The Upper Connecticut River Watershed CISMA began to take form in late 2010 with agencies and individuals in Vermont seeking to collaborate with their New Hampshire colleagues and sister agencies in a unified effort to protect the headwaters of the Connecticut River from invasive species.
The headwaters are in relatively good condition, compared to points downstream, but with an active recreational component and its critical position at the upper reaches of the entire Connecticut River watershed, the need for awareness and early detection is paramount. The geography covered by the organization is well-defined, and a steering committee is presently guiding the CISMA toward its second field season of training, outreach, and demonstration control projects.
Overall, the Upper Connecticut River Watershed CISMA encompasses an area of over 900,000 acres with nine major tributaries; it has an active membership of individual consultants, state agency representatives from Vermont and New Hampshire, organizations from both states, recreationists, and federal partners. A significant portion of the watershed lies in the Canadian province of Quebec, so a long-term goal is to have the CISMA function on an international scale with local champions.
The CISMA meets throughout the year and welcomes anyone interested in the stewardship of our natural resources. Present member organizations include:
The Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge
The Northern Forest Canoe Trail
The Northwoods Stewardship Center
New Hampshire Fish and Game
Vermont River Conservancy
The Nature Conservancy
VT Agency of Natural Resources
NH Department of Environmental Services
White Mountain National Forest
Essex County Natural Resource Conservation District (VT)
Private consultantsFritz Gerhardt, Tim McKay, and Mike Bald