Albany Pine Bush News

ALBANY, NY – The Albany Pine Bush Preserve will host a series of programs as part of New York State’s Invasive Species Awareness Week, July 8 – 14, 2018. Invasive Species Awareness Week is an annual educational campaign coordinated by the Invasive Species Council, the Invasive Species Advisory Committee, the eight PRISMs (Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management), and their partner organizations. “As a member of the Capital-Mohawk PRISM, we are pleased to provide opportunities to raise awareness on the need to manage invasive species”, said Neil Gifford, Conservation Director with the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission. PRISMs were created by the New York State Invasive Species Task Force to coordinate invasive species management and education with public and private landowners throughout the state.

A wide variety of invasive species are a threat to the health of this National Natural Landmark as well as many other places throughout New York State. According to Gifford, “invasive species pose one of the most serious threats to the preserve’s globally-rare inland pitch pine-scrub oak barrens and the 76 wildlife species of greatest conservation need that live there.” The Commission will kick off the week with the Pine Bush Invasive Species Awareness hike on Sunday July 8, 2018 1:00pm at the Discovery Center. This program will be a chance to learn about some of the invasive species here in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve and how to report them. On Wednesday July 11, 2018 there will be two programs. The first is a morning workday focused on removing invasive honeysuckle shrubs. This program will meet at the Discovery Center at 9:00am before caravanning to another part of the preserve. Participants must provide their own transportation and be dressed to work off trail. Join us at 6:30pm for Protecting Biodiversity in our Backyard, a program focusing on helping the future survival of native species through landscaping choices. For more information and to make reservations for a program visit www.AlbanyPineBush.org/events or call 518-456-0655. Reservations are required.

The 3,300+ – acre Albany Pine Bush Preserve (APBP), located in New York’s Capital District, protects one of the best remaining inland pitch-pine scrub oak barrens in the world. This extraordinary fire-dependent ecosystem provides habitat for many plants and animals and supports 76 New York State-designated wildlife Species of Greatest Conservation Need, including the endangered Karner blue butterfly. The APBP is a National Natural Landmark, Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area Site, a New York State Unique Area, Bird Conservation Area and a National Audubon Society Important Bird Area. Characterized by rolling sand dunes and miles of trails, the APBP offers visitors many recreational opportunities including hiking, bird watching, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, mountain biking, hunting, fishing and canoeing. The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission is a public-private partnership created by the NYS Legislature in 1988 to protect and manage the APBP and provide the public with educational and recreational opportunities.

As the gateway to the Pine Bush, the Discovery Center is a state-of-the-art “green” certified interpretive center where visitors come to understand why the Pine Bush is rare and special. A visit to this unique destination is an exciting exploration where learning comes naturally through interactive exhibits, an outdoor Discovery Trail, and numerous programs on the ecology, natural history, cultural history and management of the Pine Bush. Admission to the Discovery Center is free (there is a small fee for programs). The Center is open daily weekdays 9am-4pm, weekends and most holidays 10am-4pm. For more information, visit www.AlbanyPineBush.org or call 518-456-0655.
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May
22
2018

Lupine Fest 2018

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Click here for event schedule and highlights

ALBANY NY – The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission rejoices in the arrival of spring with their 14th annual Lupine Fest for the local community, held at the site of the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center at 195 New Karner Road in the City of Albany on Saturday, June 2, 2018 from 10AM to 4PM.

Wild blue lupine is a beautiful native wildflower that blooms in May and June, and is the only food source for the caterpillar of the state and federally endangered Karner blue butterfly.

Through interactive programs that showcase the globally rare, nationally significant and locally distinct Albany Pine Bush, the festival celebrates the wild blue lupine and the inland pitch pine- scrub oak barrens. Visitors can also enjoy nature walks, hands-on activities with community partners, music with the Whipper Snappers and B95.5, games, crafts, food, vendors and more.

APB Lupine Fest 2017 by Krishna Hill (69) (Large)Christopher Hawver, Executive Director of the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission said, “The Albany Pine Bush is a National Natural Landmark and the best remaining example of an inland pitch pine – scrub oak pine barrens in the world. The Preserve’s 3,300 acres are also a unique part of a neighborhood we share with nearly 1 million people in the Capital District. We manage the preserve to restore and protect its plants and animals and provide our neighbors with opportunities to enjoy nature. It’s important to celebrate how it helps to bring people closer to nature and why it’s worthy of protection.”

