The MPA continues to work on the framework of the watershed district addressing specific concerns raised by members and in meetings before the Boards of Selectman in the towns of Douglas and Sutton. Specifically, the eminent domain powers, which all municipalities have, have been further narrowed. Also at the request of the Douglas Board, the management committee of the District will be expanded from 3 to 5 members with the town having a voting seat.
I believe the Minnesota Association of Watershed District sums it up well when it states “Because water does not follow political boundaries, it makes sense to manage natural resouces on a watershed basis.” The “land of 10,000 lakes” (really over 11,000), Minnesota’s legislature authorized watershed districts in 1955. Today, the Association of Watershed Districts reports over 46 watershed district in Minnesota. They “are local units of government that work to solve and prevent water-related problems. The boundaries of the disticts follow those of a natural watershed, and the districts are usually named after that watershed… This type of management allows for an overall, holistic approach to resource conservation… Water mamagement on a watershed basis is important for uniform and effective controls, not only to correct problems but to prevent them.”
Massachusetts only boasts 3,000 lakes and a handful of watershed districts, but it has been done here and the MPA wants to position ourselves ready and acting to ensure that Manchaug Pond receives the best protection for the future!