Advocacy Action: CT DEEP Salmon River FMP / Grayville Trails Plan

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

**Immediate Action Needed**

 

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) has provided NEMBA with a draft Forest Management Plan for the Salmon River State Forest that will have significant impact on the future policies for trail access and trail management in Connecticut State Forests. This plan proposes specific action to be taken on the Grayville Trail System, including trail closures. The plan will also serve as a precedent for the other trail systems in Salmon River and the State Forests throughout Connecticut.

 

As a result of the overwhelming public input to an earlier Forest Management plan that proposed significant trail closures, CT DEEP is considering a new proposal to authorize a majority of the existing trails.  The new option was presented by NEMBA after extensive discussion with CT DEEP including an on-site review.  

 

CT DEEP is now seeking public input on both the original option, and the new option. Click Here for the FMP Document

Maps and details on the trail network options and details on public comment meeting: Grayville Trails Public Outreach Meeting.pdf

 

Trail Network Option # 1: Original DEEP trail proposal included in the first draft of the Forest Management Plan

  • 6 mile loop

  • closure/removal of all other trails (8+ miles)

 

Trail Network Option # 2: Revised proposal based on public comment and outreach, and NEMBA input

  • 11 miles in length – with additional trails pending neighboring landowner permission

  • minimal trail closure/removal

 

WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT FOR OPTION #2.

 

Public Meetings on Thursday, February 3rd at 12pm and 7pm:

Join 12pm Zoom Meeting

https://ctdeep.zoom.us/j/99661901099

Dial by your location

        +1 646 876 9923 US (New York)

Meeting ID: 996 6190 1099

Passcode: 555953

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Join 7pm Zoom Meeting

https://ctdeep.zoom.us/j/99606246842?pwd=VktHc2dQdFgvZ1U5ZjQ4MGJjSkVYQT09

Dial by your location

        +1 646 876 9923 US (New York)

Meeting ID: 996 0624 6842

Passcode: 842987

 

HOW TO PROVIDE FEEDBACK:

  1. Please email responses by February 16th, 2022.   Send responses directly to: Nathan.piche@ct.gov and copy comments@nemba.org

 

  1. Attend the public meeting being hosted by DEEP to gather input on the new plan. Zoom meeting on Thursday February 3rd at 12pm and 7pm. Click here for more information

 

 

Response Guidance:
  

 

  • Option 2- Create your own response leveraging the following suggested topics, and send to the address above.

    • Express support for Option #2 - the new proposal to authorize a majority of the existing trails

    • Do you support the proposed trail closures and eradication of existing trails

    • Do you support creating an active management plan between DEEP and NEMBA to maintain and improve the trails leveraging trained NEMBA resources to assist with storm damage/downed trees, trail maintenance, etc.

    • Why the trail system is important to your health and well-being

    • How many years you’ve used the trail system and frequency of use

    • Note what activities you use the trail system for (biking, hiking, snowshoeing, etc)

    • Do you use the system with your family

    • Do you visit local businesses and/or come from outside of Hebron

 

  • Please respond with a positive tone. NEMBA and DEEP have been in active dialogues since 2020 regarding the future of the Grayville Trails.

  • Our goal is to preserve access to the trails that generations have come to enjoy, and establish a partnership with DEEP to actively maintain the trails for future generations. DEEP has expressed interest in expanding the resulting model throughout CT State Forests, so it’s critical we all work towards a positive and mutually agreeable outcome!

 

Thank you for your support,

Brett Severson

Chapter President, SECT NEMBA