APB Lupine Fest 2017 by Krishna Hill (220) (Large)“This free event offers visitors a chance to connect with us and enjoy many different activities,” said Erin Kinal, Education Program Director. “The day will feature something for all ages, including a fun day of music, games, craft vendors, face painting, a make your own tie-dye shirt, live local wildlife programs, nature walks, food and much more!” Kinal continues, “We’re celebrating spring again this year with the Lupine Lady. Come hear a reading of the book Miss Rumphius and join her in scattering some lupine seeds.”

According to Hawver, “Rain or shine – Lupine Fest 2018 will offer fantastic family fun for everyone. Guests can meet many of the preserve’s friends and partners like representatives from Friends of the Pine Bush Community, L.L. Bean’s Outdoor Discovery School, US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Boy Scouts, the Guilderland Public Library, Guilderland Chamber of Commerce and others.” The festival will be held at the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center at 195 New Karner Road in Albany. Like Albany Pine Bush on Facebook or visit www.AlbanyPineBush.org/events for the full program schedule and more details. Parking for Lupine Fest is at 302 Washington Avenue Ext. with shuttle rides to and from the parking area. Follow the PARKING signs. On-site handicap parking available. No pets allowed at this event.

The 3,300+ – acre Albany Pine Bush Preserve (APBP), located in New York’s Capital District, protects one of the best remaining inland pitch-pine scrub oak barrens in the world. This extraordinary fire-dependent ecosystem provides habitat for many plants and animals and supports 75 New York State-designated wildlife Species of Greatest Conservation Need, including the endangered Karner blue butterfly. The APBP is a National Natural Landmark, Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area Site, a New York State Unique Area, Bird Conservation Area and a National Audubon Society Important Bird Area. Characterized by rolling sand dunes and miles of trails, the APBP offers visitors many recreational opportunities including hiking, bird watching, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, mountain biking, hunting, fishing and canoeing. The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission is a public-private partnership created by the NYS Legislature in 1988 to protect and manage the APBP and provide the public with educational and recreational opportunities.

As the gateway to the Pine Bush, the Discovery Center is a state-of-the-art “green” certified interpretive center where visitors come to understand why the Pine Bush is rare and special. A visit to this unique destination is an exciting exploration where learning comes naturally through interactive exhibits, an outdoor Discovery Trail, and numerous programs on the ecology, natural history, cultural history and management of the Pine Bush. Admission to the Discovery Center is free (there is a small fee for programs). The Center is open daily weekdays 9am-4pm, weekends and most holidays 10am-4pm. For more information, visit www.AlbanyPineBush.org or call 518-456-0655.
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DEC CONFIRMS SOUTHERN PINE BEETLE IN ALBANY PINE BUSH

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), in cooperation with the United States Forest Service and the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission (APBPC), has confirmed the presence of southern pine beetle (SPB) in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve. A single beetle was caught in a trap near Rapp Road in Albany. This is the farthest north SPB has ever been confirmed in the Northeastern United States.

“The southern pine beetle poses a significant threat to New York’s pine forests,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. “DEC is actively fighting the infestations of this invasive pest and continues searching for signs of the beetle in Upstate New York, to help stay ahead of these destructive pests. Thanks to Governor Cuomo’s leadership in increasing New York’s Environmental Protection Fund, DEC will be able to strengthen our work to slow the spread of the southern pine beetle and increase the long-term health and sustainability of our pine forests.”

SPB, a bark beetle native to the southern United States, has steadily expanded its range north and west, most likely in response to climate change. Considered one of the most destructive forest pests in the United States, SPB attacks several species of pine including pitch pine, an iconic species of the Pine Bush and other pine barrens throughout the state. Trees can die quickly from repeated beetle attacks, often succumbing within two to four months.
DEC’s Division of Lands and Forests and the APBPC began placing early detection traps in the preserve in 2015. Additional traps set in the Hudson Valley by DEC and partners confirmed the presence of SPB in Minnewaska State Park, Bear Mountain State Park, Schunnemunk State Park, and Roosa Gap State Forest in 2016 and 2017. Despite these detections, infested trees have not yet been found north of Long Island. The beetles are likely persisting at low levels upstate and therefore not causing the widespread tree mortality like that observed on Long Island. The Albany Pine Bush Preserve will be added to the locations identified for continued aerial and ground monitoring to search for infested trees.

“We’re pleased to be partnering with the forest health experts at DEC to monitor invasive forest pests in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve,” said Christopher Hawver, APBPC Executive Director. “It’s important in aiding our understanding of the dynamics of the Pine Barrens here in Albany.”

