Sen. Witkos, Rep. Case Applaud Open Space Grant Award for Colebrook

February 16, 2018

COLEBROOK – This week the state announced that an $81,000 open space grant is being awarded to Colebrook to assist in the protection of an 87 acre undeveloped piece of property.

Colebrook is one of 23 municipalities throughout the state to receive a 2018 grant through the Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition program.

“Protecting Connecticut’s open space and natural resources is a top priority of mine at the State Capitol,” said Deputy Senate Republican President Pro Tempore Kevin Witkos (R-Canton). “We have a beautiful state with wildlife and ecosystems we have a responsibility to protect. I applaud the state for selecting Colebrook to receive this assistance to help preserve a large piece of forested property and protect the homes of many species, including at-risk species, which reside in the area. I look forward to working again this year to pass legislation to better protect open space through a constitutional amendment to ensure that environmental protection always remains a top priority for future generations.”

“The terrain of this particular land parcel caters to at-risk species and supports a rich diversity of plant, animal and bird life through its many varied micro-habitats. It is contiguous with other conservation properties and would increase the area to 120 acres, ensuring a wildlife corridor reaching the Algonquin State Forrest,” said State Representative Case (R-Winsted). “It is truly a core function of state government to facilitate conservation efforts such as this.”

In total, the state grants awarded through the open space program administered by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) will assist in the purchase of a total of 2,005 acres of land that will be preserved as open space. The award program assists local governments, land trusts, and water companies in purchasing open space using funding from the Community Investment Act and state bond funds. This grant program requires a match by the grant recipient and requires the open space land be protected by a conservation and public recreation easement, ensuring that the property is forever protected for public use and enjoyment.

The grant will be used in Colebrook to protect the Deer Hill 87 Property sponsored by the Colebrook Land Conservancy, Inc.  This undeveloped, transitional hardwoods forested property is located in southeastern Colebrook. The topographic variations (12’- 1,400′ ASL) include ridgeline, summit, escarpment, bottomland, hemlock ravine, and headwater stream habitats similar to that of Algonquin State Forest, located to the north. There is at least two threatened or endangered species locales that intersect this property.