Preserving Precious Land for Future Generations

April 24, 2014
Senator Tony Guglielmo at a Greenway ceremony in Eastern Connecticut.

Senator Tony Guglielmo at a Greenway ceremony in Eastern Connecticut.

Hartford, CT – State Senator Tony Guglielmo (R-Stafford) and co-chair of the rural caucus supports a bill which aims to provide for the permanent preservation of state lands of high conservation value. The bill received unanimous support in the State Senate this week. The proposal, supported by Land Trusts, Conservation Commissions and Friends of CT State Parks, provides stronger legal protection for Connecticut’s open spaces.

“Here in Tolland and Windham Counties, we are blessed with extraordinary state treasures preserved for public enjoyment,” Sen. Guglielmo said. “This bill will ensure that state lands of high conservation value will be preserved for conservation purposes – for all people to enjoy.”

The State of Connecticut holds more than 250,000 acres of state parks, forests, wildlife management areas and other open space valuable for conservation and agricultural purposes.
These lands were acquired with an expectation that they will be permanently preserved for the benefit of the public – yet they are largely unprotected. This bill will protect the lands forever.

The senate bill 70 proposal:

  • Authorizes the State of Connecticut to designate certain state-owned lands as “lands of public use and benefit,” which includes land used for conservation, public enjoyment, or recreational purposes, or activities to improve or maintain these purposes.
  • Requires the state to establish, by 2015, a publicly accessible geographic information map system and database that has a public use and benefit land registry.

The registry must be able to provide identifying information on land owned by the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), other state agencies, municipalities, and land conservation organizations. The registry must be made available on DEEP’s website.

Sen. Guglielmo said, “During the entire year, families have been celebrating Connecticut’s state parks 100-year anniversary. It is fitting that we focus on the permanent protection of these valuable lands in order to maintain their unique character for generations to come.”

The bill now awaits a vote in the Connecticut House of Representatives. The legislative session ends May 7.