Assemblyman looking to protect New York’s Pine Barrens

Long Island’s pine barrens, located in Suffolk county. Photo courtesy of the Nature Conservancy

Assemblyman Anthony Palumbo, R-New Suffolk, is introducing legislation to expand the Long Island Pine Barrens by approximately 800 acres, which will include the Mastic Woods and the lands surrounding the Old Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant. By crafting this legislation, Palumbo hopes to preserve the bucolic nature of the Long Island Pine Barrens, protecting the fauna and wildlife that call these areas their home.

“This legislation will preserve hundreds of acres of woodland and ensure that all future development is environmentally conscious,” Palumbo said. “With limited habitats for animals on Long Island and the dire need to preserve the Pine Barrens, securing this land is crucial.”

Both the Mastic Woods and Shoreham property provide sanctuary to some of Long Island’s most notable wildlife, including the great horned owl, red fox and white-tail deer. These tracts of land are not only home to wildlife, but also are key to preserving over 25 different forest, wetland and shoreline ecological communities. The Shoreham property is uniquely home to one of New York state’s rarest species of plant, known as the seaside gerardia, whose largest population is by far found in Shoreham.

“Crafting this legislation will guarantee that the ecosystems, plant life and animals found in these tracts of land can be seen and enjoyed by our children and future generations,” Palumbo said. “We need to protect unique plant life like the seaside gerardia, that is found in this area. We are hoping to put this together and get it signed into law by the end of June.”