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DEEP Bans Alcohol at Nepaug State Forest, Satan’s Kingdom Recreation Area

July 29, 2016 Environment, Government No Comments

Submitted Release

Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) has banned the possession and consumption of alcohol at Nepaug State Forest and Satan’s Kingdom Recreation Area, to address public safety issues at these locations.

“I have exercised my authority to declare a ban on alcohol at Nepaug State Forest and Satan’s Kingdom from July 29, 2016 through October 26, 2016 due to numerous incidents of unruly behavior by large groups consuming alcohol – that is not a combination conducive to public safety and enjoyment of our state’s natural resources,” said DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee.  “The ban I have issued means no alcohol at Nepaug State Forest as well as Satan’s Kingdom. Environmental Conservation Police officers from this agency will vigorously patrol the park to enforce this.”

EnCon officers will take an initial approach of outreach and education but have the discretion to issue $75 infraction tickets, officials said.

Satan’s Kingdom is a popular recreation area in New Hartford located on the Farmington River where it is popular for tubing, kayaking and many other recreational outdoor activities.

The use of the area by the public has intensified dramatically in the past few years. Many of the incidents of unruly behavior have been driven by excessive alcohol consumption, resulting in considerable disruption for other forest visitors and their enjoyment of the recreation area. Recent motor vehicle accidents in Nepaug State Forest has led to the decision to close the interior forest roads to motor vehicles until further notice. Non-motorized access is still permitted.

“We want our forests to be peaceful, family-oriented places where adults and children can feel safe,” said Commissioner Klee.  “The vast majority of visitors to our parks enjoy themselves while following the rules and exhibiting good behavior.  Unfortunately, situations do arise – like that at Nepaug State Forest and Satan’s Kingdom– where people engage in behavior that affects the experience of others.”

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