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Forest Management on State Lands

Image of logs and foresters

There are 33 State Forests totaling about 175,000 acres in Connecticut. They are managed by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Division of Forestry. The Division of Forestry seeks to develop a vigorous, resilient, forest environment capable of sustaining the wide range of demands that the public places on these lands. These demands include a variety of recreational experiences, natural diversity (including threatened and endangered species), the preservation of unique sites (both geologic and archaeological), the provision of raw materials as forest products, and the maintenance of wildlife and fisheries habitats. The Division’s professional foresters work to ensure that these forests remain healthy and vigorous while serving the needs of the citizens of Connecticut.

Connecticut’s woodlands offer many benefits and ecosystem services such as:

  1. Forest Ecosystem Health and Diversity – Healthy and diverse forest ecosystems provide highly functional, valuable, and a resilient mix of habitats for plants and animals.
  2. Wildlife Habitat – Many of Connecticut’s wildlife species, both common and rare, use different kinds of forested habitats. It is important to create a variety of habitats for animals that have different needs.
  3. Climate Change Mitigation through Sequestration and Storage – As climate change continues to be an important global issue, Connecticut’s State Forests can mitigate climate change by sequestering and storing carbon in vegetation above and below ground and as long-lived wood products used locally and beyond.
  4. Environmental Protection – Connecticut’s State Forests provide environmental benefits such as cleaning the air, protecting and improving water quality, and contributing to soil health.
  5. Forest Protection – Managing Connecticut’s State Forests helps reduce susceptibility to threats such as wildfire, weather events, and invasive plants and insects, keeping them healthy and productive while minimizing spread to neighboring private forestlands.
  6. Economic Benefits – Sustainably harvesting forest products like timber, firewood, witch-hazel, and maple syrup from Connecticut’s State Forests provides jobs and raw material for a locally-sourced, forest-based, green economy. The State Forests provide a model for private forest landowners to consider when managing their properties.
  7. Recreational/Health Benefits – Recreation opportunities abound across Connecticut’s State Forest system providing a local and economical way to stay healthy and active for Connecticut’s residents and guests.

Silvicultural treatments before and after headline image

Clearcut Treatment
Oak Shelterwood Establishment Harvest
White Pine Thinning
White Pine Plantation Thinning
Irregular Shelterwood Harvest

A Reminder to those Recreating in CT's State Forests:

The CT Blue-Blazed Trail System is for foot traffic only. Please respect CT Statute Sec. 23-10a and refrain from mountain bike and horse back riding. The portions of this trail system that cross State property are maintained by CT Forest and Park Association volunteers and are designated as hiking trails. Thank you for your cooperation.

State Forest Management Plans

Forestry work scheduled within the approved 10 year Forest Management Plan may extend beyond the Plan's end date as these activities often take several years to complete.  The Division of Forestry does not initiate new silvicultural treatments outside of Forest Management Plan timeframe.  Adaptive forest management may take place at any time in response to unforeseen circumstances such as disease outbreaks, fire, or storm damage that cause an immediate forest health of public safety concern.

Invitations to Bid 
State Forest Maps 

Other Resources

Massacoe Block Timber Harvest July 2020

Why We Manage Connecticut State Forests

State Forest Firewood Program

Bidders Manual for the Sale of Forest Products from State-Owned Lands

Sustainable Yield on Timberland Managed by the Division of Forestry 

Bird Checklist for Naugatuck State Forest 

Content last updated April 9, 2021