The APBPC does extensive forest thinning and prescribed burning to restore the globally-rare inland pine barrens and in the process, have created young forest habitat, increased populations of the endangered Karner blue butterfly, and improved ecosystem health. This habitat management has the added effect of reducing the likelihood of an outbreak of SPB because healthier pines are better equipped to withstand attack by the beetles. A more open forest structure also disrupts the beetle’s chemical communication, preventing them from attacking in large groups and overwhelming a tree’s defenses.
“Healthy ecosystems better tolerate potentially invasive species,” said APBPC Conservation Director, Neil Gifford. “Based on what we know about the management of this insect in its native range to the south, thinning and burning to restore the barrens should also help us make sure SPB does not decimate pitch pine in the preserve.”

In 2017, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo targeted $3 million from the Environmental Protection Fund to help manage the spread of SPB. The additional funds bolstered DEC’s ongoing efforts to manage the invasive pest, which has killed thousands of pine trees on Long Island since it was first discovered in 2014. The 2018-19 budget proposes an additional $250,000 for prescribed burns, which will help increase forest health and resistance to SPB on Long Island.

DEC is asking the public to report any recently dead or dying pitch pine and red pine they encounter outside of Long Island, especially if there are several trees grouped together and they are dying quickly. Sightings may be reported to the Forest Health Diagnostic Lab through the toll-free information line, 1-866-640-0652 or by email, foresthealth@dec.ny.gov. If possible, accompany any email reports with photos of the trees and close-ups of any damage. Please include something in the photos for scale, such as a penny, to help with identification. For additional information, please visit https://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/99331.html.

Wendy @ 1:39 pm

IMG_0074ALBANY NY – The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission will host its 7th annual Earth Day celebration at the Discovery Center on Saturday, April 21, 2018 from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. “This is a wonderful day to meet many of our neighbors dedicated to helping the preserve” said Lead Educator, Jackie Citriniti. The event will consist of many different projects such as trash collection, tree planting and invasive species removal. There will be something for all ages. “It’s always amazing to see how much we get done in just a few hours! If you’re looking for a great way to contribute to helping a rare ecosystem right here in your backyard, join us on April 21st to celebrate Earth Day” continued Citriniti. As a thank you to all the volunteers for their hard work, lunch will be provided at noon.

IMG_0104John McConnell, a peace activist, first proposed Earth Day at a UNESCO Conference in San Francisco to be celebrated on March 21, 1970, the first day of spring, to honor the earth and the concept of peace. A month later on April 22, 1970 Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin organized a second Earth Day as a national teach-in on the environment. Earth Day is now an annual occasion, a day on which events are held around the world to demonstrate support for environmental protection.

The Albany Pine Bush Earth Day celebration is a free event. Registration is required. The Discovery Center is located at 195 New Karner Road in Albany. To sign up, visit www.AlbanyPineBush.org/events or call 518-456-0655.

IMG_0053The 3,300+ – acre Albany Pine Bush Preserve (APBP), located in New York’s Capital District, protects one of the best remaining inland pitch-pine scrub oak barrens in the world. This extraordinary fire-dependent ecosystem provides habitat for many plants and animals and supports 75 New York State-designated wildlife Species of Greatest Conservation Need, including the endangered Karner blue butterfly. The APBP is a National Natural Landmark, Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area Site, a New York State Unique Area, Bird Conservation Area and a National Audubon Society Important Bird Area. Characterized by rolling sand dunes and miles of trails, the APBP offers visitors many recreational opportunities including hiking, bird watching, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, mountain biking, hunting, fishing and canoeing. The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission is a public-private partnership created by the NYS Legislature in 1988 to protect and manage the APBP and provide the public with educational and recreational opportunities.

As the gateway to the Pine Bush, the Discovery Center is a state-of-the-art “green” certified interpretive center where visitors come to understand why the Pine Bush is rare and special. A visit to this unique destination is an exciting exploration where learning comes naturally through interactive exhibits, an outdoor Discovery Trail, and numerous programs on the ecology, natural history, cultural history and management of the Pine Bush. Admission to the Discovery Center is free (there is a small fee for programs). The Center is open daily weekdays 9am-4pm, weekends and most holidays 10am-4pm. For more information, visit www.AlbanyPineBush.org or call 518-456-0655.

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Night at the DC flyer2ALBANY, NY – The Albany Pine Bush Preserve will host its first Night at the Discovery Center on Tuesday November 21, 2017, 4pm – 7pm at 195 New Karner Road in Albany. Visitors are invited to stop by the Discovery Center after normal business hours to play games, go on a guided hike and discover on this night, the exhibits come to life.

Christopher Hawver, Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission Executive Director said, “We invite the community to come out and enjoy this free event. This is an opportunity for us to say thank you for your support of this globally-rare ecosystem.”

