[CT Birds] West Hartford Reservoir Meeting

zellene sandler zellene at earthlink.net
Wed Jul 21 08:09:25 EDT 2010

I attended the Meeting last night. The town hall was packed to overflowing, with hundreds more outside who could not get in. MDC officials spoke first about the situation and said they had not yet reached a decision on whether or not to close the res and ALL their other properties to public access. This includes the Barkhamstead reservoir, Lake McDonough, the Nepaug reservoir area, the Greenwoods section in Barkhamstead and New Hartford and others. 
Richard Blumenthal spoke and said his office would support legislation to close the liability loophole in the current state law.  David Baram, state rep from Bloomfield,  said he was introducing a bill that would achieve this. Mayors from the surrounding towns also spoke in support, along with West Hartford town officials. 

Many CFPA, Mountain Bike Association, and other organizations' officials spoke in support of keeping the reservoirs open. The public then began commentary, all in support of the reservoir and its value to the community. I left after almost 2 hours. It was really great to see such overwhelming community support, not only from the immediately surrounding towns, but also from folks from all over the state.

For us in the birding community, this affects many areas we typically like to bird. The effects are potentially far reaching if the MDC properties are closed. Many municipalities are also affected by this liability loophole, and towns may consider closing their properties to the public if a precedent is set.  A website, savethemdctrails.org has been set up for information or access the CFPA site at ctwoodlands.org


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