Forest Service and NRCS Partner to Improve Drinking Water in NH

Protecting the Headwaters

NRCS and the Forest Service have entered into a multi-year partnership to improve the health and resiliency of forest ecosystems where public and private land meet across the nation through conservation practices and easements.  This partnership will improve drinking water quality for NH communities, as well as increase community support for private and public land conservation and enhance the economy through healthy and productive forests and farms.  NH has the fastest growing population in New England with 3 of the top 4 watersheds in the country projected to experience the most change in water quality as a result of increasing housing density on private forest lands.  NH also ranks second in the country for the percentage of people served by private wells, many of which are experiencing water quality issues related to development, forestry activities, and agriculture.  These issues have worsened due to the increased frequency and intensity of extreme events like Hurricanes Irene and Sandy. 

Focus Area Watersheds: 

(1) Saco River Watershed  (NRCS)

(2) Pemigewasset River Watershed  (NRCS)

(3) Upper Ammonoosuc and Israel River Watersheds (Forest Service)

Eligible Applicants Will Be Landowners With:

· Private land in in the following communities: 
  Conway, Bartlett, Jackson, Campton, Ellsworth, Waterville Valley, Thornton, and Woodstock;

· Private land with natural resource concerns; or

· An interest in conserving land through a conservation easement.

Farm and Forest Water Quality for Landowners

Some Examples of Financial Assistance Priority Conservation Practices:   



· Forest Management Plan CAP

· Tree and Shrub Establishment

· Fish and Wildlife Management Plan CAP

· Conservation Cover

· Riparian Forest Buffer

· Access Control

· Stream Habitat Improvement

· Cover Crop

· Aquatic Organism/Fish Passage

· Early Successional Habitat Management

· Stream Crossing

· Upland Wildlife Habitat Management

· Brush Management

· Fence

· Forest Stand improvement

· Heavy Use Area

· Forest Trails

· Nutrient management

· Critical Area planting

· Waste Storage Facility

Agricultural Conservation Easements:

Farmland and Grasslands
Wetlands with restoration component 

Project Partners

Natural Resources Conservation Service

NH Association of Conservation

Forest Service,
White Mountain National Forest

Granite State Rural Water

New Hampshire Association of
Conservation Districts through
the Carroll and Grafton County
Conservation Districts

Society for the Protection of
NH Forests

US Environmental Protection Agency

The Nature Conservancy

NH Department of Environmental

Trout Unlimited