The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) on Thursday announced that its draft 2017-2022 Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) is available for public review and comment.
“Our primary goal with the new five-year plan is to better understand the recreation demands of Connecticut’s residents and identify opportunities for a variety of outdoor recreation activities that are compatible with the long term protection of the state’s outstanding natural and cultural resources,” said Mike Lambert, DEEP Bureau Chief for Outdoor Recreation. “Public feedback is important to this process and we hope to hear from our natural resources and recreation stakeholders.”
The draft 2017-2022 SCORP includes four key goals and action items that represent a commitment by the DEEP to continue to be responsive to the recreation needs of Connecticut’s residents while responsibly managing the available resources in order to realize the greatest return on investments made to the outdoor recreation system. The four goals include:
· Protect, conserve, and manage Connecticut’s natural, cultural, and historical resources as they support outdoor recreation.
· Provide clean, safe, well-maintained outdoor recreation areas and facilities.
· Ensure that all residents and visitors can locate and access all outdoor recreation areas and facilities.
· Promote healthy lifestyles through increased participation in outdoor recreation.
In developing the draft plan, DEEP established a SCORP Advisory Committee made up of individuals representing a diversity of recreation interests and perspectives to help guide the process. In addition, DEEP partnered with the Center for Public Policy and Social Research at Central Connecticut State University to seek substantial input from Connecticut’s citizens including park and outdoor recreation stakeholders in a variety of ways, including online surveys and focus groups. Southern Connecticut State University provided assistance with strategic plan development and drafting the plan.
DEEP creates SCORP to meet a requirement of the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, a funding source the department uses for the development of park and recreation lands. The Land and Water Conservation Fund requires each participating state to complete a comprehensive outdoor recreation plan every five years to ensure wise use of grant funds. To be eligible for funding, the DEEP must submit its final 2017-2022 Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan to the National Park Service by Dec. 31, 2017.
The draft report can be found on the DEEP website at www.ct.gov/deep/scorp
The agency will accept comments on the draft plan through Friday, December 28, 2017. Feedback submission options include; email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail to DEEP SCORP c/o Doug Jann, Environmental Analyst, Bureau of Outdoor Recreation, 79 Elm Street Hartford, CT 06106.?