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Huntington OKs letter to state on bamboo

Bamboo grows in the Town of Huntington on

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

The Huntington Town board voted unanimously to approve sending a letter to the state requesting that invasive varieties of bamboo be added to any list it compiles of banned invasive species and plants.

Town Councilwoman Susan Berland sponsored the resolution, after unsuccessfully attempting this summer to get a local law placed on the books that would have regulated bamboo. She was unable to get the needed support from her board colleagues and the resolution failed when it was voted on in June.

"I am incredibly pleased that my colleagues voted on the resolution urging the state of New York to add invasive bamboo to its invasive species list, " Berland said, after the vote Monday at the town board meeting.

Since the spring, residents have complained bitterly to the board that bamboo needs to be regulated -- or even banned -- in the town because of its destructive nature. Several municipalities across Long Island have laws restricting bamboo, including Smithtown, Babylon (village), Saltaire (village), Ocean Beach (village), Brookhaven and Long Beach.

In July, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed a bill aimed at slowing the spread of invasive plant and animal species across the state. Starting in January, the sale, possession or transportation of nonnative species will be punishable by fines from the Department of Environmental Conservation.

A committee has been formed and will create a list of restricted species.

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