Connecticut Forest Resource Assessment and Strategy
With close to 60% of its 3,179,254 acres of land in forest, Connecticut is one of the most heavily forested states in the nation. Ironically, Connecticut is also one of the most densely populated states. Connecticut‘s Statewide Forest Resource Assessment and Strategy is a guidance document meant for the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection‘s Division of Forestry, and our forest conservation partners in academia, extension, non-profits, regional, municipal, and private landowners. Connecticut‘s forests and trees add immensely to the quality of life for the people of the state. They filter the air that is breathed, safeguard private and public drinking water sources, produce locally grown forest products, provide essential habitat for wildlife, and moderate summer and winter temperatures near homes. Whether people in Connecticut live in an urban, suburban, or rural setting, they are connected to the forest. Forests and trees are integral to the character of Connecticut. The Assessment and Strategy is required per the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, commonly referred to as the Farm Bill, which was enacted June 19, 2008. All States wishing to be eligible to receive direct financial assistance, apply for competitive grants, and accept other support from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service through the Cooperative Forest Assistance Act (CFAA) must submit these reports by June 2010. State Assessments are intended to identify key forest-related issues and priorities to support development of the long-term State Strategies.
CTDEEP: The Green Plan, Guiding Land Acquisition and Protection in Connecticut
Historically, undeveloped open space was common in Connecticut and its preservation was not a public priority. As time passed, Connecticut, like the rest of the country, grew economically and its population increased. The development that had been concentrated in key areas, generally along waterways, spread out as roads were built and cars became the preferred mode of transportation. Suburban development replaced rural lands and today all of Connecticut is under increasing development pressure. Poorly controlled growth (also known as sprawl) has become a significant threat to open space as areas that used to be open, undeveloped or part of our agricultural heritage are being converted to other uses, primarily residential development. With careful planning, it is possible to have economic and population growth while protecting valuable open spaces. Connecticut’s citizens have both an opportunity and responsibility to decide the future of the State’s landscape by permanently protecting certain undeveloped areas as open space. This plan sets forth a strategy for approaching such significant decisions.
Connecticut Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP)
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is preparing the next Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP). The SCORP is a planning document that identifies and evaluates outdoor recreation resources and issues of statewide significance. As a plan that addresses everything from facility based recreation (such as baseball fields and swimming pools) to natural resource based recreation (such as hiking and canoeing), the SCORP provides unified guidance to state and municipal officials as they develop and expand outdoor recreation opportunities for their respective constituents.
Connecticut's Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy
The DEP Wildlife Division has developed a Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy (CWCS) for Connecticut. This will allow the Department and its partners to integrate the management of natural resources, build valuable partnerships, and support regional and national efforts to secure long-term funding for wildlife conservation. Connecticut's strategy identifies species of greatest conservation need and their affiliated habitats. The strategy also identifies the priority research needs and conservation actions needed to address problems facing these species and habitats.
Connecticut Recreational Trails Plan
The Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) plan for recreational trails is detailed in Connecticut Recreational Trails Plan (PDF). This document is the DEEP's policy for the development and use of statewide recreational trails.
Connecticut Statewide Forest Resource Plan
"The Connecticut Statewide Forest Resource Plan is designed to serve as an overview for planning future activities within the forest community of Connecticut". So begins the document that seeks to bring together a coherent set of "visions" and action steps for the users of Connecticut's forests. The product of nearly 4 years of work, the Forest Resource Plan is the comprehensive synthesis of a wide range of inputs from many forest users. This process was led by Ms. Helene Hochholzer, Forest Resource Planner, Connecticut DEP Forester and author of the Connecticut Statewide Forest Resource Plan.
The Connecticut Climate Change Action Plan
Welcome to the State of Connecticut’s official climate change website, administered by the Governor’s Steering Committee on Climate Change (GSC). The GSC is a multi-agency collaborative made up of leaders from key state agencies including the Departments of Environmental Protection, Public Utility Control, Transportation, and Administrative Services, the Office of Policy and Management, and the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund. The GSC’s work focuses reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 10% below 1990 levels by 2020 and 80% below 2001 levels by 2050 and to guiding Connecticut in adapting to an already changing climate.
Municipal Natural Hazard Mitigation Plans
In 1999, the Department of Environmental Protection and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (DEP/FEMA) gave a presentation to representatives from the 9 towns in the CRERPA region about Nautal Hazard Mitigation Planning. This meeting was to encourage each town to take advantage of the 75% grant funding available to the towns with a 25% match from the town. Within the State of Connecticut, only several municipalities had availed themselves of the funding. Future funding for hazard mitigation projects was contingent on adoption of a municipal Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan. In an effort to move mitigation planning forward, CRERPA asked if natural hazard mitigation planning could be done on a regional level. DEP/FEMA indicated that this would be an excellent way to help the towns, with the agency providing the 25% matching funding. In 2001, CRERPA began the process of meeting the guidelines set by FEMA for Natural Hazard Mitigation Planning. The components were to include: a Regional Risk and Vulnerability Assessment with individual town assassments; a Regional Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan; and nine individual town Natural Hazard Mitigation Plans. The Risk and Vulnerability Assessment was completed in 2003 and forwarded to the First Selectman in each of the nine towns.
Conservation and Development Plan, State of Connecticut
In accordance with Sections 16a-24 through 16a-33 of the Connecticut General Statutes, the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) is required to prepare a State plan of conservation and development on a recurring five-year cycle. The Plan serves as a statement of the development, resource management and public investment policies for the State. The Plan is used as a framework for evaluating plans and proposals submitted to OPM for review through mandated review processes.
State of Connecticut Green Ways Map
This State of Connecticut website lists all of the major Greenways and Trails in the State including a map that showing the Connecticut Greenways Council officially dedicated greenways.
DRAFT - The Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program Plan (CELCP)