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Photo of Senator Paul Doyle.

STATE SENATOR

Paul Doyle

Delegation Backs Residents in Push-Back to Brainard Tree Removal Project

Recently I joined my colleagues Senator John Fonfara and Representatives Antonio Guerrera and Russell Morin to share our concerns about the tree obstruction removal plan at Hartford-Brainard Airport.

Senator Doyle

As a delegation, we felt it was important to share the apprehension our community has about this plan with the Connecticut Airport Authority.

We believe this project may disrupt the ecosystem and diminish opportunities for recreational activities for residents, and we have reservations about what this may mean for a possible airport expansion.

I'm looking for solid justification that I have not yet seen for this cutting, so I'll certainly be keeping an eye on this. You as residents have voiced your opposition to this plan, and we have listened.

There are a number of points we have conveyed to the Commissioner of Transportation, including that the plan has not been adjusted to reflect concerns that were raised by Wethersfield residents in January. During the first CAA-sponsored public hearing on this matter, many residents spoke against removing trees from the 20 acres of land located in Wethersfield because it would be environmentally irresponsible. These 20 acres are categorized as a floodplain forest. These forests have many benefits; two of the most important include their ability to act as buffers between agricultural or urban areas and the state's water resources and the biologically diverse habitats that we provide. For these two key reasons, residents and our delegation are firmly opposed to disrupting the ecosystem.

land parcel

Additionally, this parcel provides opportunities for recreational activities that many members of our community enjoy. With the removal of these trees, the opportunities for recreational activity would become greatly diminished.

This plan also disregards the conservation easement that was put into place, which prevents the wholesale cutting of trees. We believe it is alarming to know that this easement is being ignored in the planning of this project.

I am hopeful that the Commissioner of Transportation will take our concerns under consideration, and that residents will soon have answers to the many questions that still exist about this proposal.

You deserve transparency in this process and we have asked that any details on this removal process be shared so that the public may comment accordingly.