Erin Kinal, Education Program Director said, “Visitors will meet Pine Bush characters from the past and present and enjoy interactive exhibits, games, moonlit walks, storytelling and more!” Event highlights include historical exhibits that come to life with 18th century re-enactors in period clothing and Michael Clough from the Southern Vermont Natural History Museum who will make the animal exhibits awaken with live local wildlife.

All ages are welcome. The event will be held rain or shine at the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center at 195 New Karner Road, Albany. Light refreshments will be served. For more details and to register, visit www.AlbanyPineBush.org/events or call 518-456-0655.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON THE PINE BUSH:
The 3,300+ – acre Albany Pine Bush Preserve (APBP), located in New York’s Capital District, protects one of the best remaining inland pitch pine-scrub oak barrens in the world. This extraordinary fire-dependent ecosystem provides habitat for many plants and animals and supports 76 New York State-designated wildlife Species of Greatest Conservation Need, including the endangered Karner blue butterfly. The APBP is a National Natural Landmark, Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area Site, a New York State Unique Area, Bird Conservation Area and a National Audubon Society Important Bird Area. Characterized by rolling sand dunes and miles of trails, the APBP offers visitors many recreational opportunities including hiking, bird watching, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, mountain biking, hunting, fishing and canoeing. The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission is a public-private partnership created by the NYS Legislature in 1988 to protect and manage the APBP and provide the public with educational and recreational opportunities.

As the gateway to the Pine Bush, the Discovery Center is a state-of-the-art “green” certified interpretive center where visitors come to understand why the Pine Bush is rare and special. A visit to this unique destination is an exciting exploration where learning comes naturally through interactive exhibits, an outdoor Discovery Trail, and numerous programs on the ecology, natural history, cultural history and management of the Pine Bush. Admission to the Discovery Center is free (there is a small fee for programs). The Center is open daily weekdays 9am-4pm, weekends and most holidays 10am-4pm. For more information, visit www.AlbanyPineBush.org or call 518-456-0655.

ALBANY PINE BUSH PRESERVE COMMISSION, U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE AND NEW YORK STATE DEC ANNOUNCE ENDANGERED KARNER BLUE BUTTERFLY EXCEEDS FEDERAL RECOVERY THRESHOLD
Collaborative Conservation Efforts Drive Recovery of Endangered Butterfly

Karner blue butterfly

Male Karner blue butterfly in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve

ALBANY, NY- Twenty-five years after being federally listed as endangered, the Albany Pine Bush population of the Karner blue butterfly, an icon of the Capital District’s inland pine barrens, has exceeded recovery goals for the local population, the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission (Commission) announced today. Bringing the butterfly one step closer to recovery in New York, the milestone is the result of collaboration by the Commission, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to protect the best remaining global example of an inland pitch pine-scrub oak barrens. Driven by science, the Commission’s programs of controlled burning, forest thinning, restoration seeding and environmental education have also helped many other rare animals and advanced state and federal efforts to protect pollinators and young forest wildlife.

USFWS Northeast Regional Director Wendi Weber said, “The Albany Pine Bush partners have shown that recovery is possible for the endangered Karner blue butterfly. By managing the barrens for the endangered butterfly, the Commission is bringing along many other types of rare wildlife, including the at-risk spotted turtle, wood turtle and frosted elfin butterfly.”

Albany Pine Bush

Pitch Pine Scrub Oak Barrens of the Albany Pine Bush Preserve

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “New York is committed to protecting the State’s natural resources and environmental treasures for future generations, including endangered species like the Karner blue butterfly. Collaborative efforts that include science-based habitat management like New York’s Young Forest Initiative and partnerships with the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are critical to our work restoring endangered species.”

“The Commission is proud of the incredible team of staff, volunteers, and public and private partners that have over many years made it possible for us to advance this species’ recovery and pine barrens restoration in the Albany Pine Bush”, said Commission Executive Director Christopher Hawver.

Commission Conservation Director, Neil Gifford, said “The preserve’s population of Karner blues has grown from less than a thousand in 2007 to more than 15,000 in 2016.” According to Gifford, “2016 was the 4th consecutive year that the preserve’s Karner population exceeded the 3,000 butterfly minimum established in the 2003 federal Karner blue butterfly Recovery Plan.” “Our wildlife data also show that Karner conservation has helped dozens of other pollinating insects, birds, reptiles and amphibians; it is the best indicator that our ecosystem restoration program is making a healthier Pine Bush.”

