We have within our borders (and just outside our borders) and incredibly rare, even by some measures actually unique, ecosystem that people come from far and wide to study. It's beautiful and unusual and has the potential to be a huge tourism draw and part of a positive reenvisioning of Albany and its sense of place. Rather than only getting bogged down in fights over the landfill and the last sighting of the Karner Blue, we should be thinking much bigger. To start, use signage and native plantings on the SUNY campus and along all the main roads and rest areas to make everyone passing through aware of where it is and what it looks like. Celebrate it. Make Albany the city between the Hudson and the Pine Bush. Incorporate materials about it in all of the visitor center material. Have a Pine Bush festival. Etc. If we combined this with proper attention to the Hudson waterfront and all of our rich historical and architectural resources, Albany could become quite the place to visit—and also a place that people who live and work in are more attached to and excited about.
For more on this idea see "Beyond the Karner Blue": http://www.metroland.net/back_issues/vol29_no16/features.html
It would be wonderful if there was a commitment to preserving and telling the stories of Albany's past citizens. How many citizens know that there was a fort on what is now State Street or that Alexander Hamilton lived on Willett Street or that the Shakers were a religious community that lived and worked near the Albany Airport? Visitors would be highly interested in walking tours, special interest museums, and replicas of homes and other aspects of historic Albany.