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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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Letter to the Editor: Location, Location, Location…

To the Editor,

I am appalled that my own university will soon enact a plan to destroy
the woods next to the main entrance for a’ hotel, ignoring all
entreaties about ecological disturbance, and aesthetic values of the
community and campus. This patch of woodland is an essential area for
birds, salamanders and other wildlife. It provides a corridor for
wildlife to move along this area of Long Island. It is used for the
ecological education of thousands of students each year. Most
importantly, it is also a symbol of Stony Book University’s commitment
to sustainability. To destroy these woods also abrogates a promise
made by our university to the community to maintain a wooded buffer
along Nicholls Road.

The plan to locate a’ hotel’ at the entrance, despoiling 11 of the few campus acres we have left in woodland is anachronistic. Who would destroy woods any more? We have learned so much, except apparently at
Stony Brook where we pay lip service to sustainability at Southampton
but destroy our own terrain with eminent disdain.

The’ hotel’s location stems from a plan in the 1980s and, as was
typical of the last presidential regime, no input was ever sought from
competent ecologists, landscape experts, or even aesthetically minded
members of the campus community. So, suddenly, this plan springs up
and we are yet again blindsided. This is a very bad way to start a new
President’s era of leadership.

I suggest that the President stop this plan immediately and seek input
from the community, from its ecological experts and from its
conservation experts. I also suggest that the President pay attention
to the scores of letters that have been sent to him, apparently
unanswered (in my case without even a courtesy reply of receipt).

I am not opposed to a’ hotel’ in principle. My own university department
organized the largest meeting ever held at Stony Brook, with the help
of campus offices. We appreciate the need for facilities. But why
place this facility in just the place that does so much damage to our
ecological structure and our last woods?

Sincerely,
Jeffrey Levinton

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