Happy Earth Day!
As we celebrate the 45th Earth Day we are also celebrating the 46th year of the Connecticut Environmental Review Team (ERT). The ERT’s first review took place in 1969 in the town of Salem, Connecticut. The ERT started from an idea of the director of the Windham Regional Planning Agency and became a project of the Eastern CT RC&D Area with federal and state funding. Over the years support and involvement grew to include many federal, state, and local agencies, as well as volunteer individuals and consultants who act as team members. The ERT has reviewed and produced reports for over 1000 projects across the state that include development proposals and conservation and preservation of town and land trust properties.
I am also celebrating my 30th anniversary as the ERT coordinator. I was hired in April 1985 as the Eastern CT ERT coordinator and became the statewide coordinator (which included the western side of the state then known as the King’s Mark RC&D Area) in 1992. While our funding source has had many changes the support for the program continues as the program evolves and innovates to remain relevant and necessary to the towns and environmental needs of Connecticut. Our mission remains to provide assistance in meeting the challenges of land use decision making. I look forward to the continuation of the ERT and invite all to contact our office and use the resources we have available to make your town, our state and the world a better place!
Elaine Sych, ERT Coordinator
Southern Pine Beetle, an insect that is native in the southern United States has made it way north to Connecticut where it is not native. While our native white pine (a “soft” pine) is not at risk, pitch pine and other “hard” pines are. In its native range Southern Pine Beetle (Dendroctonus frontalis) infests and kills large stands of pine.
In Connecticut: http://www.nhregister.com/general-news/20150331/connecticut-entomologists-warn-of-southern-pine-beetle-invasion
References for ID, control, and forest stand management: ftp://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/011/i0640e/i0640e10e.pdf http://wiki.bugwood.org/Dendroctonus_frontalis
The 2015 ERT Display at the 31st Annual CLCC Annual Conference held at Wesleyan College in Middletown, CT.
Newington Project Update
Toll Brothers have dropped their residential building project “Newington Walk”. The project site was 74 acres on Cedar Mountain in Newington. The ERT conducted two reviews for the town at the request of the conservation commission, the first in August of 2011, and then an update in December 2012 to address changes made to the plans. The reports can be viewed at http://www.ctert.org/ERTWebsite/ERTReviews/Newington.htm. The town will now negotiate with the property owners Tilcon to purchase the property for open space.
Land Trust Retreat for Advancement Initiative The ERT is a collaborative partner with the Connecticut Land Conservation Council (CLCC) and the Land Trust Alliance (LTA) with their CT Land Trust Advancement Initiative which is being funded by the USDA-NRCS. A land trust retreat was held on January 21st in Haddam to review and refine project ideas to significantly strengthen Connecticut's land trusts and their capacity to save the region's natural heritage, agricultural lands, and its high quality of life.The land trusts invited to participate are part of a regional conservation partnership in the lower CT river valley and coastal area. Bill Logue was the evening's facilitator, working with Amy Paterson (CLCC), Rebecca Washburn (LTA), Elaine Sych (ERT), Margo Burns (RiverCOG) and Kevin Case (LTA).
For additional information please see the CTDEEP website and the CT Agricultural Experiment station website. www.ct.gov/deep/eab and www.ct.gov/caes