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Habitat flap heads for appeal

Clarksville attorney Peter Henner filed the appeal of Kramer's dismissal on Nov. 1, 2007. The appeal should be heard sometime in mid-February, Henner said.

"Save the Pine Bush is the leading organization devoted to advocacy for habitats of the endangered Karner blue butterfly in New York's Capital District region, which is part of a geologic region known as Glacial Lake Albany. Glacial Lake Albany formed at the end of the last Ice Age, some 10,000 years ago, and includes large portions of what is now southern Saratoga County," Save the Pine Bush Secretary Lynne Jackson said.

The advocacy group says it and its members have been harmed by the failure of the town and its planning board to meaningfully protect and restore the Karner blue habitat at Wood Road, over many years' time. The appeal notes that a 1994 requirement to save the habitat established as part of other project approvals for the same applicant was never followed.

Jackson said the group's position is that the 2006 site plan approval and state environmental determination issued by the planning board "will promote the extirpation of an endangered species -- the Karner blue butterfly." She notes that because of this, Save the Pine Bush maintains it has intrinsic standing to sue, regardless of its members' geographic proximity to the site.

According to Save the Pine Bush member William Engleman, the Karner blue butterfly in New York only exists in small areas of four counties within the vast area once encompassed by Glacial Lake Albany " Albany, Saratoga, Schenectady and Warren counties.

Engleman said the Clifton Park habitat is important because should the Pine Bush preserve see its last Karner blue butterfly, it could be repopulated with those from Clifton Park.

"It's my opinion that the town of Clifton Park is presiding over an extinction-level event," he said. ""

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