Watershed Moments - Newsletter Article


RACC Q3 Team Holds its Third Focus Group with Local Stakeholders

The RACC Policy and Governance Team (Q3) has been working on developing an agent-based model of water quality management in the Lake Champlain Basin. On December 12th, the Team held its third focus group with local stakeholders, this time examining the details of how agricultural technical assistance is being done in the Missisquoi Watershed. This focus group invited a range of representatives from stakeholders, including both providers and consumers of technical assistance. 

Representatives of the Friends of Northern Lake Champlain, the Farmer’s Watershed Alliance, Fitzgerald Associates, Stone Environmental, and the St. Albans Cooperative Creamery attended, along with representatives of the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), UVM Extension, and the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Farms, and Markets. They provided a range of invaluable insights that will help the RACC Team refine their understanding of the use and application of agricultural technical assistance in this watershed as well as how this tool and the policy options related to it fit with the larger goals of improving water quality and responding to climate change. All of this made for a successful event for the RACC Team in their efforts to build and validate a model that will be able to anticipate the outcomes of the policy scenarios that the team has been identifying through other events.