The Long Island Pine Barrens Society is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization dedicated to the study, appreciation and protection of these unique woodlands. Founded in 1977, the Society has become one of Long Island’s most effective champions of preserving natural resources through sound land use. Through our scientific research and programs of public education and advocacy, we have shaped public debate on the subject.
We have also been active in the halls of state and local government as well
as in the courts, pushing for needed action and winning an impressive list of victories. The Society is best known for leading the Pine Barrens Preservation Initiative – an ambitious, ten-year legal and legislative campaign. This initiative led to approval by the New York State Legislature of the Pine Barrens Protection Act and the Comprehensive Management Plan, which permanently preserved more than 50,000 acres of Pine Barrens while directing strictly controlled development to the least sensitive areas. The preservation of the Pine Barrens has become a national model, but that is just one in an impressive series of environmental achievements.
The Society was instrumental, for example, in:
- Securing the transfer of 7,200 acres from the RCA Corporation to New York State to establish two major Long island Pine Barrens Preserves.
- Saving thousands of acres of Suffolk County land scheduled for public auction.
This land is now part of the County’s park system.
- Protecting from development the 850-acre Oak Brush Plains at Edgewood State Hospital in Brentwood.
- Obtaining nearly $500 million in state, county and local funding to purchase Pine Barrens land across the Island.
- Winning public support for land preservation funding referenda in Nassau and Suffolk, including the popular and successful Suffolk County Drinking Water Protection Program and the East End Community Preservation Fund. The residents of Long Island have authorized more money to protect drinking water and preserve open space and farmland than the residents of 45 of the 50 states in the union.
- Petitioning for referendum to ensure that money for Pine Barrens preservation cannot be used for other purposes.
- Played a major role in securing funding for open space
preservation through the creation of the Community Preservation Fund, the Suffolk County Drinking Water Protection programs, and
through Bond Acts in Nassau, Suffolk and many Long Island Towns.
- Led drive to ensure enforcement of Pine Barrens Protection Act
through litigation and legislation.
The Society works tirelessly to promote sound management of publicly held
Pine Barrens land. We consult with state, county and town officials on park
management, work with trail groups to foster responsible recreational use and
sponsor clean-ups to maintain the unspoiled, natural state of the land.
Our organization is the leading resource for education on this remarkable ecosystem. We offer informative presentations and provide field trips to visit sites in the Pine Barrens. We also conduct scientific research on the diverse plant and animal species found
within the region.
In addition, the Society is dedicated to promoting the wise use of privately owned Pine Barrens land. We review virtually every important proposed new development in the Pine Barrens, and present our findings to appropriate town and county oversight agencies.
Furthermore, we continue to press for public acquisition of privately held Pine Barrens land.
Finally, we work to ensure enforcement of environmental laws intended to protect drinking water and preserve habitat in the Long Island Pine Barrens.
The Long Island Pine Barrens Society (LIPBS) is well known for its political campaign to protect this environmentally sensitive area. Formed in 1977 by three environmental science students, it initially was organized to raise educational awareness about the importance and uniqueness of the Pine Barrens, its species, ecosystems, landscapes and resources.
In the late 1980s, the LIPBS recognized that this region was threatened by encroaching development that was threatening to disrupt the ecological balance required for the survival of the Pine Barrens ecosystem. The focus of the group shifted from an educational awareness to designing an active preservation campaign.