ALBANY: State Supreme Court Judge Joseph Teresi again ruled against Save the Pine Bush in the case regarding Avila House, a senior housing project proposed to be built behind Teresian House. This proposal will destroy an essential Karner Blue butterfly migration corridor.
The Karner Blue butterfly population has declined over 98% in the last 20 years. There were barely 1000 butterflies in the Pine Bush last summer, down from 65,000 in 1980, and millions in the 1940s. The drastic reduction in butterflies is due to habitat loss.
In its approval, the Planning Board did not take a hard look at the establishment of a migration corridor between the last largest site of Karner Blues (located at Crossgates Maul), and the Blueberry Hill area of the Pine Bush, immediately to the west of the proposed senior housing site. The senior housing project, proposed by the Roman Catholic Diocese, is in the middle of this migration corridor.
The New York State Karner Blue Butterfly Recovery Team, appointed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has stated that connecting the Crossgates Butterfly corral to the existing Preserve is critical to the recovery of the Karner Blue not only in the Pine Bush, but in New York State as a whole and is necessary to meet state and federal mandates to recover the butterfly.
Save the Pine Bush is currently evaluating future action. With the drastic decline in the Karner Blue butterfly population, the migration corridor is even more important now. It must be preserved.
Printed in the May/June 2002 Newsletter