Lamprey Rivers Management Plan Vision Statement 2012
Approved May 24, 2012
The Lamprey River and its major tributaries (North Branch, Pawtuckaway, North, Little, and Piscassic Rivers) have been recognized as significant ecological, historic, recreational, and water supply resources by the New Hampshire Rivers Management and Protection Program. In addition, the lower 23 miles of the main stem Lamprey River have been designated under the federal Wild and Scenic Rivers Program. Both programs require a management plan to protect and manage the resources of the river(s). The Lamprey Rivers Management Plan must provide balance among its three main goals:
- Protect the ecosystem and associated ecological services of the rivers and their quarter-mile corridors.
- Promote responsible community use of the rivers and the surrounding land.
- Respect the interests and rights of property owners while enlisting their support as guardians of the rivers’ assets.
The population of the Greater Seacoast area is increasing. The rivers and the land surrounding them face increasing pressure from development and recreational use. As the natural landscape changes, maintaining and improving the rivers’ current condition will be more difficult.
It must also be noted that the Lamprey River and its tributaries contribute a significant amount of water to Great Bay. The Great Bay Estuary and portions of the Lamprey River are showing signs of decline and do not meet federal Clean Water Act criteria for several indicators. Special attention must be paid to mitigating the increase in nitrogen, sediment, and other pollutants that reach the waterways and incorporating climate change science to predict the adverse effects and proper response to severe storm events. The condition of the rivers and Great Bay reflects the actions of individuals and communities that populate the land surrounding these bodies of water.
The importance of educating the public and working together to attain the management plan goals is critical to our shared future. Central to this work will be encouraging the public and various partners to view the rivers as important and worthy of the collective efforts that will be needed for protection now and into the future. The future of the rivers and Great Bay as community assets rests squarely on the willingness of individuals and towns along the river to be knowledgeable and careful stewards. We must all learn to “tread lightly” in the watershed if we are to meet this challenge successfully.