Traprock Wilderness Recovery
By Wendy Moravec
This exploration is based on an article by Harry White at the Yale Forestry School concerning the Traprock Wilderness Recovery Strategy.
Almost three years ago, my family moved into a newly constructed house in a brand new developement in Southington surrounded by forest and mountains.
For the first time since I was little, we got to see local wildlife, up close and personal. The first year we saw small herds of deer, the occasional coyote tracks, skunks and racoons. Geese come and go from the nearby pond and wild turkeys can often be spotted walking across the corners of peoples back yards.
|Photo of Higby Mountain by the New England Wild Flower Society (http://www.newfs.org/)|
Recently, I helped my sister in High School with a project she was doing for science that involved the rapid expansion of Southington and the subsequent loss of land and wildlife. In particular, we became concerned with the developement of the traprock ridges (copper ridge) in Southington.
Traprock ridges are a unique characteristic of New England and extend from Long Island, through Connecticut and into Massachusetts. This "metacomet ridge" contains some of the last wilderness ares in our state and has been designated as critical habitat by the CT DEP.
Whether its being quarried for construction gravel and sand or divided, cleared and used for housing, these areas are being stripped of their diverse plant and animal communities.
Most of the Eastern Forest is gone now, along with the moose, elk, wolves, cougars, lynx and bobcat that inhabited it. In many areas there are only small tracts of wilderness area left, usually connected to hard to clear traprock ridges.
In order to preserve a diverse biological community, which can resist parasitic populations and cause extinction crisis's, we need to speak up at town meetings and protest the building and quarrying of these areas.
The State of CT Siting Council on Environmental Quality has identified habitat fragmentation( such as traprock destruction) as the "single greatest factor in the reduction of Connecticut's wlderness. The State suggests that interesyed parties become active in the TWRS (Traprock Wilderness Recovery Strategy) that plans to gain the preservation of the ridges in perpetuity through committments from landowners, stewards and governmental agencies.
It would be fantastic if this could happen in Southington but past history indicates that the town council will often ignore environmental issues in favor of making a profit from the sale of land.
My Dad is one of those pesky townspeople that goes to meetings and speaks up loudly about issues such as building on copper ridge and vetoing the ideas for a 200 ft smokestack and stopping the increase of R-12 zones (1/4 acre lots consuming a lot of our property). Its great to be part of a family and group of citizens that are concerned about the environment in the area they live in.
Submitted to and posted by Anthony Benoit
May 15, 2001
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