The quarter-sized Karner blue butterfly was identified in the 1940s by novelist Vladimir Nabokov in the New York hamlet Karner. The USFWS estimates that when the species was protected as endangered 25 years ago, the rangewide population had declined by up to 99 percent. The butterfly depends on the wild lupine plant, which cannot tolerate shade.

To help ensure that Karner blue butterflies persist into the future, the USFWS established 13 federal recovery units across the species’ range, which also includes Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire and Ohio. Within each unit, the USFWS described the number and size of populations thought to be necessary for recovery. The Albany Pine Bush is one of three recovery areas in New York referred to as the Glacial Lake Albany Recovery Unit.
Recovery goals must be met in multiple areas in New York and in other states in order to delist the Karner blue butterfly. Conservation efforts continue in other areas in Saratoga and Warren counties.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON THE PINE BUSH:
The 3,300+ – acre Albany Pine Bush Preserve (APBP), located in New York’s Capital District, protects one of the best remaining inland pitch-pine scrub oak barrens in the world. This extraordinary fire-dependent ecosystem provides habitat for many plants and animals and supports 76 New York State-designated wildlife Species of Greatest Conservation Need, including the endangered Karner blue butterfly. Since 1991, the acreage of suitable habitat has increased from 13 acres at 9 sites to more than 600 acres at 35 sites. The APBP is a National Natural Landmark, Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area Site, a New York State Unique Area, Bird Conservation Area and a National Audubon Society Important Bird Area. Characterized by rolling sand dunes and miles of trails, the APBP offers visitors many recreational opportunities including hiking, bird watching, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, mountain biking, hunting, fishing and canoeing. The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission is a public-private partnership created by the NYS Legislature in 1988 to protect and manage the APBP and provide the public with educational and recreational opportunities.

As the gateway to the Pine Bush, the Discovery Center is a state-of-the-art “green” certified interpretive center where visitors come to understand why the Pine Bush is rare and special. A visit to this unique destination is an exciting exploration where learning comes naturally through interactive exhibits, an outdoor Discovery Trail, and numerous programs on the ecology, natural history, cultural history and management of the Pine Bush. Admission to the Discovery Center is free (there is a small fee for programs). The Center is open daily weekdays 9am-4pm, weekends and most holidays 10am-4pm. For more information, visit www.AlbanyPineBush.org or call 518-456-0655.

ELEVENTH ANNUAL LUPINE FEST: Take a Walk on the Wild Side

Click here for program schedule.

Click here to download a Lupine Fest flyer.

2017 Lupine Fest Flyer_Page_1ALBANY NY – The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission will host its eleventh Lupine Fest on Saturday, May 20, 2017 from 10:00AM to 4:00PM at the Discovery Center. This year the festival honors the diverse wildlife of the Albany Pine Bush as well as the wild blue lupine flower and its importance to the conservation of several rare butterflies. Visitors will experience a celebration of our local wildlife through live animal shows, wildlife workshops and nature walks. All are invited to come discover the animals that call the Albany Pine Bush home through hands-on activities with community partners, music with the Whipper Snappers and B95.5, games, crafts, vendors, and more!

APB Lupine Fest 2016 by Krishna Hill (112)Christopher Hawver, Executive Director of the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission said, “The Albany Pine Bush is a National Natural Landmark and the best remaining example of an inland pitch pine – scrub oak pine barrens in the world. The Preserve’s 3,300 acres are also a unique part of a neighborhood we share with nearly 1 million people in the Capital District. We manage the Preserve to restore and protect its plants and animals and provide our neighbors with opportunities to enjoy nature. It’s important to celebrate how it helps to bring people closer to nature and why it’s worthy of protection.”

IMG_0095“This free event offers visitors a chance to connect with us and enjoy many different activities,” said Erin Kinal, Education Program Director. “The day will feature something for all ages, including a fun day of music, games, craft vendors, face painting, a make your own tie-dye party, live local wildlife programs, nature walks, food and much more!” Kinal continues, “We’re celebrating Lupine Fest this year with the second running of the Karner Kontraption. Come watch our Pine Bush Rube Goldberg-inspired machine designed by volunteer Jane Tatlock as it demonstrates the process of restoring the Pine Bush. With multiple moving parts, our machine will show the various strategies we use to restore and manage this globally rare, nationally significant and locally distinct ecosystem.”

IMG_8159According to Hawver, “Rain or shine – Lupine Fest: Take a Walk on the Wild Side will offer fantastic family fun for everyone. Guests can meet many of the Preserve’s friends and partners like representatives from Friends of the Pine Bush Community, L.L. Bean’s Outdoor Discovery School, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Into the Wild, the Boy Scouts, the Guilderland Public Library, Guilderland Chamber of Commerce and others.” The festival will be held at the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center at 195 New Karner Road in Albany. Like Albany Pine Bush on Facebook or visit www.AlbanyPineBush.org/events for the full program schedule and more details. Parking for Lupine Fest is at 302 Washington Avenue Ext. with shuttle rides to and from the parking area. Follow the PARKING signs. On-site handicap parking available.

