Updated 09/25/2012 04:26 PM
Phase three of Pine Bush Restoration Plan underway
Excavators and chainsaws are being used inside an area of the Pine Bush Preserve near Albany's Rapp Road Landfill. Our Beth Croughan tells us about the work being done there.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- "This is actually a good thing. And it does seem somewhat counterintuitive," said Neil Gifford, the Conservation Director for the Pine Bush Preserve Commission, when asked about the current project going on inside the preserve.
Gifford said cutting down certain trees in the Pine Bush Preserve is creating a habitat for the rare wildlife that call it home. Wildlife, which includes the Karner Blue Butterfly.
"The Pine Bush is naturally very open, like it is around us right now. And it's the openings in the scattered canopy of trees that provides habitat for all these rare species," he explained.
The work just started and it's being done by staff from Albany's Department of General Services. The work is being conducted in areas around the Rapp Road Landfill.
"So this is phase three of what project?" our reporter asked the Solid Waste Manager for the City of Albany's Department of General Services.
"Pine Bush Restoration Project. The Pine Bush Restoration Project will go through 2030," responded Joseph Giebelhaus.
Phase one and two included creating wetlands, relocating mobile homes and prepping for the landfill expansion. The additional nine acres is expected to keep the Rapp Road site running through 2021.
"Many solid waste facilities have to have an end game, if you will. There are other facilities out there, Fresh Kills, Seneca Meadows, they have similar restoration projects going on," Giebelhaus explained.
So once the landfill is full, it will be capped and covered and recycled and restored.
"It's still going to be a giant pile of trash buried behind the highly-engineered cap. And all that separates the people from the trash. But there's no reason why the top of the landfill can't be really good wildlife habitat. And it's one of the highest points in the Pine Bush in general, so it does provide, the idea is that we will eventually have a trail up there," said Gifford.
Phase three is expected to last 15 weeks. The Preserve's Yellow Trail will likely be closed for the next two.
The city is working on the project with consultants, the Commission, the DEC and Army Corps of Engineers.