Ecosystem Targets and Supporting Indicators
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According to research from the University of Connecticut’s Center for Land Use Education and Research (CLEAR), forested land in the late 20th and early 21st century declined by 6 percent in New York and Connecticut from 1985 to 2006. In the coastal area, it declined by 9.25 percent. The CLEAR research also indicates that about two-thirds of forested land is fragmented —areas that are compromised by non-forested land.
The loss in the forested area from 1985 to 2006 in Connecticut alone (184.3 square miles) is more than the areas of Greenwich, Stamford, Darien, New Canaan, Norwalk, and Wilton combined.
From the 1600s through the 1800s, forest area decreased as the land was cleared for agriculture, housing, and industry. In the 1900s, many farms were abandoned and the trees grew back. This resulted in a large increase in the amount of forest area for about 100 years.