[CT Birds] MDC Lands

Jamie Meyers ctredbird2 at comcast.net
Fri Jul 16 16:39:17 EDT 2010

I agree wholeheartedly with Paul Cianfaglione's comments about MDC lands, excessive jury awards and open space in our area.  Habitat destruction on Avon Mountain, mostly for multi-million dollar houses, is distressing indeed to those of us who enjoy exploring what's left of our natural history in that area.  The MDC reservoir system, which includes several reservoirs in the West Hartford/Bloomfield area, Nepaug in Canton, Burlington and New Hartford, and of course the Barkhamsted Reservoir, are prime birding spots in our area.  Losing public access to them would be a tragedy.

Those who have birded the Nepaug area over the years know that access there has already been limited, particularly along the north side of 202, where there are a couple of ponds that have produced some good birds in the past.  An access road that used to be drivable was gated a few years ago.  I complained about to the MDC and was told that basically they did it because they were sick of policing people who fished the ponds and left their garbage all over the place.  I couldn't help but think that if they limit their lands to foot traffic, how long will it be before some jerk steps in a hole, gets hurt and sues the MDC for that?

I don't know if this is on the table but personally I feel a good solution would be for them to adopt a pass program similar to the one that the Regional Water Authority has in place for its reservoirs in the New Haven area.  They're preserving some key habitat in otherwise overdeveloped areas and limiting the number of people in there through the pass system, which I know they enforce.  You know, I've never read the fine print in the agreement but I'll bet you have to sign a liability waiver when purchasing the pass.

There are better ways to deal with this than simply shutting the door on the public -- especially because of one ill-considered court case.

Jamie Meyers
Canton, CT

----- Original Message -----
From: paul cianfaglione <pcianfaglione at hotmail.com>
To: Ctbirds Ctbirdslists <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org>
Sent: Fri, 16 Jul 2010 16:13:02 -0000 (UTC)
Subject: [CT Birds] MDC Lands

I echo many of Paul Carriers sentiments regarding the possible public closure to all MDC property. First, I'd like to say that the jury is solely to blame for such a ridiculous decision in this particlar incident. Second, what really needs to magnified here is the Town of West Hartford's failure to protect open space. For years the town has relied on the MDC (for free!) for it's citizens outdoor recreation and for advertising the use of the land to help lure new residents. Meanwhile, the town has continued to developed every piece of land available and are now finishing off whats left on Avon Mountain. Any decision now and in the future to close access to the land will certainly be a big blow to all residents and people who love the reservoir. This should be a wake up call to all towns in Connecticut on the fence about preserving open space. Poor planning by towns like West Hartford reduce the quality of life for all. 

Paul Cianfaglione

Former resident of West Hartford     
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