HAMPTONS - There is a battle underway to save Long Island's Pine Barrens, but environmentalists say the state may be going too far.
As News 12 has reported the state DEC has been cutting down pine trees that have been infected by the southern pine beetle.
Now, environmentalists claim the DEC wants to clear out healthy oak trees in the area to sell for profit.
"What the DEC is now proposing is to sell to the timber industry perfectly healthy oaks that grow with the pines on the hope, and that's all it is, is the hope that somehow that will provide more sunlight to the pines and they'll be able to fight off the beetles. There's no evidence for that," says Dick Amper, of the Long Island Pine Barrens Society.
The Long Island Pine Barrens Society wants to preserve the pine barrens from beetle infestation by thinning the trees and removing the trees that are dead.
News 12 reached out to the DEC for comment, but has not heard back.