Nissequogue River State Park
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Some of you have ridden with us through the Nissequogue River State Park in Kings Park. This property was preserved as parkland through the hard work of dedicated individuals on Long Island. Now, we have a new governor, and at least part of the property is in jeopardy, possibly to be sold off to developers. While this is an unusual communication for our Bike Around Long Island group, the outdoors is important to us all. I'm hoping that some of you will care enough and find the time to send a letter to the Parks Commissioner. More information is provided (below) in a letter that I received from Guy Jacob, a friend of ours, and, more importantly, a friend of the great outdoors on Long Island. I've just composed a letter myself, and will be mailing it shortly.
Keep the Park in Kings Park
By Guy Jacob, Conservation Chair
Governor Pataki always vacillated when it came to the future of the former Kings Park Psychiatric Center. It took conservationists, civic leaders and elected officials three years to convince him to dedicate a portion of the land as the new Nissequogue River State Park. A friend to both conservation and business, he struggled between preservation and development. His concern over the cost of cleaning up brownfields on the property tilted the balance toward development of the remaining land, but we never gave up hope that he'd annex the remaining 368 acres to the new park. During the eleventh hour of his administration, he finally heard the voice of the people and did what he should have done years earlier.
Now the Spitzer Administration is questioning Pataki's transfer of these 368 acres to State Parks. If Spitzer reverses Pataki's decision, it would be the very first time in the history of our state that state park land is sold off to private developers. That would tarnish this administration's legacy and set a dangerous precedent. Which would be the next state park sold off piece by piece to the developer with the highest bid?
What's more, it would threaten 127 acres of rare, old growth forest that rests within these 368 acres. On our finite island, significant areas of old growth forest are priceless resources. This land rightly belongs under the jurisdiction and guardianship of the public trust.
Not the least of which, it would also be a blatant disregard for what local residents, public officials and environmentalists want: more parkland. It's more than just disappointing to find out that the elimination of parkland could be the first major decision this administration makes. It's downright scary.
To find out more go to State Senator John Flanagan's website:
ACTION ALERT: Tell Parks Commissioner Ash why you expect her to uphold Governor Pataki's decision to transfer 368 acres to Nissequogue River State Park.
Commissioner Carol Ash
NYS Office of Parks
Empire State Plaza
Agency Building 1
Albany, New York 12238