Watershed Plan Kick Off Meeting Recap

On January 20, 2016 more than 50 individuals gathered to celebrate the Squam Watershed and embark upon the current update of the Squam Watershed Plan. After a brief social networking period (with food generously donated by the Squam Lake Inn), and a brief presentation about the Squam Watershed (where we also shared letters of support from Governor Maggie Hassan and Senator Jeanne Shaheen) and the planning, participants divided into small groups to discuss the following topics:

  • How do we enhance the public’s understanding of the Squam Watershed Project and how can we encourage people to be involved?
  • What are your thoughts about a new Squam Watershed Plan? What do we need to address? 
  • What do you think are the issues and priorities around the economy, environment, and culture of the Squam Watershed? (This question analyzed a draft hierarchy for the watershed plan; click here to view)

Transcribed notes from all three discussion tables

Notes from table discussions organized into headings and topics

At the end of the meeting, the entire group came back together to summarize the break out sessions. The summary notes are below: 

  • Summary comments after breakout sessions:
    • Concerns about both overuse and underuse of resources
  • Underuse in off-season makes it difficult to sustain businesses
  • Communication is important
    • Messaging
    • Communicate with both shoreline and upland property owners & residents
  • Outreach
    • Timing
    • Depth
  • Building low impact advocacy
    • Need advocates for low impact use
    • Is about identity, values, belonging, not damaging
  • Water belongs to State of NH (lakes belong to state), but it is MY lake
  • Think about the uplands
    • Watershed plan has to include entire watershed
  • Need town officials involved, need them to buy into the process & plan
  • Use local talent
    • Food & forest & people all fit together

Next Steps

The Watershed Wellness Committee, a group of committed individuals that will meet regularly to develop the Watershed Plan, will begin meetings at the end of February.

The next public meeting will likely be held in May.


Squam Watershed Plan update webpage

Squam Watershed planning resources

Letter from Governor Maggie Hassan

Letter from Senator Jeanne Shaheen

Please direct questions and comments to the SLA Director of Conservation.