West Hartford Reservoir owned by the MDC

An Exploration by Veronica DiSarro

The MDC's forest management role
The Metropolitan District of Connecticut or MDC owns and operates approximately 30,000 acres of land mostly in Connecticut, a few miles northwest of Hartford. This land is known as both watershed and non-watershed property with about 20,000 acres used as "commercial" forestland.

The MDC has been involved in a forestry program since 1947. Because of this program, the MDC is a member of the American Tree Farm System, which is sponsored by the American Forest Foundation to encourage good forestry practices.

Through these forestry practices, management of natural resources occurs. Natural resources management plays a key role in the Municipal Watershed. The most important thing it does is controls delivery of the highest quality water through routine inspections. These inspections are for contamination, sampling of reservoirs and tributaries to reservoirs to detectpollution, and protection of the forest from diseases, insects and wildfires.

Another key role is the furnishing of forest products and other services. This role helps produce earth resources and is also involved in wildlife management, protection and recreation.

One more important role is increasing water yield through forest cutting practices. One way to increase the water yield is to remove species that use water. Another reason for forest cutting is to decrease tree density and again reduces water demand. This falls into the forestry program.

This program also attempts to maintain trees in many age, size and species classes. Through natural calamity such as fire, wind, insects and disease, maintenance is accomplished. This would also take us into primary and secondary succession. An additional plus is how it helps many animals and even predators which depend on a different age and species of tree, and therefore the forestry program, for their survival.

This reservoir and six others are available for the water supply needs in and around the Hartford area. These reservoirs are also open to the public as places of hiking, biking and general observation of any ecosystem someone might choose to look for.

Submitted to and posted by Anthony Benoit
July 30, 2002

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