The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission
has a web-based survey asking people to comment about what they
would like in the new
Pine Bush Discovery Center to be located in the State Employees
Federal Credit Union building on Route 155.
The survey asks about what types of exhibits you find most helpful
and informative, how you like to learn about subjects, attendance
at other nature centers, and how much you would be willing to pay
to visit the center, among other things.
It is a good, bland, survey, but it leaves out two extremely
important points. First, only half of the remaining Pine Bush
from development, and second, the role citizens play in Pine
Bush preservation and the establishment of the Preserve.
Save the Pine Bush is supportive of the creation of a Discovery
Center. However, it is extremely important that the exhibits
at the Discovery Center tell the truth. There are about 5800
of contiguous Pine Bush ecosystem in existence today, only
1/10th of its original size. Of this 5800 acres of ecosystem,
or about half, are protected in the Preserve.
The remaining Pine Bush ecosystem is privately owned, by
different people and corporations, and could be destroyed by
at any time.
The Discovery Center needs to inform visitors that the Pine
Bush is still very much in danger, and unless steps are taken
Pine Bush not in the Preserve, the Pine Bush ecosystem may
The other issue the Discovery Center needs to include in
its exhibits is the role citizens play in Pine Bush Preservation.
Why is there
a Commission, a Discovery Center and a Preserve? It was not
a benevolent government that declared in its wisdom to just
create these entities.
It was the constant and continuous fight of dozens of individuals
and several organizations, including Save the Pine Bush, that
made the government create these entities.
The role of citizen activism and Save the Pine Bush should
not be ignored at the Discovery Center. Why is the Blueberry
of the Pine Bush preserved? Because SPB spent 8 years in court
with the City of Albany and won. Why is there an Albany Pine
Bush Preserve Commission? Because SPB sued the City of Albany
Commission was created as one of the mitigation measures for
the construction of the landfill expansion. Why do we have
analysis of much of the Pine Bush in the Management Plan? Because
SPB sued the Commission. Why is the Discovery Center to be
located in the SEFCU building? Because SPB sued over SEFCU,
and we won.
And there are many many more examples. Preservation of unique,
endangered ecosystems does not happen in a vacuum.
Neither of these two topics — the Pine Bush is still in danger,
and it was citizens who forced the preservation of the Pine Bush — is
a pretty one. But they are important.
Don’t let the Discovery Center ignore these important
issues! Fill out the questionnaire. And please be sure to add
on the importance of including the fact that only half of the
Pine Bush is safe from destruction and that it was citizens,
government, who decided that the Pine Bush should be preserved.
Take the survey at: http://fs12.formsite.com/apbpc/form107417882/index.html.