The Bennington County Conservation District (BCCD), Trout Unlimited (TU) and the Battenkill Watershed Association have been working over the past several months to create a community-wide outreach effort around river stewardship. Focused on the Battenkill and its tributaries, this effort seeks to raise landowner awareness of best management practices and practical ways to improve river health. These efforts, which build on TU’s Home Rivers Initiative, are supported by a Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation Tactical Basin Planning Grant, a Vermont Fish and Wildlife Watershed Grant, and the US Forest Service.
Outreach efforts will consist of an introductory postcard mailed to riverfront owners. Those interested in learning more will speak with TU or BCCD staff, who will provide technical assistance and discuss onsite management and implementation options (as COVID restrictions allow). They also anticipate creating a virtual public forum this winter to expand the conversation to a broader audience and provide additional educational opportunities.
As they begin this effort, they are excited to develop greater community awareness of the benefits of, and practical steps necessary for river stewardship. With success, they may expand this outreach to other southern Vermont watersheds.
For more information on this initiative, contact the Bennington County Conservation District.