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 2010 Management Plan/FEIS consolidates and updates all earlier Preserve management plans. This document incorporates new data and experience gained by the Commission and further refines information in the former plans with the best currently available information; appendices to the Plan include a: Pine Barrens Viability Assessment, Fire Management Plan, Karner Blue Butterfly Recovery Plan, Invasive Species Management Plan, Education and Outreach Plan, and Recreation Plan.
The Albany Pine Bush once stretched over 25,000 acres, spreading across vast sand dunes of the bed of glacial Lake Albany. According to New York’s Natural Heritage Program, the Preserve contains globally unique pitch pine-scrub oak barrens, pine barrens vernal ponds, several rare plants and at least 45 wildlife Species of Greatest Conservation Need including the federally-endangered Karner blue butterfly.
In 1988, the New York State Legislature recognized the Albany Pine Bush, located in the City of Albany and Towns of Guilderland and Colonie as “a landscape of rare and endangered natural communities and species…” The legislature found that “because of the fragile qualities of the Pine Bush and its dependence on periodic fires, effective, coordinated management is essential.” The legislature established the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission “to manage the Preserve for purposes of its protection and controlled and appropriate recreation and education.”
The Commission consists of the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Commissioner of the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the mayor of the city of Albany, the town supervisors of the towns of Colonie and Guilderland, the chief executive officer of the county of Albany, the state director of the New York field office of The Nature Conservancy and four members appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate.