The Long Island Pine Barrens Protection Act was signed into law on July 14th, 1993 after a more than four year battle that took the Pine Barrens Society and its supporters all the way from grassroots rallies across the island to the New York State Court of Appeals and finally to the floor of the New York State Legislature. Throughout 2018, the Pine Barrens Society has celebrated twenty-five years of permanent Pine Barrens protection and the people that made this legacy possible. From hundreds of dedicated volunteers to a group of environmentalists and developers willing to compromise in the name of the best interests of Long Island, the passage of the Long Island Pine Barrens Protection Act was a truly unprecedented effort. Over the past twenty-five years, the Long Island Pine Barrens preserve has provided every Long Islander the opportunity to get closer to nature and to truly enjoy the island that we all love and call home. From its recreational opportunities to its inherent beauty, the features of the Long Island Pine Barrens were the reasons why the effort to preserve the premier ecosystem began initially and why it is so important to celebrate its protection today.
While “silver” is typically associated with 25th wedding anniversaries, a “Silver Celebration” seems fitting for the anniversary of the Pine Barrens Protection Act. Just as a marriage represents a promise, the 1993 Pine Barrens Protection Act represented a promise of stewardship to the Long Island Pine Barrens itself as well as to the future generations that will enjoy the Long Island Pine Barrens equally as much as we do today. On October 18th, the Pine Barrens Society dedicated its 41st Anniversary Awards Gala to the celebration of this promise and the opportunities that the Long Island Pine Barrens represents for each Long Islander today.