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Introduction to Conservation Commissions and Comprehensive Plans

Municipal Comprehensive Plan (CP) chapters titled “Water Resources”, “Critical Natural Resources”, and “Agricultural and Forest Resources” are the ones most relevant for a Conservation Commission (CC) to get involved with. By becoming a part of a Comprehensive Planning Committee as a subcommittee focused on drafting these three CP chapters a CC can broaden its role in the community. Assisting with a CP provides CC an opportunity to influence policies and strategies concerning these three chapters. It also provides an opportunity for a CC to include the CC as an implementer in some of the strategies.


Information included here explains: why a CP is important; the effect of the State Growth Management  Act; a list of elements or chapters required for a CP to be considered under the Growth Management Act. Relevant parts of two CPs plus a whole CP that involved CCs are included here as examples. 


If you need more information contact Fred Snow who has experience as a community planner providing technical assistance concerning CPs. He is also president of MEACC. He can be reached via

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