Basin Planning Page
Ethan Swift, Watershed Coordinator with the Vermont ANR Department of Environmental Conservation, began working with the Poultney Mettowee Watershed Partnership in early 2001 to help develop the Poultney-Mettowee basin plan. (Details about basin planning and the process are available on the DEC website). The goal of this planning process is to take advantage of the assessment work being done throughout the Poultney Mettowee watershed and through public input develop a plan that makes management recommendations based on the needs, issues, and concerns of stakeholders in the watershed.
Basin planning is an ongoing process. It is designed to be compatible with the Vermont Water Quality Standards and other applicable state and federal laws. The term "basin" refers to the 17 major river basins, or watersheds, that cover the State of Vermont. The Poultney Mettowee is one of a couple of major river basins that is comprised of more that one major river watershed, in this case the Poultney and Mettowee Rivers, which both drain to a common outlet at the southern end of lake Champlain.
The basin planning process empowers people with information and tools to protect and restore water quality. Depending on community input, the basin plan may give special attention to protecting particularly high quality waters or to restoring impaired surface water resources. It summarizes current and past assessment, planning, and implementation activities. It integrates topics of local importance with topics of state importance and makes management recommendations on these topics.
Ethan Swift and the District held many public meetings and forums, conducted surveys, and did extensive outreach throughout the basin to help gather public opinion about issues affecting the watershed and strategies to address local needs. Help was also provided by the Green Mountain College Watershed Planning class students who visited with local groups, conducted polls, and evaluated meeting notes to help increase public input. Students presented the result of their work at a public meeting after the class ended and their results will be included in the basin plan.
The first public draft of the PM basin plan was made available in June 2004 and can be viewed at http://www.vtwaterquality.org/planning/htm/pl_poultney.htm. The plan has been adopted by the Secretary of ANR, however, the publishing process is on hold as the Vermont Water Resources Board considers major changes in one section of the plan. The Poultney Mettowee District supports the plan as completed, and will continue to emphasize the importance of a grassroots approach to any basin planning effort.
Poultney - Mettowee