Landowners along the Lamprey River need to be aware that individual actions have a tremendous impact on the river, both positive and negative.
Many varieties of native wildflowers, shrubs, vines, and trees grow along the river's banks. These plants hold soil in place and help filter pollutants found in run-off before they reach the river. Natural vegetation also provides nesting sites, cover, and food for wildlife. Trees and shrubs provide shade and help to maintain cooler water temperatures needed by fish and other aquatic animals. Even dead trees have their place as homes for a variety of cavity-nesting birds. Trees that have fallen into the water provide important habitat for fish and turtles.
Shoreland trees and shrubs also preserve the river's natural beauty and help to screen houses that face each other across the river. The loveliest views of the river from a home are often those that are filtered through ever-changing vegetation.
If you are not connected to a public sewer and do not pay a municipal sewer bill, your waste water goes to a septic system. What goes down your drain goes into your septic tank, then to the leach field, and ultimately to the surrounding soil.
To keep your septic system working efficiently and to avoid expensive repairs, you must be an active guardian of the system. If your septic system does not work efficiently or fails completely, you run the risk of contaminating your land, your well, and the river's water.
With a rapidly growing population, there is considerable pressure to develop the land along the Lamprey River, converting its many natural areas into residential or business areas. If you are interesting in ensuring that your land remains in a natural state forever, there are steps that you can take.
Private landowners typically protect their land by means of a conservation easement. A conservation easement permanently restricts development while allowing the land to remain privately owned. It is recorded as a deed and its terms are monitored by a non-profit (such as a land trust) or governmental entity (such as a town conservation commission) that is authorized to hold easements. An easement can be donated or sold, and positive tax consquences often result from the easement.
For more information, please visit the Southeast Land Trust of New Hampshire at http://www.seltnh.org/.
The Lamprey River has several publicly owned recreational access points. In addition to these sites, many other privately owned access points allow the public to reach the river. New Hampshire has some of the best landowner liability laws in the country. Landowners who do not charge for access and have not purposely created a dangerous situation are protected from liability if a visitor is injured. The laws were enacted to encourage landowners to allow recreational uses of their land. If your Lamprey River land has a history of allowing public access for fishing, canoeing, or walking, please consider allowing public access to continue.
For more information, please visit http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/XVIII/212/212-34.htm