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Letter: Vote “YES” to Protect Our Public

Finally, we have a major legislative measure to protect our public lands!  On Election Day, November 6, 2018, we have Question 2 which, if approved, will amend the state’s constitution to protect state- owned public land for future generations.

Your “Yes” vote will help safe guard public lands.  It will require all state land transfers – sales, swaps, and gifts – to be subject to public hearings.  Surprisingly, under our current system, land transfers often happen at the eleventh hour, packaged together in the annual conveyance bill.  If passed, Question 2 will put public land protections in place by requiring public hearings and a 2/3 vote of the legislature.  Eric Hammerling, Executive Director of Connecticut Forest and Park Association and a volunteer on behalf of Protect CT Public Lands Coalition, says that the ballot question will provide better transparency and ensure higher standards to protect state-owned public lands.  “It doesn’t say the state can never sell, swap, or give land away,” said Hammerling.  “We just want to make sure the public has a say.”

As state governments experience constrained budgets, the fear is that officials will be tempted to sell valuable land to meet short-term budgetary solutions.  A “Yes” vote on Question 2 will empower citizens to protect their local landscapes.

Pamela Adams, President of Connecticut State Parks stated “our tax dollars go into acquiring these lands and maintaining them.  To have them given away without our input just isn’t right.”

Please vote “Yes” on Question 2 on Election Day, November 6, 2018.

Maria Kayne
Board Member, CT Assoc of Conservation and Inland Wetland Commissions (CACIWC)
Former member and Chair, Woodbridge Conservation Commission
Former Member Board of Selectmen, Town of Woodbridge

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