Where and what are the "Central Pine Barrens" of New York ?

New York's southeasternmost county, Suffolk, occupies the eastern end of Long Island, and comprises over 900 square miles of terrestrial and marine environments. Three of Suffolk County's ten townships are host to the 100,000+ acre, New York State designated region known as the Central Pine Barrens. A rich concoction of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, interconnected surface and ground waters, recreational niches, historic locales, farmlands, and residential communities, this region contains the largest remnant of a forest thought to have once encompassed over a quarter million acres on Long Island.  The Central Pine Barrens overlies one portion of Long Island's federally designated sole source aquifer for drinking water.

What is special about New York's “Central” Pine Barrens ?
1992: NY State Court of Appeals decision started a Legislative process to end 30+ years of land use uncertainty and litigation.
1993: NY State Legislature passed the “Long Island Pine Barrens Protection Act”, protecting the largest, “central” remaining Long Island Pine Barrens region.
Principal goals of the Act:
Protection of groundwater, surface water, and future drinking water supplies for 1.8 million residents
Protection of a threatened landscape containing the greatest diversity of rare, threatened and endangered species in NY State.

What does the Pine Barrens Protection Act do ? 
Creates a five member Commission representing the State, Suffolk County, and the Towns of Brookhaven, Riverhead and Southampton.
Gives the Commission a broad spectrum of responsibilities and powers:

What is the Commission’s Purview ?
Under NY Environmental Conservation Law Article 57, the Commission produced and implements a Comprehensive Land Use Plan.
The Act and the Plan charge the Commission with the combined duties of a state agency, a planning board, and a park commission: Categories and Principles of Land Use Regulation in the Central Pine Barrens: The Commission’s stewardship work is advanced by a set of “Councils”:
They have responsibility for: Stewardship Initiatives – Land Management:
Twelve  public and conservation land owners – Federal through local - cooperate through a Protected Lands Council, addressing: Stewardship Initiatives – Law Enforcement:
The Law Enforcement Council’s eighteen agencies with law enforcement, investigation, prosecution, emergency response, or enforcement support responsibilities address: Stewardship Initiatives – Fire Management:
NY State law requires the Central Pine Barrens Plan to address “Provisions for fire management for controlled, prescribed burning, and responses to unanticipated fires.”  Towards this end, the Wildfire Task Force brings together 41 public and private agencies to: Investing in Stewardship – the Scientific Research Program:


References & Leads:

Our two basic guiding documents are:

Our basic information repository is:
(Updated May 2004.)