgates would be destroying the largest remaining colony of Karner Blues in the Pine Bush and on the other hand, they would be getting such good publicity in their maul about how they were being so generous to environmental groups.
Printed December, 1996,/January, 1997