[CT Birds] Hammonasset "improvements"

Breslin, Sandy sbreslin at audubon.org
Tue Jun 18 20:27:52 EDT 2013

Hi Folks, 

I don't usually post to this list, but recent developments are serious and I wanted to let you know  what we have done so far - even if it hasn't had the desired effect just yet.  Changing DEEP behavior is going to take time, but we are committed to the effort so please don't shoot the messenger!

When we learned about the tree cutting and Great Horned owl incident, Audubon went directly to DEEP about it. Last week, I spoke out again - personally and to the highest levels - when we heard about the filling and paving issues at Hammo. I spoke to folks at DEEP again today and we will be meeting with them shortly to discuss our shared concerns and needed action.

Early next week, we'll send out an alert with a link that can be distributed electronically. Folks can click on the link and write the Commissioner and their lawmakers about the Park management issue. I would do that right now, but we need support from the birding community on another important issue described below and the timing for that is critical if we are to be successful. Here it is:

In the last few minutes of the Legislative Session, a very bad ATV bill passed.  I was at the Capitol working against the bill that last day, and we all thought it had been killed. Unfortunately, in the chaos that always accompanies the last votes of the Session, it passed. Audubon is working in a coordinated manner with other organizations to secure a veto of this bill, but WE NEED YOUR HELP. I will be sending an alert out on Thursday asking you to please speak contact Governor Malloy and urge him to veto the bill (SB190).  When you receive the alert, please take a few minutes to respond. 

In the meantime, if you are contacting the Commissioner, lawmakers or others about Hammo, I respectfully suggest the following:  

* Be specific - if you have personal knowledge of an incident or an area, include that. Share a great birding experience at one of the areas that is being paved or recount a firsthand experience where Park management had a negative outcome for birds. 
*Ask for action - ask the Commissioner to take action to address your concerns immediately. Ask him to make sure that habitat for wildlife is considered before any further "improvements" are made to Hammo, especially right now during breeding season. 
*Include something positive - Explain how much you value and use the Park for birding - year round. Outdoor recreation and tourism are a significant part of the state's economy so the Commissioner doesn't want to lose you as a visitor. 
*Avoid generalizations and wholesale condemnations - no matter how frustrated you are, a respectful tone will ensure that your email gets taken seriously.
* Please share any response you receive with Patrick or me or the list. That will help us prepare for our upcoming meeting. 

BTW, all this underscores how critical it is that we forge a coordinated voice for bird conservation in the state. I will spare you my rant on the subject for another time!


- Sandy 

Director of Governmental Affairs
Audubon Connecticut
185 East Flat Hill Road
Southbury, CT 06488
(203) 804-0488 cell 

-----Original Message-----
From: CTBirds [mailto:ctbirds-bounces at lists.ctbirding.org] On Behalf Of Comins, Patrick
Sent: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 4:20 PM
To: Tina and Peter Green
Cc: Dan Rottino; ct birds
Subject: Re: [CT Birds] Hammonasset "improvements"

Regarding the filling of the pools, it was brought to our attention after the fact and not by DEEP. Believe me, it would not be possible to be less happy about it than I am.

We have been in touch with DEEP about this and are continuing to talk to them about this and several issues of concern with regard to bird habitats at State Parks.  Please stay tuned for opportunities to contact the state about these issues, but in the mean time, please feel free to contact Commissioner Esty as Tina suggested.   We are in the process of setting up a meeting with DEEP...efforts now accelerating.  Yes Tina, we'd love to have you at a meeting!

 We really need to make our voices heard and let it be known that Hammonasset and other State Parks are important to birds AND to the citizens of Connecticut.


Patrick M. Comins
Director of Bird Conservation

Audubon Connecticut
185 East Flat Hill Road<x-apple-data-detectors://0> Southbury, CT 06488<x-apple-data-detectors://0>

Phone: (203)264-5098 x308<tel:(203)264-5098;308>
Fax: (203)264-6332<tel:(203)264-6332>

pcomins at audubon.org<mailto:pcomins at audubon.org>
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