The Center for the Environment at PSU is working on developing a Lake Recreation Management Decision System (LRMDS) for the Squam Lakes. This project builds on a previous study, the Squam Water Recreational Opportunity Spectrum (WROS) completed by Josh Carroll from UNH which assessed recreational zones on the lake. The Squam LRMDS considers additional dimensions, gathers input from stakeholders, and establishes recreational zones and key indicator conditions to be monitored in these areas. If changes in these conditions exceed the defined standards for the zones, the LRMDS creates a set of management actions that can be presented to stakeholders to choose from to address the changed conditions. By establishing zones with public input, defining standards, and presenting management options, the LRMDS will help with decision making to ensure the health of the Squam Lakes.
The Squam LRMDS project is a joint effort between CFE, Squam Lakes Association, and the NH Department of Environmental Services’ (DES) Lakes Management Program. PSU Graduate student Andrew Veilleux is working on this project as part of his thesis research for his MS in Environmental Science and Policy. Associate professor of sociology Brian Eisenhauer is advising the project and brings a great deal of experience in recreational management and environmental sociology.
The Squam LRMDS model is built on other successful recreational models, and the approach developed reflects considerable effort to assess and incorporate elements from many models of recreation management. Several parameters will be included such as lake crowding, water quality, invasive species, and shoreline development. In addition, public input will be gathered during the project to better understand what people in the watershed perceive are the needs to keep the lakes healthy and what they are willing to do to help make this happen.