Connecticut Seal

Substitute Senate Bill No. 1015

Public Act No. 13-231

AN ACT CONCERNING THE NEW ENGLAND NATIONAL SCENIC TRAIL AND ESTABLISHING A CONNECTICUT ANTIQUES TRAIL.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective from passage) (a) It is declared to be the policy of the state of Connecticut that the Connecticut portion of the New England National Scenic Trail be preserved in its natural character as proposed by Public Law 111-11, March 30, 2009.

(b) The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is hereby authorized by purchase, gift or otherwise to acquire such land, including, but not limited to, rights-of-way and easements for the purpose of protecting or enhancing scenic beauty, as may be deemed necessary to establish, protect and maintain the portion of the New England National Scenic Trail between Long Island Sound and the Massachusetts state line after considering the recommendations of the Metacomet Monadnock Mattabesett Trail System National Scenic Trail Feasibility Study and Environmental Assessment prepared by the National Park Service, dated Spring 2006.

(c) Any department or agency of the state or of any political subdivision may transfer to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection lands or rights in land for such purposes on such terms and conditions as may be agreed upon, or may enter into an agreement with the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection providing for the establishment and protection of said trail.

(d) As ordered in Public Law 111-11, the New England National Scenic Trail shall be held, developed and administered primarily as a footpath after consideration of the actions outlined in the Trail Management Blueprint as the framework for the management and administration of said trail; provided other uses of the trail and lands acquired hereunder may be permitted, by the owner of adjoining lands or other, in such manner and in such seasons as will not substantially interfere with the primary use of the trail. Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the right of the public to pass over existing public roads which are or may become part of the trail, nor prevent the department from performing such work as is necessary for the purpose of forest fire protection, insect, pest and disease control.

(e) As stated in Public Law 111-11, the commissioner may enter into cooperative agreements with agencies of the federal government or with private organizations to provide for the maintenance of the trail.

(f) No person who has granted a right-of-way for said trail across his or her land, or his or her successor in title, shall be liable to any user of the trail for injuries suffered on said right-of-way unless the injuries are caused by his or her wilful or wanton misconduct as described in sections 52-557f to 52-557i, inclusive, of the general statutes.

(g) The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is hereby authorized to use any department funds which may become available to carry out the provisions of this section. Any available funds from the United States Land and Water Conservation Fund or other federal assistance programs may also be used to accomplish this purpose.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2013) The Department of Economic and Community Development shall, within available appropriations, establish a Connecticut antiques trail to identify and market sites in the state where antiques are sold. The department shall develop criteria to identify (1) major antique dealers, (2) communities that feature a high concentration of antique dealers, and (3) auction houses that have annual sales in excess of one million dollars for inclusion in the antiques trail. The department shall develop a program to promote the antiques trail, including, but not limited to, (A) directional and other signs and notices pertaining to the sites identified by the department, and (B) an Internet web site for the antiques trail.

Approved June 24, 2013