Natural Resources Planning

Natural Resources Planning


GMCG is pleased to be a part of Ossipee Watershed Natural Resources Planning.   Promoting well thought-out land use plans for future town growth across town boundaries while protecting the region’s clean water and natural resources resonates with GMCG’s mission.

NRP Pics 11-6-14 01On Nov. 6, 2014, GMCG hosted an introductory and refresher workshop on the Natural Resource Planning Guide (NRPG) for local municipal officials, planning board and conservation commission members, local stakeholders and interested residents.   A copy of the NRPG drafted by regional professionals under the guidance of GMCG has been presented to each town in the watershed as a reference to be used during the Master Planning and regulations development process.  Read more about the development of the NRPG below.

Steve Whitman of Resilience Planning and Design led the workshop.  The objective was to re-energize the community and provide cross-town participants who share natural resources in the Ossipee Watershed (Ossipee, Tamworth, Madison, Eaton, Effingham, Sandwich, Freedom) and surrounding communities the chance to network with each other, find out what projects are being worked on, listen to challenges, and to get a new infusion of how to think about guiding town growth while protecting the watershed’s shared natural resources for our future.  A matrix of the status of town regulations was distributed for towns to review and update.

As an outcome of the workshop, GMCG was encouraged to plan and facilitate future cross town discussions on such topics as “properly functioning and situated septic” for waterfront properties”, town protections for large water “extraction” and shared “energy” infrastructure.  The NOTES for this meeting can be found here.NRP Pics 11-6-14 02

Background – Ossipee Watershed Coalition

 The Ossipee Watershed Coalition is a partnership of municipal officials, community and business leaders, and other concerned citizens. Its mission is to sustain and protect our shared resources through cooperative natural resource-based planning.

Population Growth Rates 1990-2000: NH’s population is growing rapidly, with the population of Carroll County predicted to increase 50% by 2020.Ossipee Watershed Coalition Towns are considering water resources, open space, wildlife habitat, agricultural land, forests, viewscapes, wetlands, sustainable economies and many other factors to try and balance development and natural resource protection.Community members and town officials from Madison work on visioning for the future of their town using resource maps and strategic planning.

What does the Coalition do?
Since 2004, GMCG and the Ossipee Watershed Coalition have hosted numerous workshops on natural resource based planning. GMCG hired Environmental Planner Steve Whitman of Jeffrey H. Taylor & Associates of Concord with funding from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services and the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation to engage local residents, municipal officials and state and non-profit organizations in watershed-wide natural resource based planning. The Coalition has been promoting the concept of planning for our shared growth while still protecting our natural resources.

In 2006, GMCG and the Ossipee Watershed Coalition (OWC), working in partnership with over 35 volunteers from many different state and local agencies, published the Ossipee Watershed Natural Resource Based Planning Guide.  This Guide provides information on natural resources, area maps, template ordinances and information about balancing development with protection of the Ossipee Watershed’s natural resources. Rural Planning needs to be an active process and new chapters in this Guide need to be added overtime as new information becomes available. If you would like to read or download this Guide you may do so at:  Ossipee Watershed Natural Resource Guide

In 2008, GMCG also produced the Ossipee Watershed Municipal Ordinance Book which we gave to town planning boards. Each town’s natural resource ordinance is included in the guide as well as a matrix describing what towns have in terms of natural resource ordinance.  The Ordinance Book encourages watershed towns to review each other’s ordinances and see ways to improve their own.  Through the creation of this Book, a watershed ordinance matrix was created, which indicates the status of natural resource ordinances across the watershed.  This matrix is used to provide town officials and citizens with a method to review the status of these ordinances and see where potential upgrades may be needed.

In 2010 the OWC was actively involved in a new project in partnership with Lakes Region Planning Commission (LRPC), to help watershed towns update or develop aquifer protection ordinances. OWC members worked with an LRPC planner to help ease the burden on planning boards to develop these ordinances along with use of existing model ordinances.  Four of the six towns passed upgrades and/or new ordinances in response to this effort in 2011.

If anyone would like to help out or get their planning board more involved, please call the GMCG office at 603-539-1859

If towns would like to pursue additional projects with help from natural resource planners, they can also contract:
Steve Whitman at Resilience Planning and Design, 603 381 1798.

Lakes Region Planning Commission, 103 Main St., Suite #3, Meredith, NH 03253. (603) 279-8171



Quick Links:
Ossipee Watershed Natural Resource Guide

Town Links to Zoning Regulations: Eaton, Effingham, Freedom, Madison, Ossipee, Sandwich, Tamworth

Power Point Presentation:  Enacting Zoning Ordinances 

Power Point Presentation:  Aquifer Protection   

Ossipee Watershed Matrix  

Ossipee Watershed Matrix Data

Groundwater Information

Dark Skies Resources 

Sustainable Communities Presentation June, 2007

GPS & PCS Inventory Presentation January 31, 2008

GPS and SWP Presentation