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News & Upcoming Events

Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group (CIPWG) 2016 Symposium "Invasive Plants in Our Changing World: Learn from the Past, Prepare for the Future" October 11, 2016;  8:00-4:30 pm  at Student Union, University of Connecticut, Storr. Registration is $60 ($25 for students with I.D.) -- pre-register on-line or use mail in form
Registration information at  http://cipwg.uconn.edu/2016-symposium

2015 CLCC Conference -ERT Display

The 2015 ERT Display at the 31st Annual CLCC Annual Conference held at Wesleyan College in Middletown, CT.

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).

CT Land Trust Retreat for Advancement Initiative

ERT Team Members Wanted: We are actively recruiting new ERT Team Members for the program. If you are interested please complete the form to your left under ERT Team Members.

Urban and Roadside Forestry Issue Update
by Chris Donnelly, DEEP, Urban Forestry Coordinator
An important issue with regards to urban and roadside forestry is the ongoing debate / program having to do with utilities and roadside trees. To try and summarize the situation - both the Governor's office and the Legislature have been very encouraging of the utilities, especially the electrical utilities, doing more to avoid outages such as those that occurred as a result of the recent storms. As the typical figure given as to outages caused by trees during these storms is 90%, a great deal of the focus in on trees and tree maintenance. This was highlighted in the Two Storm Panel's report and led to the formation of the State Vegetation Management Task Force that was chaired by Eric Hammerling of CFPA and which issued a report last August.
Since then, the utilities have been strongly encouraged by their primary regulatory authority - PURA - to enhance and improve their tree maintenance programs, in the context of reducing outages. PURA has authorized greatly increased budgets to accomplish these enhanced tree programs, and is encouraging what is probably best described as an aggressive approach by the utilities towards tree pruning and removal. The most controversial aspect of the approach that is currently being implemented is a reliance on "enhanced tree trimming" or ETT. ETT is often described as 'ground to sky' clearance in the 'utility protection zone', although saying 'ground to sky' is a bit inaccurate. ETT does allow for 'right tree, right place' type tree plantings, so below-wire trees of acceptable species are allowed.
A couple of other background points. The emphasis on ETT comes about in part because of new legislation this past session, included in PA 13-298, the comprehensive energy bill (Section 60, for any die-hards out there). This section is a re-write of the requirement to notify abutting property owners in which the utility protection zone is established as a zone within which utilities are allowed to practice vegetation management for the sake of protecting their equipment. It establishes this zone as running from ground to sky, in a box bounded vertically by lines the run ground to sky 8 feet out from the outside electrical wires.
This section of the bill was based on language proposed by a Task Force subcommittee, and was intended in part to recognize that the utilities need to be able to provide service while also recognizing the role of the tree wardens and the rights of adjacent property owners, who in some cases actually own the trees in question. There is not a lot of difference among the many parties engaged in this discussion regarding over-all intent and vision for the future roadside forest - the big question is the speed and manner in which we get there.
Boiling all of this down, there is a very lively discussion going on in many parts of the state as to whether the electrical utilities are removing too many trees and pruning too many tree too hard, in an effort to protect their ability to deliver electricity to their customers. There have been some very candid meetings (I think that is the politic word to use) in several communities already involving the utilities and various citizen groups, and these will likely continue.
Stay tuned.

Calendar of Upcoming Events

Recent Events

Healthy Soils WorkshopFeaturing Ray Archuleta November 4th 2014 – Scout Hall Youth Center located at 28 Abbe Road East Windsor, CT 06088 from 9am - 4:30pm with registration beginning at 8:30am. This workshop will focus on the holistic understanding of soil function its impact by environmental policy and will provide key information to improve soil health on a field, watershed, and regional level. The cost to attend is $20 which will include breakfast and lunch. This event is made possible by: CT RC&D Council, USDA -NRCS and CT DEEP. To attend this event click here Soil Health Workshop Registration (pdf

Lantern Ridge Beacon Falls

Lantern Ridge Opening in Beacon Falls: The opening event for this 97 acre parcel of town owned open space under the Stewardship of the Conservation Commission will be held with a ribbon cutting on Saturday October 19th @ 11am. The ERT completed an ERT Report for this property in 2010.


