ISSUED 10/22/97
Contact: Kara Villamil, or Mona S. Rowe





The second annual Pine Barrens Research Forum, featuring the latest research results on post-wildfire recovery and other issues relating to the pine barrens forests on Long Island and in other parts of the Northeast. Prominent scientists, educators and others are expected to attend.


Conference: Thursday, October 30, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Field Trip: Friday, October 31, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
(Note: Due to limited bus space, media wishing to go on the field trip should call 632-9780 to reserve a seat in advance.)


Berkner Hall, Brookhaven National Laboratory. The Laboratory is located on William Floyd Parkway, 1.5 miles north of LIE Exit 68.


During the conference portion of the forum, environmental scientists from Long Island and the Northeast will exchange the latest ecological and geological findings on the pine barrens of Long Island, Cape Cod, New Jersey and the Connecticut River Valley.

The field trip will allow forum participants to examine pine barrens areas on the 5,300-acre BNL site, as well as an area of the Rocky Point Natural Resources Management Area, managed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Part of the Rocky Point area was burned by wildfires in 1995.

The forum is a cooperative effort of Suffolk County's Pine Barrens Commission, the Long Island Groundwater Institute and Brookhaven Lab.

Long Island's 100,000 acres of pine barrens act as a filter to purify groundwater, which is the only source of drinking water for both Suffolk and Nassau counties. They are protected under the New York State Pine Barrens Protection Act. Brookhaven Lab's 5,300-acre site, which is largely undeveloped, constitutes about five percent of the Long Island pine barrens.

The pine barrens constitute a unique forest ecosystem, found only on Long Island, southern New Jersey and in a few other places. A pine barrens ecosystem features sandy soil, pitch pine and scrub oak trees, and diverse animal and plant undergrowth species. The pine barrens withstand periodic burning by wildfires, which can release pitch pine seeds without damaging the parent trees.