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Lawmakers Propose Naming Official State Dirt

3:31 PM, Mar 26, 2013   |    comments
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New York has an official state flower, tree, fish (both salt and freshwater), reptile, fossil and shell. There's even a state muffin, if you can believe it.

Now, dirt - yes, dirt - may be getting in on the action.

A pair of state lawmakers from Orange County have sponsored a bill that would officially designate black dirt as New York's official soil. And the one-sentence bill doesn't stop there - it would also crown the Black Dirt Region in southern Orange County as the "official home of the most fertile soil in the state of New York."

Sound familiar? It should. Who could forget the still-unresolved legislative brouhaha over the state vegetable, when Sen. David Carlucci, D-Clarkstown, Rockland County, had sponsored a bill to give the title to the onion. (Part of Carlucci's district had included Orange County, where there are a number of onion farms that benefit from the black dirt.)

Sen. Michael Nozzolio, R-Fayette, Seneca County, had sponsored a separate bill that would have given the title to sweet corn.

The new black dirt bill, meanwhile, is sponsored by Sen. John Bonacic and Assemblywoman Annie Rabbitt, both Orange County Republicans.

Jon Campbell-Gannett Albany bureau

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