Pines Conservation Society (PCS) has several signature tree projects aligned with our moto:
YEAR AFTER YEAR, KEEPING THE PINES IN FIRE ISLAND PINES
- Over the years, PCS has helped homeowners plant over 4,000 trees to beautify their homes and to replace trees lost to pine beetles and flooding. Trees are purchased directly from nurseries in bulk so the savings can be passed on.
- PCS planted and maintains the harbor pine tree dedicated to Tony LaRocca plus trees at Whyte Hall including a memorial tree to Jack and Rita Lichtenstein. All long time Pines residents and PCS members.
- PCS, in collaboration with the National Park Service and FIPPOA, removes infested, dead or dying trees from the rights-of-way in the community. The program has helped combat the spread of environmentally dangerous southern pine beetles. At its peak, the beetle infested over 1,500 trees on eastern Long Island including on Fire Island. The locally invasive beetle burrows into pine for survival, eventually killing the tree and disrupting the local ecosystem, according to the National Park Service. Infested and distressed trees are taken down as soon as possible to keep the seashore’s forests healthy. The culling tactic has been a success, and as of 2018, there were only eight reported infested pine trees on Long Island. “Our rapid response and the continued collaboration have been key to slowing the spread of the beetle,” said park biologist Jordan Raphael. For their effectiveness, the Long Island groups earned an Honorable Mention for the U.S. Forest Service Chief’s Honor Award in Sustaining Forests and Grasslands.