May 9, 2012 – The Connecticut General Assembly’s session ends for the year at midnight tonight but the House still has not voted on SB 347, An Act Concerning the State’s Open Space Plan.
Please call or email your local House member now and ask him or her to vote for SB 347. You can find the name and contact information here: http://www.cga.ct.gov/maps/townlist.asp
The bill has passed the Senate unanimously and is supported not only by Connecticut Audubon Society but also by the Connecticut Council on Environmental Quality, Audubon Connecticut and the Connecticut Land Conservation Council, among others.
The bill would require the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to:
- Provide an update of the State Green Plan by December 2012 and every 5 years thereafter that estimates the number of acres of land preserved, includes a timetable for acquisition, plans for management, and an assessment of the resources needed for the acquisition and management of land
- Establish priorities for acquisition including wildlife and ecological resources of greatest conservation need
- Recommend strategies for establishing a voluntary registry of all municipal, utility, nonprofit, as well as state protected lands, and including costs, benefits and potential hosts for such a registry
- Develop a process whereby state agencies may evaluate the conservation value of lands already in their custody
- By October 1, 2014, identify lands of conservation value held by other state agencies and include strategies for preserving these lands in the Green Plan.
We at Connecticut Audubon Society have been advocating for these changes for years in our annual Connecticut State of the Birds report.
They make sense and they will improve the conservation of important habitats throughout the state.
Again, please contact your House member and say, “Please vote yes on SB 347, An Act Concerning the State’s Open Space Plan.”
– Tom Andersen, Director of Communications and Community Outreach
P.S. Thanks to Audubon Connecticut for the concise bullet-point summary we used here.