Statewide Public Boat Access Program
The Facilities and Lands Division manages the planning, design and construction of public works projects, such as boat ramps and access sites throughout the state. This division is also responsible for the coordination of land conservation projects, including purchase and sale, easements, land use agreements and/or special use permits.
The Statewide Public Boat Access Program is a multifaceted program representing the public’s diverse needs for water recreation opportunities. It was established by state statute in 1993 (RSA 233). The goal of the program is "the acquisition, construction, refurbishment, maintenance, and operation of new and existing public boat access areas."
The Fish and Game Department's Statewide Public Access Program uses a variety of sources to identify water bodies needing access, including data from a statewide needs assessment conducted by the University of New Hampshire; the Public Water Access Advisory Board; Office of Energy and Planning (formerly the Office of State Planning) guides; interested citizens; and Department staff.
Once a water body is identified, land suitable for an access facility is carefully sought and evaluated. Only then can the Fish and Game proceed with plans to own or control and develop a site. The Department develops access sites for public use with environmental quality in mind. Regional planning commissions, municipal agencies, river and lake associations, sporting clubs and shorefront property owners are a few of the groups that help guide the Department's access initiatives. State and federal permits must be secured to protect water quality, endangered species, wetlands and other natural resources before a project can proceed.