Connecticut Audubon Society and representatives of other conservation organizations participated in the ceremonial signing of the state’s new open space law by Governor Dannel P. Malloy on July 19 at the Session Woods Wildlife Management Area, in Burlington.
The new law makes major improvements to the state’s process for acquiring and keeping track of protected land and land worthy of being protected. It requires the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to prepare a strategy for achieving the state’s goal of preserving 21 percent of Connecticut’s land.
The DEEP must come up with an estimate of the number of acres preserved statewide, and devise timetables for land acquisition, plans for managing the state’s preserved lands, and an assessment of the resources the state will need to acquire and manage open space.
It has to identify the highest priorities for land acquisition, including wildlife habitat and ecological resources that are in greatest need of immediate preservation, and the general location of each priority. This is particularly important because many of the state’s highest quality conservation lands are at risk of being lost partly because few people know where they are.
Many of the law’s provisions began as recommendations in our Connecticut State of the Birds reports.
Governor Malloy actually signed the open space bill into law more than a month ago. The ceremonial signing was organized by the Connecticut Land Conservation Council and Audubon Connecticut, the state office of the National Audubon Society.