“Decisions by the more than 140,000 families in our state who own woodlands about how they use these lands — and whether or not they convert them to other uses — is a matter of significant public interest and environmental concern,” said Robert Klee
’99 M.E.S., ’04 J.D., ’05 Ph.D., commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP).
“It is clearly in the best long-term interests of our state to support these landowners in a manner that encourages sustainable ‘best’ forestry practices and long-term protection of our woodlands.”
According to the report:
The owners of Connecticut woodlands retain their land to enjoy its beauty and scenery — but also for reasons of privacy, protection of wildlife habitat, nature, and biodiversity.
These landowners have a strong conservation ethic and are aware of the important ecosystem services provided by their land.
Many express concern about keeping their forest intact as they grow older and the burdens of land management become more difficult.
While these landowners cite vandalism, pollution, invasive plants, harmful insects, and disease as concerns, only 21 percent say they have received advice about caring for their property during the past five years.
The report also identifies a phenomenon state foresters have called the “silver tsunami,” or the sale of interior woodland for development by older landowners. About 85 percent of these owners are 50 years old or older.
Landowners say their biggest challenges are keeping their land intact for future generations; maintaining forest health; and knowing when and where to get valuable management advice and assistance.