WATER MANAGEMENT AND PROTECTION
NEW HAMPSHIRE RIVERS MANAGEMENT AND PROTECTION PROGRAM
483:6 Nominations; Criteria.
I. Any New Hampshire organization or resident may nominate a perennial river or any segment or segments of such river for protection by submitting to the commissioner a description of the river or segment or segments of such river and its values and characteristics. The completed nomination shall be submitted to the rivers coordinator on or before June 1 in order for it to be considered in the next legislative session. This nomination shall include, but not be limited to, an assessment of fisheries; geologic and hydrologic features; vegetation; wildlife; historical and archaeological features; open space and recreation features and potential; water quality and quantity; dams, hydropower generation, buildings, and other manmade structures; riparian interests and public water supply, including flowage rights known by the nominating individual or group, and other pertinent instream and riverbank and tributary drainage area information. The nominating party shall hold at least one public meeting on the information prior to final submittal to the commissioner. The department shall encourage the nominating party to include tributary drainage area information in the nomination. Nominations shall include identification of the stream order of each river or river segment proposed for designation and the provisions of RSA 483-B that apply to each segment. The nominating party shall advertise the meeting publicly in cooperation with the rivers coordinator and shall give written notice to riparian landowners and the governing body of any municipality where segments of the river are located. The rivers coordinator shall provide assistance to the nominating party in the presentation of the nomination at the public meeting.
II. The rivers coordinator shall assist and cooperate with the nominator or nominating organization and shall, within 120 days of receipt of a nomination, review the nomination and prepare a recommendation for review by the commissioner under the criteria established in paragraph IV and adopted by rules under RSA 483:11, II.
III. The rivers coordinator, in cooperation with the advisory committee, shall hold at least one public hearing in a community along the nominated river or segment of such river to receive public comment on the nomination. Public hearing comments on the nomination, comments on the nomination from local boards and commissions, factors listed in RSA 483:6, IV(a) as further defined in rules adopted under RSA 483:11, II, and other public comments on the nomination submitted to the rivers coordinator shall be considered by the rivers coordinator and the advisory committee when preparing a recommendation for review by the commissioner.
IV. The commissioner shall review the nomination within 45 days. The commissioner shall, in reviewing a nomination under this chapter, consider the following factors:
(a) Whether the river, or segment or segments of such river, contain or represent either a significant statewide, regional, or local example of one or more of the following:
(1) Geologic resources.
(2) Wildlife resources.
(3) Vegetation and natural communities.
(4) Fish resources.
(5) Water quality.
(6) Water quantity.
(7) Riparian interests.
(8) Existing and potential withdrawals and discharges.
(9) Existing and potential hydroelectric resources.
(10) Hydrologic resources, including natural flow characteristics.
(11) Existing and potential recreational resources.
(12) Public access.
(13) Scenic characteristics.
(14) Cultural, historical, and archaeological resources.
(15) Open space.
(16) Community resources.
(17) Current land use and land use controls.
(18) Scientific resources.
(b) Public hearing comments on the nomination and other public comments submitted to the rivers coordinator.
(c) The recommendation of the rivers coordinator.
(d) The recommendation of the advisory committee.
V. If the commissioner, after reviewing a nomination and considering the factors in RSA 483:6, IV, determines that designation of the river, or segment or segments of such river, would be consistent with the purpose of this chapter, the commissioner shall forward the nomination to the general court for review and legislative approval according to RSA 483:7.
Source. 1989, 339:1. 1991, 338:6-8. 1992, 261:4. 1995, 219:1. 2009, 201:6. 2011, 32:1, eff. May 9, 2011. 2016, 287:9, 10, eff. Aug. 20, 2016.