-- from an email around 2002....

Thank you for at least an open mind with the story you wrote about alcohol ban in Connecticut. I could write a book on the matter but it does not fit into an email.

#1 I will say it is those that head the DEP are chronic and total liars. Proof would be to review their statements and the facts they come out with. The biggest irk I get is I never liked liars...and especially the ones that seem born to lie as if its normal. (I assume if your parents lie it might come normal?)

It must have been 15 years ago there was a mini-riot in Black Rock State Park on a hot July 4th I believe it was. If you ever saw the place you almost can't blame the people....a campground in the sun and no shade? In my opinion I would guess any disturbance was probably sparked by the DEP as they would deliberately go around provoking people to get MAD.

Ah..the years went by and no more big problems at Black Rock and from what I heard was drinking was ok as long as you 'minded your own business'....

A couple of years ago they started the policy in Housatonic Meadows and Macedonia Brook. I camped these places since the 1950's as a kid. Up till the ban I never observed any problem except the DEP manager/ranger for these two parks was an alcohol hater. [[ to say it moderate !!!! He despised alcohol. I'd observe him just handling a litter beer can...as if looking at it or smelling it would cause his brain to explode..can't think of right words but... ]]

I heard all the stories. Rowdies were fleeing Massachusetts and creating problems here. To see a Massachusetts license plate was as rare as could be so? (ask to see DEP camping records?) Then they burnt out that story and came out with numerous more.

Some observations;;; There has been no problem any different than there might be 50 years ago. There are sometimes a very few unruly people who get drunk and ruin others fun and the laws are already on the books to deal with that.

I've heard campers love the new regs. THERE IS NO INPUT WELCOME NOR ANY DESIRED NOR ANYBODY HAS EVER BEEN ASKED !!!! Considering 90%++ campers enjoy some form of alcohol why would they love it so much? Since the ban at the above two parks the camping area has been VACANT the last 3 years (still vacant 2007) !!!!!! It used to be 100% weekends and lesser during weeks. View it !!! Its empty !!!!

As to Sherwood Island and Squantz Pond is anything different than 50 years ago? I don't know but was there some big episode last summer? I personally talked to Sherwood Island park ranger when they started this ban up at other 2 parks and he was against it and definite thought it was bad policy and noted they have few problems there. 'The rules say 'no alcohol on the beach' but we don't actively enforce it.' (this was created to keep glass out of peoples feet and not to protect peoples livers)

Up at Housatonic Meadows and Macedonia Brook the alcohol ban came with strict enforcement. Stripping cars...stripping camp-sites..use of infared for night viewing of campers. You might have one person sipping a beer at 3am in morning by their own campsite and the DEP was there with arrests and $60 fines (amount 2007 ??). I guess it was all revenue considering 90% + campers are known to drink. (no--I never got it..I left and camped in New York and Massachusetts)

Yes..many if not most states have a no-alcohol policy in state campgrounds. THEY DON'T ENFORCE IT !!!!!!!!! They only use the law if they need to. (its probably easier busting somebody with alcohol than trying to PROVE they were unruly)

Now it's a whole different story as to DAY USE state parks and ones with CAMPING. I don't go to a day use area with the idea of a great drinking experience. In addition people will continue to drink at day use places and get away with it. At Sherwood Island they going to go up and down the beach stripping peoples ice chests?

As to CAMPING--------------------------- you go camping and you make the place your HOME...maybe a couple days..maybe 3 weeks. ----AND HAVE SOMEBODY TELLING YOU YOU CAN'T DRINK A COLD BEER ON A HOT JULY DAY? (rigorously enforced) Furthermore its chronic camping habit to sip a few beers over a campfire in the middle of the night..(or maybe you need the drug trying to live out 4 straight days of rain and mud and insects and ?)

I could ramble on..just observe the DEP and you will come up with just a big pack of lies. I even thought I lived in a free country where prohibition was done away with. This is not drinking and driving and being a danger...this is no-alcohol in 'your home'.....

You don't know the real reason for the ban? With few people/campers left there's no work to do !!!!! No occasional 'drunk rowdy'...no people left to assist with problems. This may sound like I'm insane but that is the reason !!!! If you worked for the DEP would it make your life less work ? (and input revenue?)

This BAN is wonderful in the eyes of the AA and MADD crowd. If your a non-drinker is it not a plus? I thought this was a democratic country. If there were a vote what would be the result? There is no vote..no input is welcome...and the DEP has been all lies since they started this a few years back.

An oddity..some dep employees live on lands of the park. Can they drink in their home if desired? Why? ooooooooo--the ban started out with 'camping areas only'......now its day use also. Wonder why? Last year they were doing 'strip searches' of hikers of Appalachian Trail at one of the 'parking areas'. Half the lot was within the state park and half not. What a comedy !!!!

O-another ps..Connecticut DEP is run as a military type operation. It is not consumer friendly. You make no personal opinions. You just LISTEN !!! YES SIR !!!!!!

[[[ Age 57 in May...camped Connecticut Parks since the 50's as a kid with my parents. You will find all of above is true. I will simply say I make errors also!!!! ....if I have something wrong in above let me know !!! ]]]