Rich Tichko: (603) 271-1748
Jane Vachon: (603) 271-3211
July 15, 2004
Public Water Access Advisory Board Supports Wild Goose Access Site; Fish and Game to Develop Sunapee Lake Facility
CONCORD, N.H. -- The Public Water Access Advisory Board voted July 12 to recommend that the Fish and Game Department move ahead with plans to develop property in Newbury, long under consideration for an access site to Lake Sunapee.
The Public Water Access Advisory Board, organized under RSA 233-A: 2, advises and monitors state agency public access efforts including the statewide public boat access program administered by the Fish and Game Department. It is also charged with making recommendations for priorities related to the location and development of boating access areas.
"On the advice of the Board we will move forward with the project at Wild Goose on Lake Sunapee," said Lee Perry, Executive Director of the N.H. Fish and Game Department. "We take seriously our legislative mandate to provide boating access to Lake Sunapee -- Fish and Game has a responsibility to provide access for all the citizens of the state whether they live on the lake or not. At the same time, we also care strongly about safety and blending the general public's interest with local interests. We will work with the Department of Transportation to provide safe roadway access and with Town officials and the Sunapee Lake Association to tastefully develop the site."
The Board's decision is the latest in a series of events related to this project that date back to 1990, when the Land Conservation Investment Program (LCIP) purchased Wild Goose and allocated management responsibility for the land between the N.H. Department of Resources and Economic Development (DRED) and N.H. Fish and Game. The LCIP statement about the Wild Goose parcel in Newbury makes the intent of purchase clear: "The lakefront tract provides a boat landing that will be developed into the primary boat access to one of the state's largest lakes."
Fish and Game has pursued development of this access
site for more than ten years, holding public informational meetings, convening
a local citizen/expert panel to assess all the possibilities around the
lake and, most recently, receiving the affirmative vote of the Advisory
Board this week. On several occasions, the 11-member New Hampshire Fish
and Game Commission, the group that provides policy guidance to the Department,
has directed Fish and Game to move ahead with the Wild Goose access project.
Throughout this process, Fish and Game has explored and reviewed several
alternatives with the towns, local boards and citizens for years without
Fish and Game is the state agency charged with responsibility to establish public boating access for the benefit of all the citizens. State Law gives the Department this authority in order to assure public boating access in perpetuity to the general public. In establishing new access areas, Fish and Game follows a detailed process, beginning with meeting with the public, assessing environmental, cultural, social and political considerations and following all permitting requirements of the State of New Hampshire. Fish and Game Director Perry affirmed the Department's commitment to proceeding in accordance with all statutory requirements and working diligently to resolve any remaining issues through the final design process at the Wild Goose site on Lake Sunapee.