With assistance from Bill Arcieri, VHB, Inc. through a contract with the Central NH Regional Planning Commission and a grant from the NH Department of Environmental Services, the Upper Merrimack River Local Advisory Committee (UMRLAC) conducted an intensive process to re-write the Upper Merrimack Management and Implementation Plan. The new Plan addresses emerging issues in the upper Merrimack and provides vision, guidance, and watershed management recommendations for state agencies and municipalities. It includes logic model measurable outcome sections on water quality, water quantity, agriculture, recreation, wildlife, historical and archeological, geologic and natural features, fish and aquatic, vegetation, buffers and setbacks, and land and open space. The Plan can be downloaded and printed from MerrimackRiver.org as a PDF or you can use the interactive web-enabled version. A tremendous thank you to Bill for guiding UMRLAC through the planning process and producing a first-rate document.
The UMRLAC worked with Yellahoose to re-design its website. The new website features not only an interactive way to view the new Plan, but also downloads of documents, water quality data, and other resources. Thank you to Jim Cradock, Yellahoose, for his great work on the new and exciting MerrimackRiver.org. Please visit MerrimackRiver.org to learn more about the Merrimack River, UMRLAC, and its work.
In June, the UMRLAC hosted the state Rivers Management Advisory Committee’s meeting along with a lunch and canoe trip from Franklin to Boscawen. RMAC members were treated to a beautiful and windy trip down the river and were provided with local information on habitat, history, and watershed conditions.
The UMRLAC hosted a legislative training session conducted by Derek Durbin, New Hampshire Lakes Association, and Carl Paulsen, New Hampshire Rivers Council. Several UMRLACers participated in the November state Watershed Conference in Concord. Thank you to Steve Landry for representing not only UMRLAC but several other Local River Management Advisory Committees in the Community Technical Assistance Program (I-93 expansion) process.
UMRLAC begins its twelfth year of the Upper Merrimack Monitoring Program (UMMP). The UMMP owes much of its success to strong municipal support and that from its Adopt-a-River Site Sponsors. The Program’s Adopt-a-River Site Sponsors include Aquarian Analytical Laboratories, Inc.; Aries Engineering, Inc.; Checkmate Expert Payroll Services; Elektrisola; Franklin Savings Bank; Franklin Wastewater Treatment Facility; Public Service Company of NH Corporate Offices and Merrimack Station; and Watts Regulator/Webster Valve. Many thanks to the Conservation Commissions and Towns and Cities of Boscawen, Bow, Canterbury, Concord, Franklin, and Northfield for their ongoing support and for graciously hosting Upper Merrimack River Local Advisory Committee meetings. The Concord Community Cooperative chose UMRLAC as one of its twelve nonprofits to receive a percentage of their revenues in 2007.
The October meeting was hosted by the Franklin Waste Water Treatment Plant (FWWTP). Staff provided a tour of this fascinating facility for the UMRLACers. Since 1995, the FWWTP provided E. coli sample processing for the UMMP with the assistance of over a dozen collection volunteers. The data are the first volunteer monitoring program’s to be entered into the state Environmental Monitoring Database. These data are provided to the NH Department of Environmental Services and posted at MerrimackRiver.org for us by health officers, resource managers and planners, and visitors to the area.
Graciously hosted by St. Paul’s School, Bug Nights continues its popularity in the region, entering its twelfth year in 2008 with dozens of individuals volunteering their collection and identification services. The UMRLAC has contracted with a consulting firm for a data analysis and recommendations report. This analysis will guide planning efforts for the next decade.
The UMRLAC continued to review and provide comment on project plans and proposals including the relicensing application for several hydroelectric facilities on the Merrimack River, and site specific and wetlands applications, and the existing and proposed landfills (Franklin and Canterbury, respectively).
Officers were elected in November: Michele Tremblay, Chair; Steve Landry, Vice-Chair, Krista Crowell, Treasurer; and Gary Lynn, Secretary. The UMRLAC is pleased to welcome Harry Anderson and Bill Dawson, both of Northfield, as the newest “UMRLACers.” A very warm welcome back to Robert Wyatt, Concord, formerly an UMRLACer representing the Town of Bow.
Please visit UMRLAC’s brand new website at www.merrimackriver.org for further information on the river, committee membership, activities, maps, water quality data, and photographs of UMRLAC volunteers in action. UMRLAC meetings are held on a rotating basis in the six represented communities on the second Monday of each month at 7:00 PM. All are welcome to attend. For meeting schedules, locations and more information, contact Michele L. Tremblay, Chair, at 796-2615, or your local representatives.