To Southold Town land management specialist Laura Klahre, local environmentalist Paul Stoutenburgh "is the Rachel Carson” of the North Fork.
Klahre compared the longtime Suffolk Times nature columnist to the author of the famous “Silent Spring” — a book by Carson that sparked a global environmental movement — in her pitch to the Southold Town Board to rename Arshamomaque Pond Preserve to the Paul Stoutenburgh Preserve.
“I’m amazed by the work he’s done over his lifetime,” Klahre told the board during Tuesday morning work session.
Stoutenburgh, now in his 90s, not only wrote the popular “Focus on Nature” columns for the Suffolk Times for 50 years, he was also a specialist in protecting local natural resources and served for years as a Town trustee and board member. The 120-acre Arshamomaque Pond Preserve is owned jointly by Suffolk County and Southold Town in Greenport and has 1.3 miles of trails through mature woodlands, wetlands and open fields.
Board members agreed that the renaming is a fitting tribute to a local living legend.
“I couldn’t think of a better person,” said Southold Town Councilman William Ruland.
Board members also gave Klahre the green light on Tuesday to use Community Preservation Funds to install a boardwalk at the trails of Arshamomaque Pond Preserve, parts of which are flooded 10 months out of the year rain or shine.
Klahre said the project would cost $6,200 to build an 84-foot-long boardwalk that would replace an unsafe makeshift boardwalk that has been in place for some time.
“This will definitely cut down on degredation of parts of the trail,” she said.
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