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Strafford Regional Planning Commission

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Lamprey River Nomination

The Lamprey, North, Branch, North, Little, Pawtuckaway, and Piscassic River to be Nominated for Designation

The Lamprey, North Branch, North, Little, Pawtuckaway, and Piscassic are all part of the Lamprey River watershed, the largest tributary to Great Bay Estuary in coastal New Hampshire. The headwaters of the Lamprey, North Branch, North, Little, Pawtuckaway and Piscassic Rivers begin in northwestern Rockingham County and in southern Strafford County with the Lamprey River mainstem beginning in the town of Northwood at the outlet of Meadow Lake. The Lamprey, North Branch, North, Little, Pawtuckaway and Piscassic Rivers flow eastward towards Great Bay and the Piscataqua River through fourteen New Hampshire municipalities. In 1990, a 12 mile section of the Lamprey River in the towns of Lee and Durham was designated into the Rivers Management and Protection Program (RMPP). The nomination of these six rivers for designation totals 87.7 miles, including the sections of the Lamprey River from its headwaters in Northwood to the Epping/Lee town line and from the Durham/Newmarket town line to where the rivers meets Great Bay (37.6 miles). Additionally, this nomination seeks to designate the North Branch River (8.2 miles), the North River (15.1 miles), the Little River (7.6 miles), the Pawtuckaway River (3.6 miles) and the Piscassic River (15.6 miles) from their sources to their confluences with the Lamprey River.

As proposed by the nominating organization, the Lamprey River Nominating Committee, the sections of the Lamprey River being nominated are from Meadow Lake in Northwood to the beginning of the currently designated section at the Epping/Lee townline, and from the Durham/Newmarket townline to where the river meets Great Bay in Newmarket. The North Branch River is being nominated from Beaver Pond Dam in Deerfield to its confluence with the Lamprey River in Raymond. The North River is being nominated from North River Pond Dam in Nottingham to its confluence with the Lamprey River in Epping. The Little River is being nominated from Mendum’s Pond Dam in Nottingham to its confluence with the Lamprey River in Lee. The Pawtuckaway River is being nominated from Pawtuckaway Lake Dam in Nottingham to its confluence with the Lamprey River in Epping. The Piscassic River is being nominated from 0.5 miles upstream of the Fremont/Brentwood town line to its confluence with the Lamprey River in Newmarket. The Department of Environmental Services (DES) has reviewed the nomination and is recommending the Lamprey, North Branch, North, Little, Pawtuckaway and Piscassic Rivers for designation into the RMPP.

To read the full report to the general court, please visit:  http://des.nh.gov/organization/commissioner/pip/publications/wd/documents/r-wd-11-2.pdf

Undesignated Portions of the Lamprey River Incorporated into the New Hampshire Rivers Management and Protection Program

Concord, N.H. – Eight rivers in New Hampshire’s coastal watershed have recently been designated under the New Hampshire Rivers Management and Protection Program by the New Hampshire State Legislature. The RMPP, administered by DES, gives citizens the opportunity to demonstrate to the state why their rivers are important to their communities. Once designated, a river is protected and managed for water quality and flow by a local river advisory committee.

Undesignated sections of the Lamprey River with its major tributaries (the North Branch, North, Little, Pawtuckaway and Piscassic Rivers) were accepted for designation under the Rivers Program this year, bringing the total to 18 rivers since the RMPP was legislatively established in 1988 (RSA 483). Incorporation into the RMPP represents the tremendous effort of citizens coming together to complete a nomination process documenting the natural, historical and recreational resources on each river up for consideration. All of the portions of the Lamprey River and its major tributaries will allow for all fourteen towns in the Lamprey River Watershed, or area of land that drains to the Lamprey, to participate in protecting the area’s water resources.

The next step is the formation of local river advisory committees (LAC) for each newly designated river. The LACs will be responsible for developing a management plan and commenting on activities affecting the river that require state or federal permits. They are comprised of citizens from each riverfront community who are nominated by their municipalities and appointed by the DES Commissioner. Because the river management plan is locally developed, adopted and implemented, it reflects the specific needs, interests and concerns of local citizens.

For more information please contact Jacquie Colburn, Rivers Coordinator, at (603) 271-2959; jacquie.colburn@des.nh.gov. Visit the RMPP website at http://des.nh.gov/organization/divisions/water/wmb/rivers/index.htm.

Document Weblinks

Download:  Revised Lamprey River Management Plan; created November 2011; PDF; 1.47MB

Download:  Lamprey River Advisory Committee Website; posted on November 2011; website

About the Lamprey River Watershed Association (LRWA)

The Lamprey River Watershed Association (LRWA) was formed in 1980 to promote the restoration, conservation, wise development and use of the natural resources of the Lamprey River Watershed. Conserving fish and wildlife, forests, soil and water resources along with pollution abatement are key goals of the Association. Through education and research, the LRWA will work to increase the understanding among citizens about the importance of water and land conservation in the watershed.

The Lamprey River Watershed Association works in partnership with other conservation organizations and citizen groups to maintain or improve the natural health and beauty of the watershed. The Lamprey Watershed Association, Inc. is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization.

LRWA Contacts

  • Executive Director: Dawn Genes
  • President: Carl Spang, Durham
  • Vice President: Sam Demerritt, Nottingham
  • Treasurer: Jim Deeley, Deerfield
  • Isobel Parke, Epping
  • Richard Snow, Candia
  • Sharon Meeker, Lee
  • Mike Kappler, Raymond
  • Carolyn Matthews, Raymond
  • Cheryl Killam, Raymond

Lamprey River Advisory Committee (LRAC)

A committee of representatives from Durham, Epping, Lee, and Newmarket charged with developing and implementing a river management plan under the New Hampshire State River Management and Protection Program.  Also the Local Advisory Committee under the national Wild and Scenic Rivers Program.  Contact:  Sharon Meeker, 659-5441 (s-meeker@comcast.net).

LRAC Contacts

Lee - 03861
Sharon Meeker, Chair, Outreach/Ed., LRAC Chair; 203 Wadleigh Falls Road, (h) 659-5441; S-Meeker@comcast.net.
Joachim Barth
Kitty Miller, Chair Wildlife/Ecology

Durham – 03824
Bill Hall
Jim Hewitt, Chair, Water Quantity
Richard Kelley
Dick Lord, chair, History/Archaeology

Newmarket - 03857
Sara Callaghan

Epping - 03042

Member At Large
Brian Giles

Land Protection Administrator
Laurel Cox

Land Protection Specialist
David Viale, Southeast Land Trust NH

National Park Service Personnel
Jamie Fosburgh, 15 State St., Boston, MA 02109; (w) (617) 223-5191; (617)-223-5164 (fax); Jamie_Fosburgh@nps.gov
Jim MacCartney, 18 Low Ave., Concord, NH 03301; (w) 226-3436; Jim_MacCartney@nps.gov

Lamprey River Watershed Association
Dawn Genes, Dawn.Genes@lrwa-nh.net

Download Revised Lamprey River Management Plan;Nov. 2011

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