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Legislative committee rejects state park walk-in ban

The legislature's Regulation Review Committee unanimously rejected a proposal to ban walk-ins at state parks.  Danbury state Representative Bob Godfrey said this would be unfairly applied to all parks, preventing people who live within walking distance from entering on foot.  The parks cited were Wooster Mountain State Park, Silver Sands and Sherwood Island. 


But New Fairfield First Selectman Susan Chapman says the ban would have only been after state parks reach their capacity limit.  She says stopping walk ins after parks have closed to cars is about keeping parks safe once they reach capacity.


Chapman is hoping the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection can write a new regulations for parks where there has been a specific safety issue to see how a ban works. 


Squantz Pond routinely closes early on weekends in the summer because of a car limit put in place several years ago in response to a spate of drownings.  Visitors looking to use the park after the 250 car capacity is reached park around town and walk along the curved and busy road. 


The approved regulations adds three parks to the list of places where alcohol is banned, advances the date when leashed dogs are permitted on park beaches from Nov. 1 to Oct. 1 and formalizes the understanding between the state and the three towns surrounding Lake Waramaug about the size of boats allowed on lake waters, as well as ensuring the boats don‘t have invasive plants on them before entering the water.

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Rich Valdes

Local Headlines