The Four Township Water Resources Council publishes studies, reports and educational materials to help local officials and residents. All of our publications can be viewed or downloaded from this site. Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view and print them.
Watershed Resources Papers, 2001. Provides local decision makers with techniques for protecting or improving water quality through land-use planning and zoning.
Four-Township Recreational Carrying Capacity Study, 2001. A study of Pine, Upper Crooked, Gull and Sherman Lakes to estimate peak boating use and the potential for negative impacts.
Four-Township Geographic Information System, 2001. A brief introduction to the Four-Township computerized Geographic Information System.
Mapping Water Table Elevation Using Water Well Record Data, 2001. Since groundwater is hidden from view, determining its depth and flow direction is challenging. This study includes a water table elevation map provides valuable information for planning and land-use decisions.
Four-Township Water Atlas, 1998. A guide to the water resources in the four-township area. This is a very large file.
Water Resource Regulation Guide, 2002. This publication compiles example regulations that can help local officials implement protection techniques described in the previously published Watershed Resources Papers.
Environmental Carrying Capacity Analysis for Pine, Upper Crooked, Gull and Sherman Lakes, 2002. This study includes information about the physical characteristics of each lake and their watersheds, background information on the lake eutrophication process and a discussion of alternatives to minimize adverse environmental impacts associated with development. The study is a companion to the May 2001 Recreational Carrying Capacity Analysis completed on the same lakes.
Principles of Open Space Development, 2003. These guidebooks describe the basic goals and design techniques for open space development. Versions that include their community’s open space development ordinance language are available for Ross, Richland, Barry and Prairieville Townships.
Citizen’s Guide to Conservation of the Four Townships, 2004. This is an easy-to-read guide to the land use and water quality issues facing the area. The guide provides an overview of the current trends and specific approaches to managing growth and protecting area water resources. This is a very large file.
A Guide to Stormwater Management, 2005. The four townships are blessed with an abundance of good quality lakes, streams and wetlands. In recent years, the federal government has placed additional emphasis on the need for proper stormwater management. This publication provides an overview of stormwater management approaches and responsibilities.
Four-Township Natural Features Inventory, 2005. This technical report culminates a three year project to identify special and unique natural areas in the four townships. Twenty potential conservation areas (PCAs) are described. Easy-to-read fact sheets are available for each PCA.
PCA 1: Warner Lake and Camp Merrie Woode
PCA 2: Ford Road Pond
PCA 3: Prairieville Creek
PCA 4: Glasby Marsh
PCA 5: Blachman Swamp and Mud Lake
PCA 6: Balker Lake Swamp
PCA 7: Shallow Gilkey and Little Gilkey Lakes
PCA 8: Augusta Creek and Kidd Bog
PCA 9: Lawrence Lake and Augusta Creek
PCA 10: Sherriff Marsh
PCA 11: Stafford Swamp and Hamilton Lake
PCA 12: Pine Meadows Farm and the Cheff Center
PCA 13: Kalamazoo River Floodplain
PCA 14: Fort Custer National Cemetery
PCA 15: Brook Lodge
PCA 16: Crane’s Pond
PCA 17: Butterfield Lake and Graham Lake
PCA 18: Lower Three Lakes
PCA 19: Upper Three Lakes
PCA 20: Spring Brook
Site Plan Review for Water Quality Protection, 2005. This guide provides the Four Township communities with an overview of their regulatory authority for protecting water quality. The guide focuses heavily on the site plan review process, authorized in local zoning, because it has the greatest potential to impact land use design at the local level.
Impervious Surface Analysis of Watersheds in the Four-Township Area, 2005. This report includes a computerized analysis that estimates the area of land within each watershed that is paved or covered in a way that prevents water from seeping into the soil.
Open Space Development: Market and Design Challenges, 2005. This technical report address the feasibility of using designated open space for septic fields or reserve systems to limit lot sizes and keep open space ratios high, particularly in the use of open space developments.
Low Impact Development, 2005. A brief overview of low impact design techniques to protect water quality.
Ten Ways to Promote Low Impact Development, 2005. This brochure outlines methods communities can use to encourage low impact development to protect water quality.
The Living Natural Features of Our Four Townships – A entertaining description of plants, birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals that can be found in the four-township area. Written by Joe Johnson, long-time wildlife biologist at MSU’s Kellogg Bird Sanctuary.
Fair Lake Environmental Carrying Capacity Study, 2005. This study includes information about the physical characteristics of Fair Lake and its watershed, and a discussion of alternatives to minimize adverse environmental impacts associated with development.
Little Long Lake Recreational and Environmental Carrying Capacity Study, 2005.A study of Little Long Lake to estimate peak boating use and the potential for negative impacts and a discussion of alternatives to minimize adverse environmental impacts associated with development.
Breeding Bird Survey of the Four Township Area, 2005. A detailed technical report summarizing the breeding bird survey conducted in the four-township area during 2003 and 2004. Information from previous surveys is also included.
Groundwater in the Four Townships, 2005. A brief description of groundwater basics and ways to protect this resource.
Lakes, Streams and Wetlands in the Four Township Area. A simplified map showing these important features.
Four Township Area Watershed Management Plan, 2010. Developed primarily by Jeff Spoelstra of the Kalamazoo Watershed Council, using a portion of the FTWRC’s 319 grant. This plan has been accepted by the Michigan DNRE. This is a very large file.
Printed copies are available for sale by the Council. To receive a copy, contact The Four Township Water Resources Council. They are also available at local libraries and township halls.