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Board member seeks Huntington bamboo law

Bamboo grows in the Town of Huntington on

Bamboo grows in the Town of Huntington on June 20, 2012. Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin

Huntington Town Board member Susan Berland, fresh off a win in her battle to have the state place invasive bamboo on a list of invasive species and plants, said she will now pursue a local law to regulate the plant.

"At the next meeting I will put forth a resolution scheduling a public hearing to regulate the planting, growing and maintenance of bamboo," Berland said after Monday night's board meeting.

In the spring and summer Berland could not muster enough support from her colleagues to pass a local law that would have regulated bamboo.

Berland said that until the state acts, she believes local governing agencies must take responsibility to protect residents. Town officials contend invasive species of bamboo can migrate to an adjacent property, potentially causing damage to landscaping, foundations and infrastructure.

She said her resolution will also address a solution for those who are already having issues with bamboo.

"If you have bamboo on your property and it's invading your neighbors' property, then you have to remove it and your neighbor has to remove it," she said. "That will eradicate the problem altogether."

Over the last several months Huntington resident Sharon Sacks has lobbied at town board meetings for local action on bamboo use.

"I'm so thrilled," Sacks said. "It's a relief."

Steve Greenspan, a bamboo-removal expert in business for more than 20 years, said have laws regulating bamboo were fine, but should be fair.

"They need to define what species are invasive," Greenspan said. "There are over 1,200 varieties of bamboo that grow in this country and they are not all invasive."

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