The Poultney Mettowee Natural Resources Conservation District has been involved in soil and water conservation projects since Districts were created during the Dust Bowl Era. At our most elemental, we focus on practices that protect water and soil and foster healthy local communities. Our project focus currently involves
agriculture, forestry, and stormwater improvement projects. We also participate in research and monitoring efforts in our watersheds, and conduct outreach and education over a broad spectrum of conservation issues.
Created in 1940, the Poultney Mettowee Natural Resource Conservation District (PMNRCD), and was the first of fourteen Conservation Districts located in Vermont. The Conservation Districts were created by the Federal Government in response to the soil loss catastrophes of the dust bowl era. PMNRCD is a political subdivision of the State of Vermont, and is governed by a supervisory board made up of volunteers that live, and are elected by residents, in the District.
The District belongs to an umbrella group the Vermont Association of Conservation Districts that helps to provide support and unify the services provided by Conservation Districts across the state.
The mission of the Poultney Mettowee Natural Resources Conservation District (PMNRCD) is to provide educational outreach, technical assistance, and financial support to communities and landowners to protect healthy soil and clean water and preserve the ecological integrity and economic vitality of communities. The District brings together the efforts of citizens and organizations that share the common goals of conserving, protecting, and enhancing the natural and cultural resources of the watershed.
PMNRCD is located in Rutland County, within the watersheds of the Poultney and Mettowee Rivers. In their entirety, the Poultney and Mettowee Watersheds encompass 309,000 acres and 17 Vermont and New York towns and make up the majority of the South Lake watershed. PMNRCD works closely with our New York counterpart, the Washington County Soil and Water Conservation District on bi-state water quality issues.
Since recent modeling efforts predict that the receiving waters in the South Lake will not meet phosphorus standards under current land management proposals, the District has focused its efforts on implementing phosphorus-mitigating and/or attenuating projects and is using water quality data to drive project selection.
SPOTLIGHT – District News and Events
PMNRCD Receives State Funds to Coordinate Local Conservation Actions
The Poultney Mettowee Natural Resources Conservation District along with other regional partners including the Rutland Regional Planning Commission and the Rutland Natural Resources Conservation District received funds to assist the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) with Tactical Basin Planning (TBP) in the South Lake Watershed. The Tactical (relating to or constituting actions carefully planned to gain a specific end) Basin Plan is used to guide project selection and implementation in the Poultney and Mettowee Watersheds, the major rivers feeding to South Lake Champlain. The District uses these funds to collaborate with local partners and support local groups, such as the Lake St Catherine Association (LSCA), which has received funding to facilitate water quality related assessments on 60 shoreline properties and counting.
Tactical Basin Planning guides local decision making related to clean water project selection and implementation. Local conservation partners use the information and analysis in the Plan to guide programs to address local water quality issues. The South Lake Plan is currently being renewed and DEC’s Basin Planner, Angie Allen, will provide opportunities for the public to be involved in the planning process, which is locally-led and ideally many stakeholders will participate.
In addition, to an updated plan on the horizon, the Vermont DEC has introduced a new clean water fund dispersal structure related to phosphorus pollution in Lake Champlain, which relates funding directly to the amount and cost of phosphorus reduction each project will achieve. The district looks forward to integrating local water quality planning efforts with this new Clean Water Service Provider (CWSP) structure. Ideally, the CWSPs will create a mechanism for amplifying the recommendations from our local Basin Plans and unifying stormwater project goals in local watersheds.
South Lake has been identified as a ‘Gap’ watershed, one that will not meet water quality standards under any of the proposed land management or best practices scenarios in the State’s proposed Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Implementation Plan (November, 2014).
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