Albany Pine Bush News

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.

Oct
04
2017

Smokey Bear Day

ALBANY NY – The Albany Pine Bush Preserve will host its annual Smokey Bear Day on Monday October 9, 2017, 10am – 2pm at the Discovery Center.

APB Smokey Bear Day 2016 by Krishna Hill (122)Christopher Hawver, Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission Executive Director said, “We invite the community to come out and enjoy this free annual event. Smokey Bear Day provides a family-friendly opportunity to learn why fire is an important natural component of this globally-rare ecosystem.”

Visitors will learn how the Commission uses prescribed fire to keep the Pine Bush Preserve, listed as a National Natural Landmark, a healthy habitat for the unusual species of plants and animals that thrive there. Smokey Bear and a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Ranger will make appearances throughout the day, and Commission Fire Management and Education staff will be on hand.

Erin Kinal, Education Program Director said, “There will be interactive exhibits on prescribed fire, refreshments and Smokey goody bags for visitors to take home. Visitors will have opportunities throughout the event to meet Smokey Bear.”

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. For more details and to pre-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.

Citizen Science: Pine Bush Big Birding Day

ALBANY, NY- Join the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission for their first ever Pine Bush Big Birding Day from Friday June 30, 2017, 6:00pm–Saturday July 1, 2017, 8:30pm. Teams can register and participate together in the preserve for 24 hours from 7:00pm Friday to 7:00pm Saturday, trying to observe as many bird species as possible. Each team will be self-guided and participants must provide their own transportation. Teams can work at their own pace for as much or as little of the 24-hour time period as they want. The event will kick off with light refreshments on Friday evening at 6:00pm and then participants will get back together for dinner and a closing ceremony on Saturday evening at 7:00pm. All ages are welcome to participate but all teams must have at least one member who can identify birds with them at all times. Teams can sign up by calling 518-456-0655 or visit www.AlbanyPineBush.org/eventsPine Bush Hikers W Craney (12)

“A big birding day allows the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission to learn what species of birds are in the preserve. Detecting birds this time of year also suggests that those birds may be breeding here,” says Amanda Dillon, Field Ecologist and Entomologist. “Commission staff regularly conduct surveys during the summer months where we record every bird we hear and see at points located around the preserve. This event will help us get more eyes and ears on the ground and expand our coverage area. Birds are very sensitive to changes in their habitat and some can only be found in particular types of habitats like the inland pitch pine-scrub oak barrens found the in the Albany Pine Bush. Knowing which species are present in the preserve tells us a lot about how effective our efforts are in restoring this globally rare landscape.”

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 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.

A StoryWalk at the Albany Pine Bush Preserve

20170525_094629ALBANY NY – A StoryWalk® featuring the children’s book I See Animals Hiding by Jim Arnosky is currently on display in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve. “A StoryWalk® is a children’s book that is deconstructed and the pages are laminated. The pages of the book are then posted along a trail so that people read the story as they are walking along the trail,” explained Sara Poggi-Decker, Education Program Manager.

Walk, jump or skip from page to page as you read along the trail. The StoryWalk® is currently set up along part of the blue trail located behind the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center. “A StoryWalk® is a great way to explore the trails” said Poggi-Decker. “It is also an exciting and different way to read a book,” she continued. The StoryWalk® Project was originally created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT and developed in collaboration with the Vermont Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition and the Kellogg Hubbard Library.

The Storywalk® will be on display until June 30, 2017. For more information about the Storywalk®, trails and other programs visit the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center at 195 New Karner Road in Albany, www.AlbanyPineBush.org or call 518-456-0655.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON THE ALBANY 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 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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Wendy @ 11:16 am

Albany Pine Bush Preserve Seeks Volunteers to Help the Endangered Karner Blue Butterfly

DSC06754ALBANY, NY- Volunteers are needed to help collect native Pine Bush seeds June 12-16 & 19-23, 2017. Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission staff will lead volunteers in the collection of Wild blue lupine flower seeds for use in Karner blue butterfly habitat restoration. This is an easily learned activity and no previous experience is required. Volunteers (age 10 and up) meet at 9:00am and 12:30pm each day at the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center and can help for as long as they wish. Volunteers will be working off trail and should bring drinking water, snacks, insect repellent and sunscreen. For more information or to sign up visit www.AlbanyPineBush.org/events or call 518-456-0655.

Located within New York’s Capital District, the Albany Pine Bush Preserve is one of only a few inland pine barrens left in the entire world and widely considered to be the best example. The 3,300-acre Preserve is predominantly defined by gently rolling sand dunes that support an extraordinary fire-dependent habitat. According to Albany Pine Bush Preserve Steward and Botanist, Jesse Hoffman “Of the 3,300 acres of protected land, only two thirds of the acreage currently supports pine barrens habitat. The other third requires restoration with the intention of eradicating non-native vegetation and re-vegetating with native species. In order to maintain the unique ecotypes of plant species located in the Albany Pine Bush, we have committed to utilizing only sources of seed that originate in the Glacial Lake Albany footprint for all of our restoration work. This means that the many pounds of native seed required for restoration planting must be hand collected by Commission staff and volunteers.”

APBPC Karner blue butterflyHoffman continued, “The target seed species for this outing is Wild blue lupine. Wild blue lupine is of paramount importance as it is the sole food source for the state and federally-endangered Karner blue butterfly. The more seed we are able to collect, the more potential habitat we can create to support these rare and wonderful creatures.”

BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON THE ALBANY 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 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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You’re invited to an evening of presentations at 7 pm on Tuesday, June 13 by students from Farnsworth Middle School, Guilderland Central School. The sixth annual Student Research Symposium, sponsored by the Friends of the Pine Bush Community, will feature poster sessions and presentations by seventh grade students from Dr. Alan Fiero’s science classes.

IMG_2169

Topics will include how the Pine Bush formed, what makes pine barrens unique, the significance of fire, the Karner blue butterfly, restoring Pine Bush habitat, challenges in the Pine Bush, research being done at the school and more.

The free program will be held at the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center, 195 New Karner Road, Albany. Preregistration is not necessary for this special event.

Friends @ 2:49 pm

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.

Exhibit Opening
Pine Bush Perspectives: Photo Exhibit

2015 Exhibit Award Winners

2015 Exhibit Award Winners

ALBANY NY – On December 2, 2016 from 5:00 pm to 7:00pm the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center will host the unveiling of their third juried photo exhibit, celebrating the uniqueness and diversity of the Albany Pine Bush Preserve.

Jackie Citriniti, Lead Educator and show designer said “The photo exhibit is an amazing display of local talent. Out of hundreds of submissions, it is a daunting task to choose the finalists.” Citriniti continues, “Each photograph reveals incredible features of this rare ecosystem, from macro to micro, from flora and fauna to landscapes, from color to black and white. This is a great opportunity to not only view breathtaking art up close and personal but experience this globally rare, nationally significant, and locally distinct preserve.”

The exhibit will be open through the end of February 2017 and is being sponsored by Friends of the Pine Bush Community. Friends’ president Richard Naylor said, “The Friends are pleased to celebrate and recognize all of the photographers who captured so many exceptional perspectives on the Albany Pine Bush. We hope the images exhibited will inspire others to go afield with their camera and experience something new.” Juror selected awards will be presented during the opening and light snacks will be provided.

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. For more details, visit www.AlbanyPineBush.org/events or call 518-456-0655.

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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