Planning for Squam’s Future Collaboratively: Updating the Squam Watershed Plan
A watershed management plan examines the factors affecting watershed health. It incorporates data on water quality, land use, local economy, and populations, and creates goals to maintain or improve watershed-wide standards. It acts as a guiding document for towns to support watershed and community health across municipal boundaries.
The SLA’s mission is to conserve and protect the Squam Watershed since its inception in 1904. Community collaboration has always been at the core of this effort. Conservation work at the watershed scale requires productive collaboration across all aspects of a community; town governments, state agencies, conservation partners, Universitites, local businesses, and, of course the greater Squam community. All are needed to ensure a healthy watershed into the future. Partnerships strengthen the work, and it is these relationships that we will be working with on an important project in 2016: updating the Squam Watershed Plan.
The current Squam Watershed Plan was completed in 1991 as part of a pilot program for lake watershed management plans. We’ve accomplished a lot in the nearly 25 years that have passed since the first plan was implemented. It is now time to revisit and update the existing plan to better reflect the current conditions of the Squam watershed.
Through our partnership with Plymouth State University, the update of the watershed plan is underway. The Watershed Plan Kick-Off meeting was held on January 20, 2016 at SLA’s Resource Center. During this meeting we celebrated the 25th anniversary of the 1991 Plan, and all that has been accomplished as a result of its creation.
Community participation is critical for a comprehensive, successful Squam Watershed Plan. There will be plenty of opportunity for feedback throughout this process. Participate as we plan for the future of this unique place we all love!