DEEP: Vegetation Management Task Force

The State Vegetation Management Task Force

Introduction

The State Vegetation Management Task Force (SVMTF or Task Force) was formed in 2012, in response to a recommendation of the Governor's Two Storm Panel.  The Two Storm Panel was created following the two damaging storms of the second half of 2011, Tropical Storm Irene and the October 2011 Nor'easter.

The SVMTF held its first meeting on April 24, 2012.  It concluded with a final meeting on August 28, 2012.  During this final meeting, the Task Force released its Final Report.   

Mission

The Mission of the Task Force was to develop standards for

  • roadside tree care in Connecticut,
  • vegetation management practices and schedules for utility rights of way,
  • 'right tree/right place' tree plantings,
  • and other items relating to tree wardens, municipal tree inventories and tree pruning schedules.

The SVMTF developed consensus recommendations around these items, which were then presented to the Commissioner of DEEP. 

Public Input

Meetings of the Task Force were open the public.  In addition, two Public Listening Sessions were held on August 13, 2012.  Comments from the Listening Sessions were used to guide the final version of the Task Force Recommendations, as contained in the Task Force's Final Report.

Working Groups

As part of its process, the SVMTF established three Working Groups.  The Working Groups met independently and then reported back to the Task Force as a whole.  Each Working Group was provided with a set of questions for it to consider. 

Public Education: What are the key messages that the public needs to hear about the roadside forest that will help support good policy and appropriate actions?

  • What does the public need to know about trees to better understand the necessities of roadside forest management?
  • What does the public need to know about the roles and responsibilities of private property owners, municipalities, utilities and the State (DOT, DEEP Forestry, DEEP PURA, the CT Agricultural Experiment Station, the University of Connecticut) to understand the context for roadside forest management, tree planting, and so on?
  • Can we develop a product such as an informational brochure or Public Service Announcement on "Who is Responsible for your Community's Trees?" or "What Landowners Need to Know about Trees and Power".
Regulation, Legislation and Funding:  What regulatory context and resources are required to move beyond current obstacles and effectively manage existing and future roadside forests in Connecticut?
  • Is a different regulatory structure needed?
  • What local ordinances or statewide legislative proposals should be helpful?
  • What funding and personnel is required?  How do you make a proposal for additional resources?
Technical / Standards:  What standards for pruning, integrated vegetation management and risk assessments are necessary to guide the management decisions made for existing and future roadside forests?
  • What standards currently exist or are being used in Connecticut?
  • What standards from elsewhere might be useful in Connecticut?
  • How might these standards vary based upon location, road type and different risk assumptions about storm intensities / power outages, and so on?
  • How will the Right Tree / Right Place guidelines be best utilized?

Resources

Facilitator's Meeting Summaries
Organizational Document: Roles of Participants
Organizational Document: Group Charter and Ground Rules
Draft of DEEP White Paper on Roadside Forests
Introductory Powerpoint on Roadside Forests
(presented to the Two Storm Panel on November 18, 2011)
Tree Law Presentation

Facilitator's Meeting Summaries

               
                   
Content last updated August 19, 2019