Albany Pine Bush News

Funding To Help Pine Bush Maintain Karner Blue Butterfly Habitat

Albany, NY – National Grid and the Albany Pine Bush Preserve are working together to help maintain and support the environment and create butterfly-friendly areas around utility Rights-Of-Way within the preserve.

National Grid today presented the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission (APBPC) with a $50,000 donation to assist them in their efforts to create and enhance habitats for the endangered Karner blue butterfly habitat on 23 acres of National Grid’s electric transmission line rights-of-way which are adjacent to the Albany Pine Bush Preserve.

National Grid is providing the APBPC with this funding and with the access and vegetation management rights needed to manage these right-of-way habitats. These efforts will help to increase the habitat acreage for both the Karner blue butterfly and the frosted elfin, a New York State-listed threatened butterfly, which shares habitats with the Karner blue butterfly.

“National grid is committed to being an innovative leader in energy management, to safeguarding our global environment for future generations and to the protection and enhancement of the environment. We are always seeking new ways to minimize the environmental impact of our past, present and future activities,” Said Ken Daly, president of National Grid in New York. “Our electrical transmission lines which run through the Pine Bush are important conduits of energy to growing communities in the Capital Region. Therefore, we recognize that the area around them needs to be protected to allow for further development of the habitat.”

“We are pleased to have developed this long-term relationship with National Grid to manage the ecologically rare and important Albany Pine Bush habitat within its utility right-of-ways. It is a logical step in our work with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and NYS Department of Environmental Conservation in protecting the Pine Bush Preserve that borders these areas for the Karner blue butterfly and the more than 45 State-designated wildlife Species of Greatest Conservation Need indicative to the Pine Bush. The project is a solid example of public organizations and a private utility coming together for the conservation of one of the most rare habitats in the Northeastern United States,” said Christopher Hawver, executive director of the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission.

The money is a part of a plan approved by both the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC).

“DEC is pleased to work with National Grid, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission to protect the habitat of these rare and threatened species,” said Kathy Moser, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation’s Assistant Commissioner for Natural Resources. “Government is most efficient when we can work with our public and private partners to maximize our resources to achieve goals for the common good, in this case protecting a globally rare ecosystem while maintaining a reliable electrical grid.”

“The partnership with National Grid and Albany Pine Bush Preserve will make important contributions to the conservation of the endangered Karner blue butterfly in New York State, which is the stronghold for the butterfly’s remaining population in the eastern U.S.,” said David Stilwell, supervisor for the Service’s New York Field Office. “National Grid’s habitat conservation plan is an excellent example of how the Endangered Species Act enables partnerships that help improve habitat for endangered wildlife and contribute to the recovery of species like the Karner blue butterfly.”

 


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