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Importance of Conservation in Connecticut

Scenic view along the Blue-Blazed Hiking Trail System

Benefits

Forests and Trails are an extremely important asset to our health and well-being, the character of our communities and the environment in which we live. They also provide a wealth of educational opportunities and economic benefits that we sometimes overlook. Below is a short list of the values of forests and trails.

  • Views of Connecticut’s scenic landscape
  • Local, free places for exercise
  • Cleaner air/water
  • Less erosion and runoff
  • Outdoor education opportunities for kids/adults
  • Tourism dollars for your town
  • Community building
  • Wildlife habitat and corridors
  • Increased property values
  • Wide array of health benefits
  • Preservation of history and culture

For further information on the value of trees see the State Vegetation Management Taskforce Final Report.

For further information on the economic value of parks, forests, and natural resources select here

Threats

Connecticut is a highly urbanized state with large areas of development and metropolitan sprawl leaving few areas for the conservation of valuable forest and trail resources. The population of Connecticut has increased from 1.5 million when the Trail System began in 1929 to 3.5 million today.

A large percentage of forest tracts throughout the state and the Blue-Blazed Hiking Trail System are in the hands of private landowners. When property ownership changes, these parcels become at risk for subdivision and further development, which fragments forest and trail connectivity, disrupting wildlife corridors, and subjecting the trail system to the possibility of long road walks and potential closures. Also, improved transportation has allowed residential and business development to spread to areas once considered remote and/or unbuildable.

Because of these factors, the Connecticut Forest & Park Association (CFPA) places a high premium in working closely and cooperatively with private landowners who own working forests and/or host sections of Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails on their properties. We thank them for continuing to provide such tremendous benefits to trail users and for assisting CFPA and its volunteers in preserving the natural resource legacy of Connecticut.