IMG_0148The 3,300+ – acre Albany Pine Bush Preserve (APBP), located in New York’s Capital District, protects one of the best remaining inland pitch-pine scrub oak barrens in the world. This extraordinary fire-dependent ecosystem provides habitat for many plants and animals and supports 75 New York State-designated wildlife Species of Greatest Conservation Need, including the endangered Karner blue butterfly. The APBP is a National Natural Landmark, Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area Site, a New York State Unique Area, Bird Conservation Area and a National Audubon Society Important Bird Area. Characterized by rolling sand dunes and miles of trails, the APBP offers visitors many recreational opportunities including hiking, bird watching, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, mountain biking, hunting, fishing and canoeing. The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission is a public-private partnership created by the NYS Legislature in 1988 to protect and manage the APBP and provide the public with educational and recreational opportunities.

As the gateway to the Pine Bush, the Discovery Center is a state-of-the-art “green” certified interpretive center where visitors come to understand why the Pine Bush is rare and special. A visit to this unique destination is an exciting exploration where learning comes naturally through interactive exhibits, an outdoor Discovery Trail, and numerous programs on the ecology, natural history, cultural history and management of the Pine Bush. Admission to the Discovery Center is free (there is a small fee for programs). The Center is open daily weekdays 9am-4pm, weekends and most holidays 10am-4pm. For more information, visit www.AlbanyPineBush.org or call 518-456-0655.
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Visible landscape changes in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve: improving wildlife habitat and reducing wildfire risk

ALBANY, NY- Travelers in and around the area of the I-87 and I-90 interchange may notice a significant change happening in the nearby Albany Pine Bush Preserve. The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission is contracting tree thinning that will be completed during the fall and winter of 2016 on 91 acres in the Rapp Barrens area (Trailhead # 2) of the preserve. This tree thinning is being completed during the winter months because winter habitat restoration minimizes disruption to wildlife, avoiding the breeding season for species that inhabit the preserve.

“Historically the Pine Bush was an open landscape of grasses, shrubs, wildflowers and scattered pitch pine trees. Due to wildfire suppression and historical agricultural activities, the Pine Bush in some regions of the preserve no longer resembles the unique landscape it once was. To restore this habitat the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission will be thinning crowded pitch pine and oak trees along with some other tree species. Non-native trees like black locust will also be removed. This will allow other important pine barrens plants and animals to flourish. The thinning will also help reduce the potential for tree-top or “crown” fires in this sandy, dry, fire dependent environment,” said Albany Pine Bush Preserve Stewardship Director, Joel Hecht.

Executive Director Christopher Hawver added, “With fewer than 20 places like the Pine Bush on Earth, this project will improve habitat for rare wildlife while preserving the barrens for future generations to enjoy. Some of the wildlife species that will benefit from this habitat restoration include birds like the prairie warbler and eastern towhee, other animals such as the hognose snake, spadefoot toad and federally-endangered Karner blue butterfly along with flowers like wild blue lupine.”

For safety reasons the recreational trails in this area of the Preserve will be temporarily closed in late fall and winter while the trees are being removed. Preserve visitors are encouraged to explore many of the other preserve trails during this time as there are almost 20 miles of official trails in the preserve. Exact trail closure dates can be found at www.AlbanyPineBush.org.

According to Mr. Hecht, “The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission, over the past 25 years, has implemented wildlife habitat restoration on hundreds of acres. This is accomplished by removing invasive plants, planting native wildflowers, grasses, trees and shrubs, mowing and implementing prescribed burning in the preserve. Throughout the Pine Bush, past agriculture practices coupled with wildfire suppression has resulted in unnaturally dense forests that jeopardize rare wildlife. By removing some trees the forest will be thinned to allow more sunlight to reach grasses, wildflowers and shrubs. This restoration will improve rare wildlife habitat while also reducing potential tree-top fires in this part of the preserve.”

Successful examples of pitch pine tree thinning as part of habitat restoration have taken place in several other northeastern pine barrens including Ossipee, New Hampshire, Montague, Massachusetts, the Central Pine Barrens of Long Island, New York and the New Jersey Pine Barrens.

Once this restoration project is completed, prescribed burning will be used to restore and maintain the pine barrens vegetation that is currently being shaded out by pitch pine and hardwood trees. The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission is continuing to restore many additional pine barrens acres in the preserve as mandated in the 2010 APBP Management Plan.

