Connecticut Governor Cited for Illegally Cutting Down 180 Trees on Protected Land

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont faces backlash for illegally cutting down thousands of trees behind his $7.5M home, angering neighbors and raising concerns about public officials' commitment to environmental conservation.

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Mahnoor Jehangir
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Connecticut Governor Cited for Illegally Cutting Down 180 Trees on Protected Land

Connecticut Governor Cited for Illegally Cutting Down 180 Trees on Protected Land

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont faces backlash for illegally cutting down thousands of trees and bushes behind his $7.5 million home in Greenwich, angering his neighbors who have described the incident as a "chainsaw massacre". According to town documents, Lamont was cited in November for the unauthorized removal of more than 180 trees in a protected wetland area, allegedly to get a better view of a pond from his residence.

Nearby property owners and a land use attorney have criticized Lamont's actions as hypocritical, given his public championing of a statewide effort to plant more conifers. "It was a coordinated destruction of the entire ecosystem in that area," said a local source familiar with the matter. The governor allegedly hired workers to axe beloved sugar maples, beech trees, and pignut hickories without permits on several acres behind his home in early November.

Lamont, his neighbors, and the Ashton Drive Association have all been hit with citations for wetland violations, though it remains unclear if the governor will face any fines. The 70-year-old Democratic governor has claimed that the homeowners association, not him, was cited and that they are working to resolve the issue. However, questions remain about Lamont's involvement and what he knew about the tree removal.

Why this matters: The incident highlights the broader issue of tree loss and wetlands degradation in Connecticut, which experts say is not just from development projects but also from people converting forests to lawns. It also raises concerns about the commitment of public officials to environmental conservation when their actions contradict their stated policies.

The Greenwich wetlands commission has issued a cease-and-correct order, calling for the damaged area to be restored. Locals are now demanding that Lamont replace the illegally chopped trees and shrubs. "The Lamonts, along with their neighbors and the Ashton Drive Association, were all issued citations for wetland violations," confirmed a town official. The matter is set to be discussed at an upcoming public hearing, though no criminal charges have been filed at this time.

Key Takeaways

  • Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont illegally cut down 180+ trees behind his $7.5M home.
  • Lamont's actions were criticized as hypocritical, given his pro-environment public stance.
  • Lamont, his neighbors, and a homeowners association were cited for wetland violations.
  • The damaged area must be restored, and Lamont may be required to replace the trees.
  • The incident highlights the broader issue of tree loss and wetlands degradation in Connecticut.