Pine Bush

''This article is about the rare inland pine barrens in New York State's Capital District. For the hamlet in Orange County, New York see Pine Bush, New York. For the locality in Southland, New Zealand, see Pine Bush, New Zealand.

Pine Bush is a globally rare ecosystem, located between the cities of Albany and Schenectady in the Capital District region of New York.


The Pine Bush is considered one of the best examples of an inland pine barrens ecosystem on sand dunes in the United States, and is recognized world-wide as a unique pine barrens ecosystem. It contains over 300 species of vertebrate animals, over 1,500 species of plants, and over 10,000 species of insects and other invertebrate animals. Many of them are rare and restricted to Pine Bush habitat. Its most famous occupant, the Karner Blue butterfly, is on New York State's endangered species list and was listed on the Federal Endangered Species List in December 1992. Pine bush also has a small coyote population. Coyotes, along with almost every other large animal that inhabits pine bush, are a very common sight for any late night or early morning walkers.


The Pine Bush is located in the Capital District region of New York State, between Albany and Schenectady. The boundaries are Fuller Road on the east, New York State Route 5 (Central Avenue) on the north, New York State Route 146 on the west, and U.S. Route 20 (Western Avenue) on the south. Pine Bush is located in three municipalities: Albany, Guilderland and Colonie. The Pine Bush originally encompassed . There are currently remaining.


The Pine Bush has played an important historical role in the development of Albany and Schenectady and is enshrined in the literary heritage of the United States. The Song of Hiawatha by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is sung by the Indian brave from the Vale of Tawasentha located in Pine Bush. George Washington wrote of Pine Bush in his diaries while traveling in upstate New York during the Revolutionary War. In Moby-Dick, Herman Melville describes the dark beauty of Pine Bush in a long account of a stage coach ride from Albany to Schenectady. Vladimir Nabokov and other writers have written about the mystery and beauty of Pine Bush.

Additional facts about the Pine Bush

The Pine Bush is located in the geographic center of the Capital District and is subject to great development pressures. Developers are making new proposals every day to construct houses and office buildings which could destroy Pine Bush.

Save the Pine Bush is a not-for-profit community group, run by consensus, which was formed in 1978 to stop destruction of the Pine Bush. They have prevented or delayed the construction of many developments in the Pine Bush. In addition, Save the Pine Bush has developed case law on cumulative impact using the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA).

Future of Pine Bush

Today, though the Pine Bush ecosystem contains about 5,800 acres, only 3,010 have been purchased and added to the Albany Pine Bush Preserve. The remaining 2,800 acres are privately owned, and could be developed at any time, thus destroying the Pine Bush on that land. The fear of encroachment on the Pine Bush has been a constant worry in recent years. Crossgates Mall, which was built in the Pine Bush, has looked into expanding onto more of the Pine Bush. The city of Albany has also talked about expanding the Albany City Landfill or garbage dump in the Pine Bush, while developers have been seeking to build on the Pine Bush for commercial use.

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