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Rapid Watershed Assessment

Area-Wide Plans

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides conservation planning and technical assistance to clients (individuals, groups, and units of government). These clients develop and implement conservation plans to protect, conserve, and enhance natural resources (soil, water, air, plants, and animals) within their related social and economic interests.

Conservation planning is a natural resource problem-solving and management process. The process integrates ecological (natural resource), economic, and social considerations to meet private and public needs. This approach, which emphasizes identifying desired future conditions, improves natural resource management, minimizes conflict, and addresses problems and opportunities.

The success of conservation planning and implementation depends upon the voluntary participation of clients. The planning process used by NRCS is based on the premise that clients will make and implement sound decisions if they understand their resources, natural resource problems and opportunities, and the effects of their decisions.

Conservation planning helps clients, conservationists, and others view the environment as a living system of which humans are an integral part. It enables clients and planners to analyze and work with complex natural processes in definable and measurable terms.

The NRCS objective in conservation planning is the sound use and management of soil, water, air, plant, and animal resources to prevent their degradation and ensure their sustained use and productivity while also considering related human, social, and economic needs.

Area wide plans


Rapid Watershed Assessments (by 8-digit Hydrologic Unit Sub basin)

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Maine is in the process of developing Rapid Watershed Assessments (RWAs) to provide a natural resource snapshot and overview of some of Maine's 8-Digit Hydrologic Units. The RWAs organize resource information into one document that local conservationists, units of government, and others can use to identify conservation opportunities and direct technical and financial resources to the appropriate sub basins. They provide a concise description of the sub basins' natural resources, resource concerns, conservation needs, and ability to resolve natural resource issues and concerns.  RWAs typically contain the following information:

• Physical resources
• Land use and land cover
• Soil, stream, precipitation data
• Resource concerns
• Census and social data
• Progress/Status of Conservation by Land Use
• Estimated Future Conservation Practice Application and Associated Costs

Most of the data for the RWAs were collected through federal and state datasets. These include the US Geological Survey (USGS), USDA Agricultural Census data, 2004 Maine Landcover dataset, ME Inland Fish & Wildlife, and Maine Department of Conservation (Maine Natural Areas Program) high value plant and animal habitat datasets.  Local NRCS and partnership employee field staffs assisted in the compilation and verification of the data.

Over the course of several years, NRCS may be completing RWAs for the 8-digit Hydrologic Unit sub basins that are contained within Maine's boundaries.

Select the following links below to view specific resource data for each of the 8-digit Hydrologic Unit sub basins:

The following documents require Adobe Acrobat.

Big Presque Isle Stream-Meduxnekeag River 01010005 (4 MB)

Coastal Drainages East of Small Point 01050003 (3 MB)

Coastal Hancock, Washington, Waldo and Knox Counties 01050002 (3 MB)