Strategic Plan

Green Mountain Conservation Group
Strategic Plan 2009-2012


INTRODUCTION
GMCG is a regional conservation organization founded in 1997. Its geographic scope is primarily the “Ossipee Watershed” – defined as the southern portion of the Saco Watershed in New Hampshire, including the Ossipee and Bearcamp Rivers, Ossipee Lake, Silver Lake, and Lake Chocorua, other surface water, and the large stratified drift aquifer that underlies much of this region and across the border into Maine. Six towns have a majority of their land in this watershed: Effingham, Freedom, Madison, Ossipee, Sandwich and Tamworth. Fourteen other New Hampshire towns have a smaller fraction of their land in this watershed as well as towns across the border in Maine.

GMCG’s primary natural resource focus is water. Natural resources such as water, forests, soils, wildlife, and air quality are interconnected and are connected with human activities, including land uses, individual and commercial activities, and recreation. GMCG advocates for the wise use of land in a way that will not violate the integrity of the natural resource.

GMCG seeks to extend its effectiveness and avoid unproductive duplication of effort through cooperative relationships with environmental and governmental organizations within the watershed, elsewhere in New Hampshire and Maine, and beyond. Although our focus is primarily on water resource issues, we cooperate with organizations that address other natural resource concerns.

All residents and visitors to the region are potential members and participants in GMCG’s programs. Some of GMCG’s activities are directed toward specific segments of the public.

  • Municipal officials, including conservation commissioners, planning board members, and select board members because they have broad impact on local planning , policy making, and decision making.
  • Landowners, and especially the owners of large and/or environmentally sensitive parcels, because their decisions about how to use their land may have long-term implications that extend beyond their property boundaries.
  • Business owners because wise choices are economically and environmentally beneficial.
  • Recreational users because of the important link between human actions and their impact on the natural environment.
  • School children because the insights and understandings they gain have long-term benefits and because they may provide a way to reach other members of their families.

VISION
The Green Mountain Conservation Group envisions an Ossipee Watershed characterized by clean water and land use decisions that protect shared natural resources for future generation.

MISSION of GMCG
The Green Mountain Conservation Group promotes an awareness of and appreciation for clean water and the wise use of shared natural resources across the Ossipee Watershed and fosters a commitment to protect them.

VALUES and GUIDING PRINCIPLES
GMCG’s core values direct the actions of the organization, its board, staff and volunteers. GMCG is committed to these values and principals, and they will guide our actions as we pursue our vision, mission and objectives.

1. Respect: We will show respect to our environment, traditional land uses, unique rural culture, staff, board members, volunteers and stakeholders in all aspects of daily actions.

2. Trust: We will work with honesty and integrity in our daily actions to ensure that stakeholders, volunteers, board members and staff can rely on our work.

3. Communication: We will strive to listen and to communicate effectively with partners, stakeholders, board, staff and volunteers.

4. Non-confrontational: We recognize there is a diversity of opinion and perspective about how to resolve the needs of our environment and its stakeholders, and we pledge to work with humility and understanding while pursuing our vision, mission and objectives.

KEY METHODS
To accomplish its mission and goals, GMCG applies the following methods: Research, Education, Advocacy and Land Conservation (REAL). These methods are defined as follows:

Research
To gather data and scientific information in order to provide Ossipee Watershed stakeholders with information to make appropriate natural resource decisions based on sound science.

Education
To provide the public and individual stakeholders with educational opportunities about the natural resources of the Ossipee Watershed, including their value and sensitivity, through workshops, educational programs, scientific data and research.

Advocacy
To present objective information about the Ossipee Watershed in a non-confrontational way with the belief that informed citizens will make good judgments about our unique natural resources and take appropriate actions to sustain them. In cases where particular land use change may pose a negative impact to natural resources, GMCG will advocate for that which best protects the natural resources.

Land Conservation
To support natural resource protection through land and conservation easement acquisition and other appropriate methods when it promotes the protection of water resources, agriculture, forestry and wildlife habitat.

PRIMARY GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
Goal #1:
GMCG is a leader in ensuring that the quality of the water and other shared natural resources of the Ossipee Watershed are protected and sustained for current and future generations to enjoy.

Objectives:
1. The quality of surface and ground water in the Ossipee watershed is known by all stakeholders.

2. GMCG is viewed as the repository for Ossipee Watershed water quality data, whose veracity is assured through an effective quality program.

 3. Appropriate regulatory measures are in place at the town or regional level to protect our water and other shared natural resources.

4. GMCG expands and uses its network of federal, state and local resources to identify, document, and address emerging water quality and quantity issues and other natural resource concerns in a timely manner.

5. GMCG is successful in the selection and management of land and easement acquisitions that have high value to the protection of water, forests, wildlife habitat, views, agricultural and recreation within the Ossipee Watershed.

6. GMCG develops programming for priority issues by identifying key stakeholders, developing scientific knowledge and best management practices, sponsoring educational programs, reporting the status of the Ossipee Watershed’s natural resources, and fostering a commitment to address issues through advocacy and education.

7. GMCG will review its programs to have sufficient quality, thoroughness, participation levels, and synergies to achieve the desired outcomes. GMCG staff, with Board assistance, will review program concepts carefully and choose programs wisely so as to maintain strategic focus. Programming levels will stay within the capacities of staff, volunteers, and financial resources.

Goal #2: GMCG is a leader in natural resource conservation and protection in the Ossipee Watershed through coalition building and stakeholder partnerships.

Objectives:
1. Identify and engage stakeholders.

2. Facilitate coalition building among stakeholders, municipal officials and citizens.

3. Achieve stakeholder commitment to the value of protecting Ossipee Watershed’s natural resources.

4. Solicit periodic feed back on GMCG’s priorities, needs and successes.

Goal #3: GMCG is a financially stable and sustainable organization that works effectively with its partners, stakeholders, funders and members.

Objectives:
1. GMCG has a vision, mission, goals and objectives that are clearly stated and gives appropriate understanding and direction for its activities.

2. GMCG will broaden its donor base at all financial levels and move to a higher level of unrestricted contributions for general operating expenses.

3. The board, staff and volunteers are guided by clear policies, procedures and infrastructure that ensure the technical, financial and legal sustainability of the organization.

4. GMCG will hire, retain and train qualified staff in concert with the growing needs of the organization and its stakeholders.

5. GMCG retains flexibility in its programming in order to respond to changes in the economy.

6. GMCG works with board and volunteer committees to build membership and develop fund raising opportunities in response to specific projects and in support of its general administration.

7. GMCG will grow and manage a volunteer program that matches the skills of its volunteers with the needs of active projects.

8. GMCG’s strategic plan, goals and objectives are consistent and in concert with the budget planning and allocation process.