A celebration for the trees

By LINDA LEUZZI
Posted 11/1/19

Long Island Pine Barrens Society executive director Richard Amper made his official announcement today, that 57,676 acres of the Pine Barrens Core and 52,000 acres of the Compatible Growth area have been protected, at a location that illustrates protection best, the 2,000-acre Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge in Shirley.

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A celebration for the trees

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Long Island Pine Barrens Society executive director Richard Amper made his official announcement last week, that 57,676 acres of the Pine Barrens Core and 52,000 acres of the Compatible Growth area have been protected, at a location that illustrations protection the best, the 2,550-acre Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge in Shirley. Twenty-five years after New York State passed the 1993 Pine Barrens Protection Act, legislation led by Assemblyman Steve Englebright (D-Setauket) along with NYS Senator Ken LaValle (R-C-I Port Jefferson), the non-profit’s preservation goal has been met and exceeded, he said. Amper was joined by officials that included Suffolk County Planning, Assemblyman Steve Englebright, Central Pine Barrens executive director John Pavacic, Riverhead Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith, and John Turner, one of the original founding members. While the non profit celebrated its goals, Amper and Turner said preservation goals still continue. Turner commented that Brookhaven Town passed a resolution last week to preserve a hole in the donut property owned by Bob Tucci in Eastport, a key pine barrens parcel. Another area they were hoping to address was some of the EPCAL property in Calverton.

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