Good to know: useful information brought to you by the Hartland Land Trust
Land trusts are organizations directly involved in protecting land for its natural, recreational, scenic, historical, or agricultural value. Land trusts may purchase or accept donations of land or of conservation easements, manage land owned by others, or advise landowners about how to preserve their land.
by Susan Murray
Hartland is characterized by expansive natural resources providing the foundation for inclusion into the National Wild and Scenic River System. With a majority of Hartland containing vast contiguous tracts of land, water continues to play an ever important role. Hartland is fortunate to possess a significant network of streams, rivers and waterways with an abundance of natural resources, recreational and aesthetic benefits. Our water quality is outstanding and supplied to over 400,000 Hartford county residents.
Hartland’s first association with the National Wild and Scenic River System was with the Wild and Scenic designation of 14 miles of the Upper Farmington River in 1994 by an act of Congress. The section of the Farmington River in Hartland is in the outermost southwest corner. The Farmington River Coordinating Committee (FRCC), a non-regulatory group, and its partners provide the stewardship management for the Farmington River and its upper watershed among the five river-front towns (Barkhamsted, Canton, Colebrook, Hartland, and New Hartford) and are committed to ensuring the river’s beauty and character will be enjoyed by generations to come.
More recently, Hartland’s second affiliation with the National Wild and Scenic River System is participation in “The Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook Wild and Scenic Study” which was initiated by the Farmington River Watershed Association (FRWA) and was signed into law by President Bush in November, 2006. The Feasibility Study includes the 10 towns of Avon, Bloomfield, Burlington, Canton, East Granby, Farmington, Granby, Hartland, Simsbury, and Windsor. The Committee’s membership combines 2-3 locally appointed representatives of each town, FRWA, Salmon Brook Watershed Association (SBWA), CT Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and The Stanley Works. The National Parks Service (NPS) provides staff support, funding, and overall coordination.
In gaining recognition for the Wild and Scenic designation, the river must possess at least one Outstanding Resource Value (“ORV”) and be “Free Flowing”. The Committee has determined the following ORV’s for the Lower Farmington/Salmon Brook: Geology, Water Quality, Biological Diversity, Cultural Landscape and Recreation. The Study Area segment within Hartland is the West Branch of the Salmon Brook in the southeast corner of town which exhibits the ORV of excellent water quality.
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Landowners: Understanding the Options
For anyone who owns a large tract of undeveloped land, the question of what to do with that land long term can seem overwhelming. As we get older, we may not be capable of maintaining it. Our children may not want the land because they live far away or they are not interested in owning or maintaining a large property. For many, land represents our most significant asset and we feel compelled to divide that asset among our children or family members. This inheritance dilemma can lead to the subdivision or sale of the land contrary to our interest in protecting or preserving the land. Different options exist and landowners should explore these options before making any final decisions regarding the succession of their land.
Under the law, property ownership or title to land is described as a bundle of sticks where each stick represents one right – the right to use, the right to sell, the right to lease or rent, etc. These different sticks can be divided in different ways at different times and among different people or entities and it is not until you have sold or given away all of the sticks that you are no longer considered the owner of the land under the law. Unfortunately, many landowners do not realize that they have all of these rights. An understanding of how these rights can be divided and the legal tools available may help resolve the quandary of what to do with your land.
Many of these options can produce tax benefits for the landowner during his or her lifetime or for his or her estate through state and/or federal programs. For example, the donation of land can reduce or eliminate current property tax liability and can reduce or eliminate estate taxes. In addition, these different tools are flexible enough to be tailored to the individual landowner, to the unique characteristics of the property, your financial situation, and your family’s needs. An appropriate balance can be achieved between the desire to preserve and protect the land and the need to provide for one’s family. The Hartland Land Trust is happy to provide you with additional information about these options and can help you find an advisor should you wish to explore how these options might be applied to your specific situation.
by Carol Blouin, Master Wildlife Conservationist
One of the greatest gifts Hartland offers is bountiful peace and solitude. There is no greater joy than having spent an early spring morning fruitfully laboring in the out-of-doors and then enjoying an uninterrupted noontime meal basking in the warm sunshine. Upon finding my favorite perch, I laid out my noon repast, serenaded by a twittering assortment of avian crooners gleefully flitting from tree to tree, giddy with mating rituals. The fields and woodland edges were a cacophony of movement and sound intermingled with an urgent sense of duty. I too was focused, with filling my empty stomach and then moving onto the plethora of chores demanding my attention. Settling into my lunch, I sensed that I was being watched. Looking about, I laid eyes on my uninvited dinner companion. Not more than 10 feet away peering curiously through the greening lilac and viburnum, just over the lichen encrusted stone wall sat a rather portly fellow eyeballing my noontime fare. A leathery nose wiggled taking in the aroma of my feast, while his beseeching liquid black eyes fixed a bead upon my person. Not wishing to be rude, yet unwilling to share my victuals,and remembering to back away slowly, I skedaddled to the barn in a rather urgent and direct manner. All the while this bear simply watched as if he were a patron at the zoo watching the humans at feeding time. The show over, the patron lifted its bulk from his place of repose, then loped noiselessly to his next opportunity for food.
Needless to say, I sighed a breath of relief and wondered how that bear managed to sneak up on me. I have always tried to make a point of being acutely aware of my surroundings; apparently I let my guard down this day. Black bears are quick and can be criminally quiet. When living in bear country, as we do, it is important not to inadvertently attract bears to our yards. My close encounter occurred on garbage day, when he was more than likely just passing through and found some entertaining activity along the way. Lucky me! Here is a checklist to avoid bear encounters:
Remember bears are wild animals and their behavior is unpredictable. Once they find a consistent source of food whether from garbage cans, bird feeders or other sources they will return again and again to satiate their ravenous appetites. Bears are best kept wild. When bears link humans with food the possibility of human/bear conflicts increase. It is our task to be smarter than the bears, to eliminate easy sources of human provided food and to keep them in their own habitat.
In the Winter 2009 issue of the Land Trust Alliance magazine, Saving Land,
the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy listed
Connecticut among the top ten in energy efficiency. Connecticut
holds third place with California number one and Oregon number
two. Our neighbors New York and Massachusetts are five and seven
|Useful Links About Bees
Here are some informative links regarding bees, more to come based on Dr. Stoner's presentation on bees.
|Useful Links About Chestnuts
Everyone enjoyed Dr. Sandy's entertaining and informative
presentation on chestnuts. If you missed it, here are some links on
this interesting tree:
Helpful Conservation Ideas from a Young Student
A watershed is an area of land where water collects and then drains into another body of water, such as a lake or a stream. Watersheds can be big or small, and they can be any shape.
What Is Citizen Science?
Citizen scientists can be anyone who is interested in
nature. You don't need to have a college degree or any special education to be
a citizen scientist. All you need to do is explore the world to learn about
nature and the environment. Sometimes real scientists ask for help from citizen
Climate consists of the typical weather patterns that happen in specific areas over periods of time. Scientists have discovered that the climate is gradually changing: Average temperatures are increasing, and this is called either global warming or climate change.
Sustainable living is a lifestyle that involves respecting nature and the planet. When you live sustainably, you try to reduce your waste by recycling, repurposing, and avoiding the use of unnecessary products.