For more information on all preserve management activities please visit www.AlbanyPineBush.org, the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center located at 195 New Karner Road in Albany or call (518) 456-0655.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON THE PINE BUSH:
The 3,200+ – acre Albany Pine Bush Preserve (APBP), located in New York’s Capital District, protects one of the best remaining inland pitch-pine scrub oak barrens in the world. This extraordinary fire-dependent ecosystem provides habitat for many plants and animals and supports 69 New York State-designated wildlife Species of Greatest Conservation Need, including the endangered Karner blue butterfly. The APBP is a National Natural Landmark, Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area Site, a New York State Unique Area, Bird Conservation Area and a National Audubon Society Important Bird Area. Characterized by rolling sand dunes and miles of trails, the APBP offers visitors many recreational opportunities including hiking, bird watching, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, mountain biking, hunting, fishing and canoeing. The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission is a public-private partnership created by the NYS Legislature in 1988 to protect and manage the APBP and provide the public with educational and recreational opportunities.

As the gateway to the Pine Bush, the Discovery Center is a state-of-the-art “green” certified interpretive center where visitors come to understand why the Pine Bush is rare and special. A visit to this unique destination is an exciting exploration where learning comes naturally through interactive exhibits, an outdoor Discovery Trail, and numerous programs on the ecology, natural history, cultural history and management of the Pine Bush. Admission to the Discovery Center is free (there is a small fee for programs). The Center is open daily weekdays 9am-4pm, weekends and most holidays 10am-4pm. For more information, visit www.AlbanyPineBush.org or call 518-456-0655.

CLICK HERE to download the Draft Management Plan Update

ALBANY, NY – The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission released its Draft Management Plan Update for public review and comment October 4, 2016. Two public meetings are scheduled to gather comment on this document and answer questions about the Preserve. Commission staff will present an overview of the Draft Management Plan Update at the Crossings in Colonie on November 2 and at the Guilderland Public Library on November 3 – both meetings are from 6:00 – 8:00 PM. People can participate at the meetings and/or provide written comments via email to managementplan@albanypinebush.org or standard mail to Management Plan, Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission, 195 New Karner Road, Albany, NY 12205. The comment period of the Draft Management Plan Update ends at the close of business November 25, 2016. The Draft Management Plan Update is available for public review at public offices and libraries around the Capital Region. A list of these locations is available by calling the Commission (518-456-0655) or from its website at www.albanypinebush.org/commission/management_plans.htm.

Executive Director Christopher A. Hawver said in a statement, “This draft document updates the 2010 Pine Bush Management Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement. It identifies and further refines the Commission’s goals and challenges for land protection, natural resource management, public education, outreach, recreation and preserve operations. No substantive changes are proposed in the Draft Management Plan Update to recommendations for preserve protection, management or associated environmental impacts. The recommendations in the Draft Plan Update balance environmental and community needs and are based on scientific criteria and over 25 years of experience in managing the Pine Bush Preserve. In updating and developing a reasonable plan we are building on many of our successful partnerships, and the principle that everyone can and should work together to protect and enjoy the benefits of this globally-rare National Natural Landmark.”

The 1988 Legislation (NYS Environmental Conservation Law, Article 46) which established the Albany Pine Bush Preserve and the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission, requires that the Preserve Management Plan be reviewed and, if necessary, updated every five years. The Draft Management Plan Update is a minor revision of the 2010 Management Plan. This document refines education, outreach and communication recommendations; provides an updated five year operating plan and updates the Invasive and Overabundant Species Management Plan. The Draft Plan also updates the Preserve’s descriptive statistics (e.g. acres managed) and Preserve Designations (e.g. National Natural Landmark, Important Bird Area, National Heritage Site, etc.). As no substantive changes are proposed in the Draft Management Plan Update, the action has been classified as a State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) Type II Action consistent with 6 NYCRR Part 617.

The Draft Management Plan Update was written to provide people who have an interest in the Albany Pine Bush with an opportunity to participate in planning for its future.

The 3,200+ – acre Albany Pine Bush Preserve (APBP), located in New York’s Capital District, protects one of the best remaining inland pitch-pine scrub oak barrens in the world. This extraordinary fire-dependent ecosystem provides habitat for many plants and animals and supports 69 New York State-designated wildlife Species of Greatest Conservation Need, including the endangered Karner blue butterfly. The APBP is a National Natural Landmark, Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area Site, a New York State Unique Area, Bird Conservation Area and a National Audubon Society Important Bird Area. Characterized by rolling sand dunes and miles of trails, the APBP offers visitors many recreational opportunities including hiking, bird watching, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, mountain biking, hunting, fishing and canoeing. The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission is a public-private partnership created by the NYS Legislature in 1988 to protect and manage the APBP and provide the public with educational and recreational opportunities.

