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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, February 4, 2010

Pine Bush Commission to control another 191 acres

By Anne Hayden

GUILDERLAND — The amount of land preserved and maintained by the Pine Bush Commission has increased by 6 percent.

One-hundred-and-ninety-one acres of land owned by the town of Guilderland has been dedicated to the Pine Bush Preserve, which is currently 3,100 acres; the town will continue to own the acreage, but the commission will manage and maintain it. The transfer of control will have no effect on town taxes, said Supervisor Kenneth Runion.

The land is located in the northern part of town along Lydius Street, and is broken up into parcels. It was donated to the town by various developers over the past two decades, including the developers of the Lone Pine subdivision, the Fusco subdivision, and the new development-in-progress, Woodsfield Estates. The town requires developers to set aside a certain amount of park space or pay a fee.

The land was preserved as green and open space by the developers, although most of it is marked by ravines along the Hungerkill, said Runion. One of the four parcels is land in DiCaprio Park that is not currently in use.

The Pine Bush Commission will maintain the fragile inland pine barrens ecosystem and protect the natural resources on the land, according to Christopher Hawver, executive director of the commission.

 “The commission has no authority to manage property unless it has been dedicated to the preserve,” said Hawver. Now that the 191 acres along Lydius Street are part of the preserve, the commission will be able to do prescribed burns, and monitor plant growth and wildlife. It will also add extra recreational trails, and deal with encroachment issues.

“The Pine Bush Commission will be able to manage the land to ensure it isn’t used improperly. I think there are some issues with all-terrain vehicles being ridden on that land right now,” said Runion. Hawver said the commission will follow its own rules and regulations, which are enforced by the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation.

The Pine Bush Commission currently has no timeline for incorporating recreational opportunities, or starting management work on the 191 acres. The commission is in the process of updating its management plan, something Hawver said is done every five years.

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