The Conservation Commission
The Conservation Commission, created in 1964 and charged with “the development and conservation of natural resources in Redding,” in 1973 was established as the Town's inland wetlands agency, regulating uses within prescribed setbacks from all watercourses, ponds, marshes and other wet places for all property owners. Redding, in fact, was one of the first towns in Connecticut to adopt wetland regulations, and the then Commission attorney Samuel Chambliss first drafted the act that ultimately mandates such regulations statewide. Wetlands serve vital functions in every community: as groundwater purifiers, recharge· areas, and floodwater catchments-not to mention the function of assuring a diversity of desirable plant and wildlife species. Since Redding is wholly dependent on groundwater wells for its water supply, the Commission serves to protect wetlands from dredging and filling, siltation, septic contamination, and other forms of environmental degradation.
The Commission, in addition to its responsibility to protect Redding's precious water resources, also serves as land manager of Redding's open space properties. The group of volunteers who maintain Redding's trail system-the Trail Tenders-are managed jointly by the Redding Land Trust and the Conservation Commission. Through the Trail Tenders' efforts, trails are cleared-and at times new ones created-and fields are mowed in order to keep some open pastures from reverting to second-growth forest. The Land Trust, in turn, funds whatever maintenance is required on its holdings. In addition to its work in preserving the Town's natural resources, the Commission from time to time renders advisory counsel on other related matters and promulgates policy statements-such as recommending moderation in the use of pesticides. The Commission meets twice monthly at the Old Town House, where it maintains an office. Commission members are appointed to four-year terms. by the First Selectman, and serve without pay. ❧