Action Alert: Help protect the natural resources of the Salmon River State Forest
A point of clarification: The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has already made the decision to officially allow mountain biking to continue on informal trails on a small section of the Salmon River State Forest.
At issue now is whether sufficient attention will be paid to critical natural resources as the trails are improved and used. Because it is a done deal, so to speak. Connecticut Audubon thinks it is essential that the mountain bike community works with both the DEEP Forestry Division and the Wildlife Division to protect the area’s natural resources and design trails that will increase wildlife in that area.
February 11, 2022 — A proposal to create mountain biking trails in Salmon River State Forest could end up being a win-win for conservation and for responsible outdoor recreation.
But for that to happen, we need you to please write to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and ask that provisions be made to protect the site’s natural resources.
Wetlands must be protected.
Trails must be properly maintained and monitored as they are used.
The Salmon River forest, east of the Connecticut River, is one of the most important forest ecosystems in the state. The river itself is the state’s standard for pristine waterways.
If not properly planned, mountain biking can damage wetlands and cause erosion. It can lead to invasive plants moving in and pushing native species out.
All of that would be detrimental to the habitats of birds and other wildlife.
Many species of global, continental and regional conservation concern breed in the Salmon River forest. These include Wood Thrush, Eastern Whip-Poor-Will, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Worm-eating Warbler and Ovenbird.
The forest is also home to numerous vulnerable plants, reptiles, amphibians, fish and other aquatic animals.
Please ask the CT DEEP to ensure that the mountain bike community works with both the DEEP Forestry Division and the Wildlife Division to protect the area’s natural resources and design trails that will increase wildlife in that area.
If done properly, this project may offer a golden opportunity to provide an alternative form of recreation in State Forests.