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Batten Kill Watershed and Water Quality Planning Topic of July BCRC Meeting in Sunderland

The July meeting of the BCRC will be held at the Sunderland Town Hall on Thursday, the 21st, and will focus on conservation and water quality issues and projects in the Batten Kill watershed, subjects that also inform river, water quality, and land use planning throughout the region.

The meeting will begin with a light meal and informal networking session. Following a brief public hearing and vote on the updated Bennington Town Plan (contact Jim Sullivan at the BCRC for more information about the plan approval process), our attention will turn to one of the region’s most treasured natural resources, the Batten Kill.

BCRC’s environmental program manager, Jim Henderson, will open the discussion with an overview and history of 25 years of Batten Kill watershed planning. The BCRC has been involved with many Batten Kill projects over the years, involving topics such as recreation management, fish habitat improvement, and flood and fluvial erosion hazard analyses.

There have been a number of important land conservation projects in the watershed and those projects have provided significant water quality benefits as well. Donald Campbell, regional director for the Vermont Land Trust, will talk about those projects and how these conservation efforts can work in other parts of the region as well.

The Batten Kill Watershed Alliance and the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife have worked together and with towns in the watershed to plan and implement water quality and fish habitat improvement projects. Cynthia Browning, BKWA Director, and Ken Cox from Vermont F&W will review the types of projects undertaken and resources that can support such work.

The Green Mountain National Forest is a major landowner in the watershed and has a strong interest in maintaining and improving the quality of the resource. A representative from the Forest Service will be on hand to explain their involvement in watershed projects. The Basin 1 Tactical Plan provides a wealth of information about the river and its watershed and includes a list of priority projects—Ethan Swift will be on hand to discuss that document and process. An open discussion session will conclude the meeting.

The meeting, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 5:30, with the Batten Kill presentations starting at about 6:15. Please pass this information along to anyone who may have an interest!