18 South St.
Dear Naugatuck State Forest Stakeholder,
In December of 2004, the Naugatuck State Forest (West & East Blocks)
was recognized by Audubon Connecticut as one of Connecticut's 26 Important
Bird Areas (IBA) for its high quality shrubland and forest habitat that
provides prime breeding areas for State-listed and Audubon WatchList (species
of conservation concern) species and stopover habitat for migrating landbirds.
The IBA program is a global effort to identify the sites that are most
important to birds. A key component of the program is to work with property
owners and other partners to conserve the sites, focusing on the factors
that make each one important.
Audubon Connecticut has received funding to work with the State of Connecticut
and the Naugatuck Valley Audubon Society and other interested parties
to develop conservation strategies for the Naugatuck State Forest. These
strategies will be summarized in an IBA conservation plan that is currently
being developed for the forest. An important part of the conservation
planning process is to engage stakeholders (agencies, organizations, and
individuals) in the development of the plan. We have identified you or
your organization as a potential interested party.
Attached please find a questionnaire and information regarding the Naugatuck
State Forest IBA. We would appreciate your written comments for inclusion
in the conservation plan and in order to address any questions, concerns,
or suggestions you may have.
Thank you very much for your participation in this exciting project.
We look forward to working with you on the development and implementation
of this plan.
Buzz Devine, Conservation Plan Consultant
Important Bird Area Conservation Plan: Naugatuck State Forest (West &
East Blocks), Beacon Falls, Bethany, Naugatuck, and Oxford, CT.
Naugatuck State Forest (West & East Blocks) is a 3,436-acre multi-use
state owned forest managed by the Connecticut Department of Environmental
Protection and located along the Naugatuck River in Beacon Falls, Bethany,
Naugatuck, and Oxford. Naugatuck State Forest was recognized as an Important
Bird Area (IBA) by Audubon Connecticut in 2004 for its high quality shrubland
and forest that provide habitat for state-listed and Audubon WatchList
species, and serve as stopover habitat for migrating landbirds. Identifying
the forest as an IBA makes it part of a global network of sites that have
been recognized for their importance to birds.
As part of the IBA program, a Conservation Plan is being developed for
the forest. The purpose of the Conservation Plan is to document the existing
attributes and needs of the Naugatuck State Forest and to outline a plan
for the management and conservation of this important and unique resource.
We would appreciate participation from individuals and groups who have
particular knowledge of the forest and who would like to contribute to
the development of this plan. Please respond to the following questions
by mail (address above), email: NaugyIBA@comcast.net or call Buzz Devine
Your Name and Address:
1. Describe your or your organization’s interest in Naugatuck State
2. What important educational or recreational resources exist at the forest?
3. Which features of the forest do you feel are the most important for
4. Do you know of any current or potential threat that could threaten
5. In your opinion, what are the key issues that should be addressed
in the Conservation Plan?
6. Are there any improvements you would suggest for the forest?
7. Would you or your organization be willing to participate (directly
or indirectly) in conservation planning for the forest, and in what capacity?
8. Would you or your organization be interested in helping with monitoring
or surveying efforts at the forest?
9. Beside the groups/individuals noted on the attached distribution list,
are you aware of any other groups/individuals that would be interested
in the conservation activities at the forest?
Attachment 2: IBA Information Sheet for Naugatuck State Forest
Naugatuck State Forest (main block only) ~3,542 Acres 73? 3’ W
Beacon Falls, Bethany, New Haven County 41? 27’ N
Status: Recognized IBA.
Ownership: State of Connecticut.
Habitats: Primary – Mix of habitats. Secondary – Conifer forest,
deciduous forest, shrub,
swamp, river/stream, pond/lake.
Land Use: Primary – Forestry, nature and wildlife conservation,
hunting/fishing, undeveloped, other recreation or tourism. Secondary –
Water supply, horseback riding, rifle range.
Threats: Serious – Habitat conversion (invasive plants and succession).
Site Description: Naugatuck State Forest is comprised of mixed hardwoods,
pine plantations, laurel thickets, swampy areas, streams, and a hemlock
ravine. Particularly important to birds are the early successional habitats
from grasslands to shrubland to young forest. The park is enjoyed by picnickers
and hikers, and Larkin Bridle Trail is popular with equestrians. Spruce
Brook Ravine has long been regarded as one of the state’s most beautiful
sites. The waterfalls here are spectacular, especially in the winter when
the ice falls and ledges form. In addition to the numerous hiking trails,
a portion of the forest has been sanctioned by the state as a rifle range.
IBA Criteria: Connecticut Endangered and Threatened species; High Conservation
Species; Rare, Unique or Representative Habitat; Long-term Research and/or
Birds: Naugatuck State Forest is a wild and undeveloped area between three
developing towns. Due to the diversity of habitats, it is an area that
is capable of supporting many species of birds. During spring migration,
roughly 25 species of Warblers can be spotted, including those of high
conservation priority: Blue-winged, Worm-eating and Canada; as well as
Olive-sided Flycatchers. Hemlock Ravine and its cooler climate serve as
a nesting habitat for Louisiana Waterthrush, another species of high conservation
priority. From late April to August, Whip-poor-wills are rather common.
Blue-winged Warblers are fairly common nesters and the early successional
habitats support significant populations of other species dependent on
this habitat type, including American Woodcock. The site is possibly used
as a migratory corridor for Common Nighthawks, which can be plentiful
on overcast evenings from mid-August to mid-September. Because the early
successional habitat is changing back into woodland, the once common Brown
Thrasher is now declining. Certain areas of the forest serve as critical
stopover habitat during the fall migration.
Non-avian Resources: In addition to being an important wildlife habitat,
Naugatuck State Forest also functions as a site for forestry, shooting
sports (in the rifle range), horseback riding and hiking. Hunting is permitted
throughout the forest, which is important to control the size of the deer
herd, thereby reducing the impact of deer on the forest and early successional
habitats of the forest. High Rock Grove was an important tourist attraction
in the late 1800’s, when the site was called High Rock Park, and
is still frequented today. In late summer, a variety of butterfly species
can be found in the brushy fields of the park.
Existing Conservation Measures: The DEP Forestry Division's land management
practices ensure a wide variety of habitats within the forest, thereby
allowing the persistence of the early successional habitats. Deer hunting
is allowed throughout the forest, helping to control the size of the deer
Nominator: Edward Jurzynski, Naugatuck Valley Audubon.
|| To 2007
|Common Raven, SC
|Long-eared Owl, E
|Saw-whet Owl, SC
|Brown Thrasher, SC
Attachment 4: Distribution List
1. Audubon Connecticut
2. The Borough of Naugatuck
3. Boy Scouts of America - Housatonic Council
4. The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
5. Connecticut Audubon Society
6. Connecticut DEP – Forestry Division
7. Connecticut DEP – Wildlife Division
8. Connecticut Ornithological Association
9. CT Professional Timber Producers Association
10. CT Sportsman Alliance
11. High Rock Shooting Association
12. New Haven Bird Club
13. Naugatuck Valley Audubon Society
14. Naugatuck Valley Watershed Association
15. The Town of Beacon Falls
16. The Town of Bethany
17. The Town of Oxford
18. Western Connecticut Bird Club
19. Mr. Roy Harvey
20. Mr. Greg Hanisek
21. Mr. Bruce Finnan
22. Mr. Mark Szantyr