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SG-W:/ Protecting drinking water supply

I just returned from vacation out West where I noticed on a map that
Boulder, Colorado apparently owns a chunk of land in the mountains that
is drinking water supply watershed. Now I see that Boston has done
something similar (see article below).

Is anyone familiar with this concept? Can anyone comment on its
applicability to Ann Arbor, for example, given that we get most of our
drinking water from the Huron River? I know that providing a steady
water supply is often cited as one of many reasons for protecting
natural areas, but has it ever been the primary purpose in this area?


Boston Drinking Water Supply Protected

PRINCETON, Massachusetts, June 19, 2002 (ENS) - A coalition of nonprofit
organizations and government agencies announced today the permanent
protection of 105 acres on East Princeton Road/Route 31.

The Metropolitan District Commission acquired 88 acres, which includes
frontage on East Wachusett Brook, an important tributary of the
Wachusett Reservoir on the South Branch of the Nashua River, which
supplies drinking water to the Boston area.

This property lies across the street from land already owned by the
Metropolitan District Commission, which owns and manages nearly 30
percent of the reservoir's watershed.

Last fall, at the request of the Princeton Board of Selectmen, the Trust
for Public Land began negotiating with Paxton Hills, Inc. to conserve
the property. An agreement to purchase the 105 acre property for
$820,000 was reached in early spring. The Metropolitan District
Commission acquired the majority of the land for $750,000.

The Town of Princeton voted in April at Special Town Meeting to purchase
the remaining 17 acres for $70,000. This parcel, which includes an old
gravel pit, is slated for conversion into recreation fields.

"This project is a testament to the power of teamwork," said the Trust
for Public Land's state director Craig MacDonnell. "Together the
coalition achieved two previously elusive land conservation objectives -
helping protect one of the state's most important drinking water
supplies and beginning the process of transforming degraded land into
new athletic fields."

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