Project Review & Comment
The Lamprey River Advisory Committee is charged through its state charter with commenting upon State of New Hampshire permits and projects which could impact the protected river or its values. Similarly, the Committee is advisory to the National Park Service relative to the federal Wild and Scenic River designation, with a goal of protecting and enhancing the river where federal permits or projects are concerned. The Committee is also a local advocate and reviewer for town-level actions and permits. The LRAC is “the voice of the river” in these processes, with state and federal legislative charters to back that voice and ensure that it is heard.
LRAC has reviewed and commented upon:
- a major golf course proposed for 2.5 miles of riverfront in Durham. Comments focused on protection of a riparian buffer, minimizing wetland and floodplain degradation, and water quality monitoring (proposal withdrawn).
- various house lots along the river.
- a potential hydroelectric facility in Newmarket (proposal withdrawn).
- improvements to Packers Falls Bridge. LRAC contributed $15,000 towards the bridge reconstruction which replaced massive concrete railings with metal railings that permit views of the river
- the proposed Wiswall Dam fish passage
- improvements to the Newmarket boat launch
- the Lamprey River water transmission main line. Resulted in a Clean Water Act, Section 401 permit to allow the Town of Durham increased municipal water usage while protecting Lamprey River habitat and flows.
- a system for monitoring and controlling power boat speeds on the lower Lamprey
- reconstruction of Route 87 bridge. First time NH DOT has hired a soil bioengineering firm to design state-of-the-art stream bank stabilization. Also wildlife underpass, floodplain conservation easement, and access improvements.
- commercial development at Routes 101 and 125 in the river corridor
- the Town of Durham’s proposed shore land and wetland ordinances.
- a large Epping subdivision. LRAC and NPS brought local, state and federal reviewers together to re-design the project in an “open space” design. Led to adoption of Epping’s “Open Space” subdivision ordinance.
- revisions to the New Hampshire Comprehensive Shoreland Protection Act.
Ensure that river protection goals are adequately considered during project design and review at local, state and federal levels.
Key Future Actions:
- Formalize a communications process among the towns, state, and federal agencies, and LRAC to provide for timely notification of permit applications for local projects.
- Review and comment on all local, state, and federal permits and projects which have the potential to affect water quality, stream flow, and other river values.
- Participate when possible in project design meetings, studies, and similar preliminary processes that could lead to actions, projects, or permits related to the river and its values.
- Provide comments on proposed legislation affecting the river.