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Amy Sheldon Watershed Coordinator February 3, 2004.

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Presentation on theme: "Amy Sheldon Watershed Coordinator February 3, 2004."— Presentation transcript:

1 Amy Sheldon Watershed Coordinator February 3, 2004


3 454,000 acres (710 sq. miles) 56 mile main stem Over 100 miles with tributaries 21 towns 40,000 residents The Watershed

4 Why the White River? Largest un-dammed tributary to the Connecticut River; Longest free flowing river in Vermont; Atlantic salmon restoration river; Significant recreational resource for residents and tourists -- one of the longest uninterrupted boating runs in New England.

5 1996 Public Forums 11,000 mailings Six listening forums Over 150 participants Resulted in seven priority areas

6 Seven Priority Areas 1.Water quality 2.Riparian habitat 3.Streambank erosion 4.Public awareness of problems 5.Public access to the river 6.Point source and non-point source pollution 7.Maintaining a working landscape (agricultural and forest)

7 Our Mission Our mission is to help local communities balance the long-term cultural, economic and environmental health of the White River Watershed through active citizen participation.

8 1999 Clean Water Action Plan (CWAP)

9 2000 U.S. Forest Service Community- Based Watershed Restoration Grant One of 15 watersheds chosen nationally 1.2 million dollars over 5 years Building a long term presence

10 The Partnership Today Decentralized Consensus based Focus on lasting change


12 Our Work Program 1.Watershed wide assessment; 2.River restoration; 3.Economic sustainability; 4.Outreach and Education; 5.Stewardship.

13 State of the Partnership Six functioning stream teams; Active 11 member board; 300 volunteers planting trees in the spring; 30 volunteers collecting weekly water quality samples; Two full time staff, 1 Summer water quality intern, 2 Assessment Consultants (summer & computer);

14 State of the Partnership Two partner staff dedicated to restoration projects in the watershed; Six partner staff assisting with restoration projects in the watershed; Riparian tree planting program with the conservation district; Upper River Pilot Project; Forestry Work Group.

15 USFS Support Total Support = $951,000

16 Accomplishments Assessment Phase I completed on over 700 reaches – currently being updated to final version; Phase II field assessment done for 240 reaches.

17 Accomplishments Restoration Continue to take on new restoration challenges that engage our partners AND benefit the watershed; 3.5 miles of streambank stabilized and in-stream habitat restored; 800 volunteers have planted 7,000 trees in 4 miles of riparian area.

18 Accomplishments Economic development UVM Forestry research; AMP research with County Forester; Increased local capacity among contractors; Created promotional watershed map.

19 Accomplishments Outreach & Education Topnotch newsletter that people read! User friendly, inexpensive web page that we maintain and update regularly; Developing six sub- watershed signs; Development of six watershed “quests.”

20 Accomplishments Stewardship 240 contributing members; Attracting outside funding; Continue to engage new partners; Volunteer commitment remains high.

21 Frustrations & Barriers Achieving balance between community involvement/process & getting things done (restoration projects, riparian planting programs etc.); Increasing project capacity when outside partners have statewide commitments; Consistently working on the edge of local and perhaps national experience (first to use the State’s assessment protocol, first to complete different types of geomorphic based restoration projects);

22 Frustrations & Barriers Disconnect between how we do restoration projects (natural channel design) and “conventional wisdom” of gravel extraction and hard armoring; Volunteer leadership skills; Volunteer time – re: community collaborative challenge – getting small business owners to make time for a shared vision when they are working hard on their own businesses.

23 For more information:

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