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749 Hopmeadow St.
Simsbury, CT 06070

Farmington River Watershed Association Otter Mascot

Protecting the Farmington Valley's Natural Resource Legacy

Introduction | Resources for Protecting Biodiversity | Action Points | Land Use Links

: The Farmington River Watershed Association launched The Farmington Valley Biodiversity Project (FVBP) in 2001-2002 with partners in 7 towns (Avon, Canton, East Granby, Farmington, Granby, Simsbury, and Suffield) and the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Metropolitan Conservation Alliance. In so doing, FRWA tripled the biological data on natural resources available to local decision-makers and documented in the State’s Natural Diversity Database. To date, information from this project has been (or is in the process of being) incorporated into 6 Plans of Conservation and Development. The official report and data from this project were officially released in February of 2007.

At the same time that the Biodiversity Project towns have acquired additional abilities to conduct natural resource planning, the pace of development (primarily residential) continues to overwhelm any meaningful conservation benefits on the ground. At the root of this problem are several issues:

  • inconsistent land-use regulations from town-to-town that are not always focused on long-term resource conservation (often more focused on mitigating rather than avoiding problems);
  • inadequate appreciation for resource problems such as stormwater pollution/impervious surfaces, erosion/sedimentation, groundwater/aquifer protection;
  • imbalance between project proponents who hire environmental consultants and lawyers and volunteer land-use commissions/municipalities who often lack access to expertise and/or are intimidated by the prospects of litigation; and,
  • lack of resources at the municipal level to both analyze development proposals thoroughly and enforce permit requirements at construction sites after projects are approved.

With leading support from the Gackstatter Foundation, FRWA is working with local towns, regional organizations and other non-profit organizations to implement land use changes that will protect the Farmington Valley’s unique and important natural legacy.

Resources for Protecting Biodiveristy:

The Planning to Action report below contains the detailed explanations for an authoritative set of recommendations for protecting biodiversity. The Action Points web page contains a downloadable/formatted summary of Planning to Action report as well as detailed links and resources for each action.

From Planning to Action: Biodiversity Conservation In Connecticut Towns

MCA publication

"To counteract sprawl development and protect biodiversity, local land use decision-makers need three items: the scientific information to identify problems, the technical solutions to those problems, and the legal authority to implement those solutions. This resource provides guidance on all three. The twelve primary challenges facing land use decision-makers identified in this publication arose out of the authors' collective experience working with municipal officials, and is a practical guide to making ecologically- and legally-informed development decisions." (

Action Points: From Planning to Action

Contains a short document summarizing the actions that FRWA recommends for implementation of biodiversity conservation. The web page also contains links to examples and explanations for each action point.

FRWA web page

Implementation Power Point presentation

This presentation outlines the Action Points document and demonstrates several key implementation issues.

Microsoft Power Point (~10mb)

Land Use Links

Links to organizations and resources focused on land use and conservation issues.

FRWA web page

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