Presumpscot River Watershed Project
Forests are critically important to the supply of clean drinking water in the Northeastern Area states. The public generally is unaware of threats to their water supplies or the connection between clean water and healthy forests in source watersheds. The future security of water supplies cannot be ensured by focusing on water treatment alone. Protecting and managing forests in source watersheds is an essential strategy for providing clean, safe, affordable drinking water. The “Forests, Water and People Assessment” identified Maine’s Presumpscot River watershed (see map - pdf format) as a priority for forest land conservation based on the percent of unprotected private forest lands within the watershed, its importance to public drinking water supplies, and the forecast high rate of development pressure by 2030. We will demonstrate the value of a coordinated, targeted approach in delivering Cooperative Forestry programs in this watershed. We will leverage existing conservation efforts in the watershed by focusing and coordinating family forest owner, municipal, and watershed protection assistance programs. The project will use existing geospatial analyses to identify and communicate with family forest owners, farmers, municipalities, and land trusts, provide technical and financial assistance to conduct priority stewardship and restoration actions, and deliver educational programs in support of this effort.