In 2007, the Long Island Pine Barrens Society completed a six-month study of Long Island's land preservation efforts and found that Long Islanders have put up nearly $1.2 billion to preserve close to 60,000 acres of open space and farmland. The study celebrated this achievement and described the challenge of saving open space and farmland in a region where land prices are high and government programs are fragmented.


Entitled "On Course for Failure: A Call to Action on Land Preservation," the report offered an island-wide strategy and made specific recommendations for accelerating the purchase of open space and development rights on farmland. It concluded that absent a dramatic increase in the rate of land preservation, Long Island will fail to secure the necessary 25,000 acres of open space and 10,000 acres of farmland before final build-out in 2015.


One year later, a follow-up report to the 2007 White Paper said government was preserving only half of the needed land and warned of dire economic and environmental consequences if the pace is not accelerated.


Entitled, "Still On Course for Failure:  A Renewed Call to Action on Land Preservation," the report said that few of the 2007 Reportís recommendations for increased preservation had been implemented and called for an analysis of the economic and environmental consequences to the Long Island region if the preservation goal is not met.


Then, in 2008, the economic downturn changed the fate of many Long Island issues and industries, including land preservation.


In 2009, the Society released its second annual White Paper Update entitled, "Buying Time: A Second Chance to Save Open Space and Farms." It was followed a year later with the third update:  "Preservation Crashes: Considering the Consequences."


On April 24th, 2012, the Society released its fifth annual White Paper Update:

SLOW PROGRESS: Land Acquisition Inadequate to Reach Goal


The study reports that state, county and town land preservation programs have failed to meet targeted goals for the fifth year in a row. The report also calls on environmental and civic leaders Island-wide to demand that town, county and state elected officials re-double their efforts to save what little open space and farmland remains before final buildout- now extended to the year 2020-is reached. Land not saved today, cannot be saved tomorrow.


To read the 2011 White Paper update, click here. 


To read the 2010 White Paper update, click here.


To read the 2009 White Paper update, click here.


To read the 2008 White Paper update, click here.


To read the original 2007 White Paper report, click here.





A recent poll showed 79 percent of Long Islanders strongly support continued or expanded land purchases despite their economic concerns.  They say that protecting drinking water, open space and farms is important to Long Islandís quality-of-life for our children and grandchildren.   Also, funding for land preservation cannot be used for any other purpose and is so small that it wouldnít help the economy anyway.


To view the complete poll analysis, click here.