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Long Island Environmentalists Move To Block Golf Course In The Pine Barrens

East Quogue Pine Barrens
Joshua Joseph
East Quogue Pine Barrens

A controversial proposal to build a golf course community in the Long Island Pine Barrens has inched closer to breaking ground. A state-run commission signed off on the project after years of negotiations and rejections.

An Arizona developer was rejected by the Town of Southampton in 2017 to move forward with the project known as "The Hills" in East Quogue.

The concern was over the impact the project would have on the pine barrens, the largest swath of undeveloped land left on Long Island.

The developer came back with a nearly identical proposal. That was passed on to a state regulatory commission.

The Central Pine Barrens Commission has been split on whether the project violated state environmental protection law. The approval sends the proposal back to the town to suggest further changes to the project that would soften its impact on the environment.

Pine barren stewards and advocates will likely sue, as they've done before, in a bid to block the project. They have said the state abdicated its responsibility by not filling the seat left vacant by Governor Andrew Cuomo’s spokesperson on the commission since October.

A native Long Islander, J.D. is WSHU's managing editor. He also hosts the climate podcast Higher Ground. J.D. reports for public radio stations across the Northeast, is a journalism educator and proud SPJ member.