The Central Pine Barrens Joint Planning and Policy Commission has always valued international partnerships to help share knowledge about ecological, natural and cultural resources in our part of the world and to learn about corresponding resources elsewhere.
One such successful partnership has been with the Migliarino-San Rossore-Massaciuccoli Regional Park in the Tuscany Region of Italy. A vast greenbelt between Pisa and the Ligurian Sea, the park’s approximately 57,000 acres includes, like the Central Pine Barrens region, ancient historical sites, wide swaths of agricultural lands, fresh and salt water bodies and many of the same land juxtapositions.
The differences between the two regions are interesting as well. Both are threatened by invasive species, but M/SR/M is also threatened significantly by pests. In the Central Pine Barrens, white tailed deer are overabundant and subject to population control; in our Italian counterpart park, wild boar are numerous and controlled by gamekeepers and rangers. At 105,000 acres, the Central Pine Barrens region is nearly twice the size of M/SR/M, and the population on Long Island in the communities surrounding the Central Pine Barrens dwarfs the approximately 100,000 residents of the greater Pisa area.
In order to foster a long-term relationship for the better management of both regions, the Commission more than a decade ago reached a formal agreement with our Italian counterparts for the mutual exchange of information and management experiences. The partnership has led to three trips by Commission staff to study M/SR/M and one trip to the Central Pine Barrens by a consultant and a scientific committee member from the Italian park, among other collaborative efforts.
The Commission is always looking for ways to work cooperatively with international partners, so if you have an idea for initiating such a program, please feel free to call us at 631-288-1079.