Having developed and hosted a successful and engaging public program “Finding a Shared Vision for Eaton Town Lands”, Eaton has moved onto the next step to develop a conservation plan for the town. The group kicked off by hosting a series of Conservation Conversations – bimonthly presentations that focused on water, forest lands, wildlife and other topics of interest throughout the summer and fall.

Eaton presentation

This past year, as a part of the Taking Action for Wildlife Conservation Cohort Training, five Eaton residents (representing the Conservation Commission, Planning Board and the Select Board) developed a program “Finding a Shared Vision for Eaton Town Lands” to raise awareness about Eaton’s town-owned lands. This included the history and management of town lands, as well as the ongoing effects of climate change, increased population, and increased visitor use on wildlife in the community.

Cohort members received great feedback from the program and set as their next goal, creating a Conservation Plan to inform the town’s 2025 Master Plan. The group has been hosting a series of bimonthly Conservation Conversations –presentations that focus on water, forest lands, wildlife and other topics of interest throughout the summer and fall, including:

How to Use the Eaton Natural Resource Inventory - July 2022.  Dennis Sullivan shared Eaton’s Natural Resources Inventory with participants, highlighting the natural characteristics of Eaton as a whole, as well as Eaton’s town-owned lands.  Participants were encouraged to explore the topography and geology of Eaton, its watersheds, wetlands and floodplains; its fields, forest and wildlife; and its cemeteries and scenic and recreational opportunities.

Water Resources in Eaton – September 2022. Three experts with knowledge of Eaton’s waters shared their expertise, including John Magee from NH Fish and Game who has been working on native brook trout restorations in Linscott Brook; Bob Craycraft from UNH Cooperative Extension who has worked with volunteers since 1996 to monitor water quality in Eaton’s lakes and streams; and Katy Lewis from Tin Mountain Conservation Center who spoke about the value of woody additions to streams in enhancing brook trout habitat, and the work that has been done on Linscott Brook.

Forestry Going Forward – November 17, 2022. Town forester Dan Stepanauskas will share his life-long experiences with forestry and his evolving thoughts about how to best steward forests.

Additional information, such as the most recent forest management plan developed for town-owned lands, will be incorporated into the Natural Resources Inventory as a first step towards developing the Conservation Plan.

Cohort member Marnie Cobbs notes, “I still feel the benefits of working with a team to change my attitude towards all the challenges coming our way. Thank you and the team for that!”

We are excited to hear about the ongoing engagement happening in Eaton!