WNPR

A Primer for Landowners in Connecticut Looking to Conserve Open Space

May 26, 2015

Two graduates of the Yale School of Forestry are hoping to make it easier for residents to conserve land and open space. 

Rachel Plawecki says land conservation in Connecticut needs to start at the grassroots level. "Just given the ownership structure of the land in New England especially: it's all small, private family forest owners -- family landowners," she said. "In order to fight off some of the really severe development pressure that we're seeing, we're going to have to reach out to these individuals."

But with 137 land trusts in the state, and lots of conservation programs, it can be confusing to know where to begin. So Plawecki teamed up with Tony Mecum to create a pamphlet for landowners that walks them through the process.

Both just got their master's degree from the Yale School of Forestry and their booklet contains the stories of four landowners in Connecticut, explaining the things to do if you're looking to conserve.

"I think the first step is definitely talking to your local land trust," Plawecki said.

"In talking to the four landowners that we've written stories about, all of them said that the folks that they worked with at the land trust were really helpful and that they couldn't have done it otherwise," she continued. "We've also heard that service foresters can be a big help -- and talking to lawyers early on, or financial advisors especially, can be a big help even before any sort of preliminary agreement is reached."

The pamphlet will be distributed through the Connecticut Land Conservation Council and will be posted to their website at the end of this week.