As the gateway to the Pine Bush, the Discovery Center is a state-of-the-art “green” certified interpretive center where visitors come to understand why the Pine Bush is rare and special. A visit to this unique destination is an exciting exploration where learning comes naturally through interactive exhibits, an outdoor Discovery Trail, and numerous programs on the ecology, natural history, cultural history and management of the Pine Bush. Admission to the Discovery Center is free (there is a small fee for programs). The Center is open daily weekdays 9am-4pm, weekends and most holidays 10am-4pm. For more information, visit www.AlbanyPineBush.org or call 518-456-0655.

CLICK HERE to view the Draft Management Plan Update

The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission is releasing its Draft Management Plan Update for public review and comment on October 4, 2016. A public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, October 25, 2016 from 7:00-9:00pm, at the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center, 195 New Karner Road, Albany, NY to gather public comment on this document. People can participate at the hearing and/or provide written comments via email to managementplan@albanypinebush.org or standard mail to: Management Plan, Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission, 195 New Karner Road, Albany, NY 12205. The comment period of the Draft Management Plan Update ends at the close of business November 25, 2016. The Draft Management Plan Update is available for public review at public offices and libraries around the Capital Region. A list of these locations is available by calling the Commission (518-456-0655) or from its website at www.AlbanyPineBush.org/commission/management-plan

Executive Director Christopher A. Hawver said in a statement, “This draft document updates the 2010 Pine Bush Management Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement. It identifies and further refines the Commission’s goals and challenges for land protection, natural resource management, public education, outreach, recreation and preserve operations. No substantive changes are proposed in the Draft Management Plan Update to recommendations for preserve protection, management or associated environmental impacts. The recommendations in the Draft Plan Update balance environmental and community needs and are based on scientific criteria and over 25 years of experience in managing the Pine Bush Preserve. In updating and developing a reasonable plan we are building on many of our successful partnerships, and the principle that everyone can and should work together to protect and enjoy the benefits of this globally-rare National Natural Landmark.”

The 1988 Legislation (NYS Environmental Conservation Law, Article 46) which established the Albany Pine Bush Preserve and the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission, requires that the Preserve Management Plan be reviewed and, if necessary, updated every five years. The Draft Management Plan Update is a minor revision of the 2010 Management Plan. This document refines education, outreach and communication recommendations; provides an updated five year operating plan and updates the Invasive and Overabundant Species Management Plan. The Draft Plan also updates the Preserve’s descriptive statistics (e.g. acres managed) and Preserve Designations (e.g. National Natural Landmark, Important Bird Area, National Heritage Site, etc.). As no substantive changes are proposed in the Draft Management Plan Update, the action has been classified as a State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) Type II Action consistent with 6 NYCRR Part 617.

The Draft Management Plan Update was written to provide people who have an interest in the Albany Pine Bush with an opportunity to participate in planning for its future.

The 3,200+ – acre Albany Pine Bush Preserve (APBP), located in New York’s Capital District, protects one of the best remaining inland pitch-pine scrub oak barrens in the world. This extraordinary fire-dependent ecosystem provides habitat for many plants and animals and supports 69 New York State-designated wildlife Species of Greatest Conservation Need, including the endangered Karner blue butterfly. The APBP is a National Natural Landmark, Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area Site, a New York State Unique Area, Bird Conservation Area and a National Audubon Society Important Bird Area. Characterized by rolling sand dunes and miles of trails, the APBP offers visitors many recreational opportunities including hiking, bird watching, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, mountain biking, hunting, fishing and canoeing. The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission is a public-private partnership created by the NYS Legislature in 1988 to protect and manage the APBP and provide the public with educational and recreational opportunities.

As the gateway to the Pine Bush, the Discovery Center is a state-of-the-art “green” certified interpretive center where visitors come to understand why the Pine Bush is rare and special. A visit to this unique destination is an exciting exploration where learning comes naturally through interactive exhibits, an outdoor Discovery Trail, and numerous programs on the ecology, natural history, cultural history and management of the Pine Bush. Admission to the Discovery Center is free (there is a small fee for programs). The Center is open daily weekdays 9am-4pm, weekends and most holidays 10am-4pm. For more information, visit www.AlbanyPineBush.org or call 518-456-0655.
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Wendy @ 3:03 pm
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