The Onterra Planning Process

The primary goal of every planning project is to create a realistic and implementable plan. To meet this goal we strive to involve the stakeholders in as many aspects of the project as possible. This is especially true in the plan-development stage.

The first step is to create a sub-committee (called a planning or steering committee) within the lake organization. The members of this committee should represent a cross-section of the lake group in age, length of property ownership, and pre-determined ideas concerning the condition and the management of their lake. The committee serves as the primary link between the lake group and Onterra planners.

Following the completion of the data collection and analysis phases, Onterra meets with the committee to present the preliminary results and management recommendations. It is also during this first meeting that a working set of management goals are created. During the second planning meeting, the goals are refined and realistic management actions are created. The management actions are developed to guide the lake group in meeting their management goals.

The final step is to tie the goals and management actions together with action facilitators and a timeline. The facilitators are responsible for carrying through with the management actions within the stated timeline and may be made up of individuals or groups of individuals (such as a committee). The completion of this final step signifies the creation of the implementation plan, which is the basis for the lake’s management activities. The implementation plan is then presented to the group as a whole. On most occasions, it is well-accepted because essentially the lake group itself has developed the plan through the planning committee.