[CT Birds] DEEP Meeting Summary

Sarah Faulkner sffaulkner at comcast.net
Sat Jul 27 11:15:08 EDT 2013


Many thanks to the team that met with the DEEP on behalf of all of us --  
sounds like it was a positive and productive meeting, with the door opened 
for future communication.  Thank you!

Sarah Faulkner
Collinsville

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Breslin, Sandy" <sbreslin at audubon.org>
To: <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org>
Cc: <mbull at ctaudubon.org>
Sent: Friday, July 26, 2013 6:45 PM
Subject: [CT Birds] DEEP Meeting Summary


> Hi All,
>
> On behalf of Tina Green, Kathy Van Der Aue, Miley Bull, Patrick Comins and 
> me, here is the promised rundown of our meeting at CT DEEP Wednesday 
> morning (7/24/13) regarding birds and birding in CT State Parks.
>
> We met with Deputy Commissioner Susan Whalen, Bureau of Natural Resources 
> Chief, Bill Hyatt, State Parks Division Director, Tom Tyler and Policy 
> Director, Jessie Stratton. Wildlife Division Director, Rick Jacobson is 
> away on vacation this week, but sent his regrets and expressed his strong 
> interest in this issue.
>
> Overall it was an excellent meeting with agreement that this was just the 
> start of an ongoing dialogue between DEEP and the CT birding community. 
> Deputy Commissioner Whalen opened the conversation by thanking us for 
> coming to Hartford to meet and reiterating her commitment to keep an open 
> line of communication with us. There is no doubt that the photos, emails 
> and phone calls from all of you on this list made the difference. I can't 
> stress that enough!
>
> Deputy Commissioner Whalen told us that in response to the issues you 
> raised, DEEP has already put in place several processes to improve 
> internal communications and benefit wildlife including:
>
>  *   Parks consultation with Wildlife before improvements are carried out 
> (for minor improvements)
>  *   Annual planning sessions with Wildlife and Parks staff early each 
> season to review planned improvements (for major improvements)
>  *   Ensuring that a biologist is consulted and/or on site when conducting 
> activities that have the potential to impact a particular bird or birds.
>  *   All the DEEP team was extremely upset and sorry about the incident 
> with the GHO
>
>
> Other issues discussed included:
>
>  *   Possibility of creating new shorebird pools elsewhere at Hammonasset. 
> We will follow up w Tom Tyler and OLISP.
>  *   Possibility of working with COA and the Audubons to organize 
> workshops for Parks Staff on topics related to natural resource management 
> including birds, other wildlife, and plants
>  *   Despite a tough budget climate, we were assured that DEEP is 
> prioritizing the hiring of a non-game biologist to fill the position left 
> vacant by Julie Victoria's retirement. This would increase Wildlife's 
> capacity to provide needed consultation to Parks. (Note: State funding for 
> the agency has decreased, federal support for many positions is reduced or 
> disappearing so staffing remains a significant challenge for the agency. 
> DEEP has also lost a significant number of staff to retirement in the past 
> few years and is about to lose many more.)
>  *   Mr. Hyatt assured us that despite current staff levels, the Wildlife 
> Division is completely committed to providing any needed consultation
>  *   DEEP requested our assistance in addressing the issue of increased 
> trash at all the Parks - any ideas or solutions much appreciated!
>
>
> Longer term, we agreed to work together to:
>
> *         Establish a mechanism for providing park managers with current 
> information about birds and wildlife in their parks. One idea is to have a 
> liaison from the birding community to each Park who would provide regular 
> updates to the Park Manager
>
> *         Explore mechanisms to address the access issue - a birding 
> stamp, a voluntary license or pass were discussed
>
> *         Explore the possibility meetings w the birding community at 
> various parks to obtain input on resources at those sites
>
>  *   We agreed to meet again in a few months (October) to continue our 
> discussion - there are a number of improvements being planned at parks 
> including Hammonasset and Silver Sands
>  *   Commissioner Whalen, Chief Hyatt and Director Tyler encouraged us to 
> keep in touch. We all agreed to keep the communication going!
> So, a very big thanks to all of you for your combined expertise and 
> guidance through this process, to COA for providing the CT Birds list that 
> made our communication possible, and especially to Tina and Kathy who took 
> time out during and before their vacations to attend this meeting. It is 
> just a first step, but a good and necessary one!
>
> Have a great weekend,
>
> - Sandy
>
> Director of Governmental Affairs
> Audubon Connecticut
> 185 East Flat Hill Road
> Southbury, CT 06488
> (203) 804-0488 cell (Best)
> (203) 264-5098 x306
> (203) 264-6332 fax
> www.audubonct.org
>
> Audubon Connecticut, the state organization of the National Audubon 
> Society, works to protect birds, other wildlife and their habitats using 
> education, science and conservation, and legislative advocacy for the 
> benefit of people and the earth's biological diversity. Through our 
> network of nature education centers, protected wildlife sanctuaries and 
> local, volunteer chapters, we seek to connect people with nature and 
> inspire the next generation of conservationists.
>
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