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Photo Courtesy of the Vermont Land Trust The Berlin Pond Watershed Conservation Project.

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Presentation on theme: "Photo Courtesy of the Vermont Land Trust The Berlin Pond Watershed Conservation Project."— Presentation transcript:

1 Photo Courtesy of the Vermont Land Trust The Berlin Pond Watershed Conservation Project

2 Presentation to The Montpelier City Council by the Montpelier Conservation Commission March 23, 2005

3 Watershed: An area of land in which all of the rain that falls in that area flows to a common destination. An area of land in which all of the rain that falls in that area flows to a common destination.

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5 Berlin Pond Facts Surface area of pond: 286 acres Surface area of pond: 286 acres Area of watershed: 6,661 acres (10.4 square miles) Area of watershed: 6,661 acres (10.4 square miles) Gallons of water impounded: 1.5 billion Gallons of water impounded: 1.5 billion Number of residences served by Berlin Pond: Over 2,300 Number of residences served by Berlin Pond: Over 2,300 Number of commercial businesses served by Berlin Pond: 250 Number of commercial businesses served by Berlin Pond: 250 Daily water usage: 1.3 million gallons Daily water usage: 1.3 million gallons

6 History of Berlin Pond 1884 – Montpelier begins using Berlin Pond for water supply & makes first land purchases – Montpelier begins using Berlin Pond for water supply & makes first land purchases – State Board of Health creates regulations to protect water quality – State Board of Health creates regulations to protect water quality – Last parcel of land acquired by the City 1953 – Last parcel of land acquired by the City 2000 –$11.5 million water treatment plant begins operation –$11.5 million water treatment plant begins operation Source Protection Plan for Berlin Pond written Source Protection Plan for Berlin Pond written – Water Conservation Study and Plan written – Water Conservation Study and Plan written – Heindel and Noyes Water Supply Evaluation 2004 – Heindel and Noyes Water Supply Evaluation

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8 Impact of Further Development on Berlin Pond Sediment Sediment Petroleum products Petroleum products Salt Salt Bacteria Bacteria Toxic chemical runoff and spills Toxic chemical runoff and spills Nutrients Nutrients

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10 Other Potential Municipal Water Supplies Town of Berlin 2003 study considered the Dog & Winooski Rivers, Stevens Branch, & groundwater sources Town of Berlin 2003 study considered the Dog & Winooski Rivers, Stevens Branch, & groundwater sources All were eliminated for reasons such as: All were eliminated for reasons such as:  Not economically feasable  Difficult or impossible source protection  Known hazardous sites Berlin Pond watershed also has potential for high capacity bedrock wells Berlin Pond watershed also has potential for high capacity bedrock wells

11 Options for Watershed Protection Regulation of activities in the watershed Regulation of activities in the watershed Land acquisition Land acquisition Conservation easements Conservation easements

12 Regulation of Activities State Board of Health prohibits swimming, boating & fishing State Board of Health prohibits swimming, boating & fishing Source Protection Plan regulates some activities on private land. Source Protection Plan regulates some activities on private land. Regulations have a history of being unpopular when applied to private land by one community to landowners in another. Regulations have a history of being unpopular when applied to private land by one community to landowners in another. Regulations are subject to change by political bodies, and therefore do not provide permanent protection. Regulations are subject to change by political bodies, and therefore do not provide permanent protection. Practically, regulations of individual landowner activity are difficult to enforce. Practically, regulations of individual landowner activity are difficult to enforce.

13 Land Acquisition Table 3. Surface Water Source Protection through Land Acquisition City or TownWater SupplySize of watershed (acres) Land publicly owned (acres) % of watershed land publicly owned Barre CityDix Reservoir11,0001,20011 BenningtonBolles Brook BrattleboroSunset Lake BrattleboroPleasant Valley Reservoir MontpelierBerlin Pond RutlandRutland City Reservoir (Mendon Brook) 12, St AlbansSt. Albans Reservoir1, St. JohnsburyStiles Pond

14 Conservation Easements A conservation easement is a land deed that transfers some ownership interests from a property owner to another party, typically a land trust. A conservation easement is a land deed that transfers some ownership interests from a property owner to another party, typically a land trust. A conservation easement prohibits or carefully limits future development while allowing for farming, forestry, recreation, educational and other compatible uses to continue. A conservation easement prohibits or carefully limits future development while allowing for farming, forestry, recreation, educational and other compatible uses to continue. Land protected by a conservation easement remains in private ownership and can be purchased and sold just like other lands. Land protected by a conservation easement remains in private ownership and can be purchased and sold just like other lands. However, the easement remains binding for all future owners. However, the easement remains binding for all future owners.

15 Land Ownership in Berlin Pond Watershed LandownerAcres% of Watershed Private Ownership City of Montpelier Town of Berlin4917 State of Vermont (Boyer State Forest) 561

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17 Berlin Pond Watershed Conservation Project Montpelier & Berlin have signed resolutions supporting conservation in Berlin Pond watershed. Montpelier & Berlin have signed resolutions supporting conservation in Berlin Pond watershed. Conservation Partners: Conservation Partners: – Vermont Land Trust – Vermont River Conservancy – Berlin Conservation Commission – Friends of Irish Hill – Capital Area Land Trust – Central Vermont Audubon – Trust for Public Land

18 Permanently Conserving Municipal Land City has the authority to convey a conservation easement to a third party. City has the authority to convey a conservation easement to a third party. The manner in which the City acquired its properties does not preclude the City from restricting its use through an easement. The manner in which the City acquired its properties does not preclude the City from restricting its use through an easement. Water fund monies were used to acquire the land. Water fund monies were used to acquire the land.

19 Permanently Conserving Municipal Land City retains the right to manage its land for water supply purposes. City retains the right to manage its land for water supply purposes. City will receive public benefit of equal or greater value than the value of the rights conveyed. City will receive public benefit of equal or greater value than the value of the rights conveyed.

20 Recommendations for Protection of Berlin Pond The City of Montpelier agrees to partner with the Vermont Land Trust and its conservation partners with the common goal of conserving land in the watershed. The City of Montpelier agrees to partner with the Vermont Land Trust and its conservation partners with the common goal of conserving land in the watershed. The goal of the conservation partners is to conserve an amount of land, to be determined in consultation with the City, to further protect the water supply and the watershed’s ecological resources. The goal of the conservation partners is to conserve an amount of land, to be determined in consultation with the City, to further protect the water supply and the watershed’s ecological resources. The City of Montpelier agrees to convey a conservation easement to the Vermont Land Trust on City-owned land in the watershed when the goal above is met. The City of Montpelier agrees to convey a conservation easement to the Vermont Land Trust on City-owned land in the watershed when the goal above is met.

21 Recommendation for Protection of Berlin Pond The Montpelier City Council, in cooperation with the conservation partners, will establish a steering committee, called the Berlin Pond Steering Committee, to manage this effort. The Montpelier City Council, in cooperation with the conservation partners, will establish a steering committee, called the Berlin Pond Steering Committee, to manage this effort. The agreement will be in effect for 10 years, or until the conservation goal is met. The agreement will be in effect for 10 years, or until the conservation goal is met.

22 Photo Courtesy of the Vermont Land Trust The Berlin Pond Watershed Conservation Project


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