2012 CT Farm & Energy Expo- CT Environmental Review Team Program Exhibitor

ERT attended the 2012 CT Farm & Energy Expo on December 1, 2012 at the Glastonbury Riverfront Community Center with 35 Energy & Agriculture Exhibitors. A link to pictures from the Event can be found at the Connecticut Farm Energy Facebook Page


ERT at CACIWC Conference 2012

ERT at CACIWC Conference 2012

ERT attended the Annual CACIWC Conference on November 17, 2012. Elaine received a special recognition award and the ERT had an exhibit on display at the event.


2012 Riverfest CT ERT, Congressman Joe Courtney stands with Elaine Sych
Congressman Joe Courtney stops by the CT ERT Table to speak with Elaine at the 2012 Eightmile Riverfest at Devil's Hopyard State Park in East Haddam, CT on October 13, 2012.

National Association of Resource Conservation and Development Councils
WASHINGTON, D.C.— The NARC&DC Board of Directors and USDA Secretary Thomas Vilsack declared September 23-29, 2012 as RC&D Week.  RC&D Week 2012 will begin the year-long celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the RC&D Program.  This year’s event will be highlighted by the continued resurgence of local RC&D Council’s doing what they do best…making things happen in our local communities. “RC&D Week gives us the opportunity to be vocal and visible in our efforts to show our local community that we are here to serve them and achieve solutions for the unmet needs in each of our communities,” said Olga Walter, President of the NARC&DC.  The NARC&DC hopes your efforts are well underway to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the RC&D Program.

2012 Candlewood Lake Authority Clean Up was sponsored by the ERT Program was once again this year on May 19th, 2012. Nearly 200 volunteers scoured the shorelines of Candlewood Lake for trash. In all a 30 yard dumpster was filled to the brim with debris when the day was done. More information can be found at the Candlewood Lake Authority Website. ERT is also sponsoring the 2012 Dragon Boat Races that will be held on August 18, 2012. This marks the 4th year of this great community event. To learn more about this event go to Candlewood Lake Dragon Boats website.

*Event* Community & Natural Resources Planning Program November /December 2011 Workshops
Burlington Workshops - Brochure (pdf)
CT River Estuary Workshops - Brochure (pdf)
Thank you to everyone who attended one or more of the Community and Natural Resource Planning Program's fall workshops in the CT River Estuary region. Also thank you to cosponsors and partners, including the CT Environmental Review Team and the CT River Esturary Regional Planning Agency for making this possible. FYI, the presentations from the workshops are available at the following link. http://www.greenvalleyinstitute.org/previousseminars.htm CNRP is in the process of preparing another workshop series for this spring in the northwestern and southeastern corners of the state. If you weren't able to attend all of the workshops or see something else you're interested in, please feel free to attend those workshops and pass the word on to others in your community. Look for new program information later this winter.

*Event* Healthy Soils Workshop: Using cover crops to improve soil health. After the success of the first Soil Health Workshop, we decided to host another. Scout Hall, 28 Abbe Road, East Windsor, CT   www.scouthall.com November 14,15 and 16 2011. Each day of this multiple day workshop covered a different facet of land use, and topics were directly relevant to the land use type of the day. 
Monday, November 14th- Row Crops and Livestock Agenda (pdf)
Tuesday, November 15th – Perennial Crops (Orchard, Vineyard, Xmas Trees) and Greenhouse Growers Agenda (pdf)
Wednesday, November 16th – Small Scale Farming, the Residential Landscape, and Permaculture Agenda (pdf)

For More information, please contact one of the following:
Lisa Krall                               lisa.krall@ct.usda.gov         860-871-4051
Raymond Covino              raymond.covino@ct.usda.gov   860-774- 8397 x 102


2011 Community Forum Beacon Falls - ERT participated in the events of the evening with a Display Board and also in giving a presentation. To see a video of the event created by R-Media follow the link. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ffIMJvyE1k&feature=youtu.be
Pictures from the Event below:

ERT- Beacon Falls Community Forum 2011
ERT- Beacon Falls Community Forum 2011 ERT- Beacon Falls Community Forum 2011
ERT- Beacon Falls Community Forum 2011 ERT- Beacon Falls Community Forum 2011
ERT- Beacon Falls Community Forum 2011 ERT- Beacon Falls Community Forum 2011
ERT- Beacon Falls Community Forum 2011 ERT- Beacon Falls Community Forum 2011


Past News & Events