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Land Conservation Plan for Maine's Piscataqua Region Watersheds

July 22, 2010 By Zack Steele Filed under Project Tags: conservationctppiscataquaprepwatershed

Mentioned Tin Smith Chris Feurt

The Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership has released its Land Conservation Plan for Maine's Piscataqua Region Watersheds (14MB PDF).

The plan provides a scientific and experienced-based guide for the protection of natural resources vital to thriving communities. It is designed to assist citizens who are involved in sustaining and improving their communities by serving on select boards, planning boards, conservation commissions, economic development boards, schools, or non-profit community organizations such as land trusts, watershed coalitions, conservation groups, and recreation clubs.

The plan describes its focus area this way:

The Piscataqua River/Great Bay estuary is fed by many rivers in New Hampshire, and by the Salmon Falls River, Great Works River, and Spruce Creek watersheds in Maine. Collectively, the land area that contributes water flow to this treasured bi-state estuarine system is referred to as the “Piscataqua Region.” Within Maine, this region includes portions or all of ten Maine communities: Acton, Berwick, Eliot, Kittery, Lebanon, North Berwick, Sanford, South Berwick, Wells, and York.

The conservation plan is meant to address the where, why, and how questions pertaining to effective land and water conservation:

Where are the most critical natural areas to protect?

The plan clearly maps the lands deemed most valuable for the protection of wildlife habitat and protection of water quality. See Conservation Focus Areas.

Why are these areas so important?

The plan provides data on the characteristics of the priority Conservation Focus Areas (size, condition, presence of rare plant/animal species and priority habitat types, etc.) that merit their recognition as conservation hot spots.

How can communities effectively protect these areas?

The plan offers a diverse toolkit of voluntary and regulatory options available to organizations and municipalities interested in protecting these critical natural areas.

The geographic scope of this plan encompasses eighteen southern Maine municipalities. While the initial focus of this effort was on the 10 Maine communities with land area within the Salmon Falls/Piscataqua River drainage basin, adjacent communities with shared Conservation Focus Areas were also included in order to more accurately reflect the size and location of these critical natural areas without being truncated by municipal or watershed boundaries.

Download the conservation plan (14MB PDF)

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