03/21/13 6:00am
COURTESY PHOTO |    The Long Island Pines Barrens Society environmental group issued a press release March 1 that included this Feb. 1 aerial shot of the 35 acres where cars were being stored.

COURTESY PHOTO | The Long Island Pines Barrens Society environmental group issued a press release March 1 that included this Feb. 1 aerial shot of the 35 acres where cars were being stored.

To the Editor:

In the March 14 News-Review newspaper article about Sandy-damaged cars parked on grass at EPCAL, Pine Barrens Society executive director Richard Amper speaks of photos that show grasslands at the site covered in puddles, and “utterly destroyed.” Puddles of what, water? If so, were there no puddles on adjacent areas (at that same time, of course)? Puddles of oil? Antifreeze? Something else? Hard to tell from an aerial photo.

As for “utterly destroyed”, there is no definition for that either. I have a suggestion. Perhaps every three to four months a News-Review reporter could stop by this area and look at the affected and unaffected areas and take some pictures. If six months to a year from now there still is “utter destruction,” it will be further evidence of Mr. Amper’s technical expertise as an environmentalist and he deserves credit. But if the evidence of “utter destruction” or any other type of damage rapidly disappears, I think that those facts should be reported so that the public can gauge their opinions of Mr. Amper’s credentials for themselves.

Please help to separate Mr Amper’s sensationalism from his facts. (He does publicize some valuable facts).

Even now, the actual DEC statements seem a good deal less alarmist. A salamander could be crushed and it could cause short-eared owls and northern harriers to forage in other areas. I am in favor of preservation of endangered species, but looking at the area surrounding the 35 acres in question, it is very hard to believe that a temporary disturbance of the affected area is critical to anything.

Alan Daters, Riverhead

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