Strafford Regional Planning Commission supports efforts to conserve the natural resource values of our coastal watershed lands. To ensure a healthy environment into the future, it is essential that communities identify, retain, and protect the remaining undeveloped lands and waters. These are lands and waters that support the most important of the natural resource values and functions, as established by private individuals, municipalities, and local, regional and national land trusts.
Strafford Regional Planning Commissions works with communities and nonprofits to identify lands and waters, and to develop and implement voluntary and regulatory land conservation strategies. Our priorities are to assist with the protection of land through acquisition and to assist with the regulation of the location, density and design of development in the area.
In 2018 the Barrington Conservation Commission approached Strafford Regional Planning Commission (SRPC) with a request to update the Town’s 2009 Natural Resources Inventory (NRI), as many of the maps and datasets used had become outdated. To meet the goals of the community, while recognizing limited capacity and fiscal constraints, SRPC suggested a modified approach to a traditional NRI. This approach would rely on a detailed spatial analysis using Geographic Information System (GIS) that would identify key geographic areas where multiple natural resource features and priority conservation areas are co-located.
A vital component of this process was a map-based GIS inventory of the town’s existing natural resources and conservation priorities’ initiatives. Eight primary natural resource-based criteria maps were developed to display the spatial distribution of soils, water resource conservation focus areas, wetlands, wildlife, landscape connectivity, conservation focus areas, other surface and groundwater resources, and climate change resilient and connected. The main goal was to create a weighted co-occurrence map that helps identifying the presence of multiple key natural resources-based criteria important for conservation. The data was also analyzed and reported for each SRPC community, allowing staffers to create a regional co-occurrence map.
In November 2018 SRPC facilitated the kick-off meeting for the Barrington Natural Resources Assessment (NRA) project with the Barrington Conservation Commission (BCC). This effort was funded by the BCC Conservation Fund, and a grant through the Lamprey River Advisory Committee (LAC). Support from University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension (UNHCE) and NH Sea Grant was also vital, as they provided outreach on new GIS data tools the BCC.
Between November 2018 and June 2019 SRPC staffers met regularly with the BCC to review project timelines, maps, draft content and weight ranking criteria for the new maps. Both Kyle Pimental, principal region planner, and Marcia Moreno-Báez, GIS planner, were involved in the mapping components and drafting language for the assessment. Nearing the end of FY 2019, Shayna Sylvia, communications and outreach planner assisted on the project
by providing design and layout services. The BCC approved the document in October 2019.
View the 2019 Barrington Natural Resources Assessment here.
View the map set for the Barrington Natural Resources Assessment here.
Between Dec. 2016 and Oct. 2016, SRPC staffers partnered with the Somersworth Conservation Commission to prepare a GIS-based Natural Resources Assessment for the city. The assessment included a map set and report describing the city’s natural resources. The map set included seven thematic maps that displayed information about water resources, wildlife, unfragmented lands, agricultural resources, and other natural resources. It also identified potential areas of conservation interest based on the co-occurrence of two or more key natural resources, as well as existing conservation lands and City-owned lands.
During the process of preparing the inventory, SRPC worked with City staff and the Conservation Commission to identify project objectives and a comprehensive set of recommendations. A final component of the project was a guided, educational trail walk at Mast Point Dam Park in September. The walk was hosted by SRPC and led by UNH Professor, Tom Lee and local historian, Eric Mommsen. Over twenty people attended the trail walk to learn about the NRI and the park’s natural resources. The project was funded by the Piscataqua Regional Estuaries Partnership (PREP) and the City of Somersworth.
View the 2016 Somersworth Natural Resources Assessment here.
Download:2019 Barrington Natural Resources Assessment [PDF ]
Download:2016 Somersworth Natural Resource Assessment [PDF; 12. 3 MB 08/23/2018]
Strafford Regional Planning Commission
150 Wakefield Street, Suite 12
Rochester, New Hampshire 03867
Tel: (603) 994-3500 Fax: (603)994-3504