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Letter: Consider big rock’s significance

A large rock in Rocky Point, Dec. 3,

A large rock in Rocky Point, Dec. 3, 2016. Suffolk County is now looking to buy the massive rock after which Rocky Point may be named. Credit: Ed Betz

The editorial “Giant rock is a hard case to make in Suffolk County” [Dec. 6] misses several points about the value of acquiring the parcel in Rocky Point where this enormous boulder sits.

While the rock may not be “going anywhere,” the motivation for purchase shouldn’t be whether the preservation target is immobile, but whether it has historical, environmental or scenic significance. Also, is there value in providing the public access?

The editorial refers to the largest glacial boulder on Long Island, Shelter Rock, saying it is protected. While the Greentree Foundation clearly has no plans to dispose of the property around the rock, Shelter Rock has no permanent, formal, legally binding protected status. And more to the point: Because the Shelter Rock erratic is on private property, the public doesn’t have unimpeded access.

Further, the editorial implies that buying the Rocky Point parcel would make financial matters worse for Suffolk County. This is simply untrue. The source of funding would not be the county’s general budget, but a dedicated fund for land purchases.

John L. Turner, Setauket

Editor’s note: The writer is a conservation policy advocate with Seatuck Environmental Association, an advocacy organization.