Conservation of the Squam watershed has been the focus of the SLA since its inception in 1904. In fact, ecological concerns of the health of the lake were the driving force behind the creation of this organization. Susan Baker Keith, editor of A Condensed History of the SLA, paints a very different picture of Squam than to what we are accustomed today:
"There were old boats sunk full of stones... sawdust from the sawmill on White Oak Brook, which settled feet thick on the white sand bottom of Piper’s Cove, driftwood, half-sunken tree-tops, sometimes whole trees drifting in the channels, sewage, old mattresses, broken chairs, house refuse of every conceivable kind, some a menace to health, much else equally menacing to navigation... Later came automobile tires, pieces of damaged machinery and engine oil which fouled all the surface and killed fish as well as water plants, spoiling the swimming and soiling beach and shore line."
Indeed, the Squam of today faces different threats than excessive pollution experienced at the turn of century. The SLA continues to manage an ambitious conservation program that both monitors the health of the watershed and undertakes restoration projects to ensure that Squam is clean and beautiful for generations to come.