If you enjoy hiking, biking, birding, skiing, or snowshoeing in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve, you’ll be excited to hear that it’s expanding! The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission (APBPC) recently announced the addition of more than 28 acres of land, bringing their total number of fully protected acres to 3,350.
In accordance with the 2017 Management Plan Update, the Albany Pine Bush Preserve is working towards a goal of 5,380 acres of preserved pine barrens. This rare ecosystem was formed by Glacial Lake Albany at the end of the last ice age and it’s one of only about 20 inland pine barrens in the world.
The 28.1 new acres are made up of two individual properties and both signify milestones for the Albany Pine Bush. Thanks to legislation passed in 2018, the APBPC can now obtain land directly from property owners or with the help of the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy (MHLC).
A 20.9 acre property was purchased by the APBPC from the owner at a fair market value. Another 7.2 acre parcel located on Albany Street in Colonie was also donated to the MHLC by the Cirillo Family Partnership, the first individual land donation since the APBPC was established in 1988.
The MHLC then in turn gave the property to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to be added to the Albany Pine Bush Preserve. The Friends of the Pine Bush Community also helped make this addition happen by donating the funds to cover some of the MHLC’s acquisition expenses. The Friends’ Land Protection Campaign is funded by the public and kept in reserve for this purpose.
These two additions bring the total acreage of the Albany Pine Bush Preserve to 3,350. While 2,030 acres remain to be acquired, the changes enacted by the 2018 legislation and their partnership with the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy and the Friends of the Pine Bush Community are bringing them closer to their goal.