Subject: Two chances to support legislation for key land protection funding THIS WEEK!
From: "Keep The Woods"
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2006 23:00:44 -0500
To: ktw@keepthewoods.org

Greetings!!

The Connecticut Legislature is in session right now - we need to make the most of every opportunity to show our support for open space FUNDING at the state level.

Please attend events this Thursday and Friday at the Capitol:

THURSDAY there will be a PRESS CONFERENCE with Senators Williams, Finch, Roraback and others to announce their proposal to dedicate a portion of the state surplus funds to augment open space and farmland preservation funding.  Thurs., March 16, 10:00 AM at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, 300 Capitol Ave.

Competition for funds from the surplus will be intense.  We need to demonstrate the urgent need to preserve critical natural and agricultural lands - while they're still available to be saved!

FRIDAY there will be an ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE HEARING in Hartford to hear testimony on Bill 656 - an act authorizing bonds of the state for agriculture, brownfields, and open space programs.  This is the bill written to allocate surplus monies to open space.  Please attend!!!  If you want to make a statement, submit 50 copies (requested) of written testimony to Committee staff one hour prior to the start of the hearing.  The first hour of the hearing is reserved for Legislates, Elected Officials and Agency Representatives. Speakers will be limited to 3 minutes of testimony.  Fri., March 17, 10:00 AM, room 1E Legislative Office Building in Hartford 300 Capitol Ave.

Directions and parking advice for either event is at http://www.cthealthpolicy.org/toolbox/legislative/directions.htm.

The Ethel Walker Land and The Preserve in Old Saybrook are two large projects at the top of the list for protection.  Both projects have water issues and environmental concerns making development inappropriate.  

Recently The Preserve received a ruling from the state DEP making any development questionable.  The Ethel Walker School also faces obstacles related to the drinking water aquifer, among others.  At this time the Ethel Walker School can gain millions of dollars by selling the development rights while retaining their land.  The Trust for Public Land is currently negotiating with the Ethel Walker School so that they can receive these monies and don't need to pursue a long, difficult, and uncertain process attempting to receive approval for a subdivision on this land.

Preservation is the Best Option.

Keep The Woods!