Albany Pine Bush News

3,200-Acre Site Supports Significant Geological Landforms, Ecological Habitats and Species, Including the Endangered Karner Blue Butterfly

September 23, 2013

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced her effort to designate the Albany Pine Bush Preserve, a 3,200-acre nature preserve, as a National Natural Landmark (NNL).

“The Albany Pine Bush Preserve is one of New York State’s most beautiful natural treasures, and deserves National Natural Landmark status,” Senator Gillibrand said. “This gem of ecological diversity and rare geological landforms make this site an important preservation area and a great place for families to hike, bike, fish and explore right here in the Capital Region.”

“We are honored to have the Preserve be considered as a National Natural Landmark and greatly appreciative of the efforts of Senator Gillibrand to pursue this designation for us,” said Christopher Hawver, Executive Director of the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission.

The Albany Pine Bush Preserve is a significant example of an inland pine barren ecosystem within the Appalachian Plateau and Appalachian Ranges. The preserve is home to more than 1,300 species of plants, 156 species of birds, 20 species of amphibians and reptiles, more than 30 species of mammals, and world-renowned populations of butterflies and moths – making the preserve a major draw for scientific study, conservation efforts and educational interest.

In a letter to U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, Senator Gillibrand emphasized the Albany Pine Bush Preserve’s unique ecosystem – serving as home to many diverse species of plants and animals, including the federally-listed endangered Karner blue butterfly.

Senator Gillibrand’s complete letter:

Dear Secretary Jewell,

I write in support of the designation of the Albany Pine Bush Preserve as a National Natural Landmark by the National Park System Advisory Board.

The Albany Pine Bush Preserve is a unique ecosystem located on a 3,200-acre site in Albany County, New York. The preserve is one of the best-remaining examples of an inland pine barren habitat. The open areas and well-drained sandy soils of the preserve support a globally-rare pitch pine-scrub oak community and is home to more than 1,300 species of plants, 156 species of birds, 20 species of amphibians and reptiles, and 30 species of mammals, as well as rare species of butterflies and moths. Among its diverse flora and fauna, the Albany Pine Bush supports the federally-listed endangered Karner blue butterfly, as well as the rare inland barrens buckmoth. The Albany Pine Bush is the site of one of thirteen Federal Recovery Units working to rebuild adult populations and restore suitable habitat for the Karner blue butterfly across the range of the endangered species.

National Natural Landmark designation would provide greatly needed resources for the continued preservation of the Albany Pine Bush and the unique species it supports. This biologically significant habitat is important to our national heritage and natural history, as well as to the continued scientific studies and conservation efforts at the site.

I ask that you please give this application your full consideration. If you have any questions, or desire further information, please do not hesitate to contact my staff member Jamal Halepota at (202) 224-4451.

 


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