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Ceremony Held Friday at Bideawee’s Westhampton Location
Members of the Central Pine Barrens Commission including Town of Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine, Town of Riverhead Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith, Town of Southampton Supervisor Jay Schneiderman and Commission Executive Director John Pavacic joined Pine Barrens Society Executive Director Richard Amper and the dog and cat rescue and care organization Bideawee during a ceremony this week to celebrate Bideawee’s receipt of the 1,000th pine barrens credit issued by the Commission.
The Long Island Pine Barrens Credit Program is one of the most successful transfer of development rights programs in the country. It has been instrumental in the preservation of approximately 2,000 acres of land in the core of the region. Bideawee received 13.36 credits recently to help the program cross the 1,000-credit threshold.
“The significance of this landmark cannot be overstated,” said Executive Director Pavacic at the event. “What the success of this program means is that we’ve been able to protect the most sensitive areas of the ecological treasure that is the Central Pine Barrens while still protecting the rights of those who own property in the core by transferring their development rights to places where it’s most appropriate. And that makes it a rare governmental program in which everybody wins.”
“The Pine Barrens Credit program helps us protect the quality and quantity of surface water and groundwater of the pine barrens ecosystem by providing a means of preserving environmentally-sensitive land in the core preservation area, compact, efficient and orderly development within the compatible growth area of the region,” said Supervisor Romaine. “This is a significant milestone in our mission to protect individual property rights while forever preserving the Pine Barrens and our aquifer beneath.”
“I was pleased to witness this wonderful accomplishment that preserves our precious Pine Barrens and protects our groundwater,” said Supervisor Schneiderman. “It is also fitting that this milestone was achieved with Bideawee, one of our leading animal rescue organizations.”
“The preservation of the Pine Barrens is a promise we have made to future generations that we will fight to keep the quality of our groundwater, and the beauty of one of Long Island’s many natural gifts,” said Supervisor Jens-Smith. “I am proud to have been able to stand with the Central Pine Barrens Commission and Bideawee to celebrate this historic achievement, and look forward to the continued success of the Pine Barrens Credit Program in protecting our natural resources.”
"Bideawee is delighted to participate in this program,” said Bideawee Chief Operating Officer Ray Cushmore. “We were founded in 1903 and have had a location in Westhampton since 1955. We are committed to serving the community and these certificates not only help preserve the environment but help ensure that Bideawee can continue in its mission to be Greater New York’s leader in rescuing, caring for, and placing homeless cats and dogs with people who love them for another 116 years."
The Central Pine Barrens Joint Planning and Policy Commission was established by the New York State Legislature to protect and preserve drinking water and other natural resources in the Central Pine Barrens region. In addition to its regional land use planning, land preservation and regulatory functions, the Commission supports relevant scientific research and oversees the work of three committees which aid the Commission, the Protected Lands Council, Law Enforcement Council and Wildfire Task Force, and also manages a Compliance and Enforcement Division, an Education and Outreach Division, and the Pine Barrens Credit Transfer of Development Rights Program.