The Upper Merrimack River Local Advisory Committee (UMRLAC) and other Local River Management Advisory Committees (LRMAC) were recognized this year with two awards. The first was the President’s Volunteer Service Award gold level for organizations that have donated in excess of 1,000 hours. Each UMRLAC representative received a lapel pin. The UMRLAC received a certificate at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s awards ceremony in April. The UMRLAC and the other LRMAC were recognized with a “Volunteer NH! Service” awards at a November ceremony in Concord. The awards were presented by Senator-elect and former New Hampshire Governor, Jeanne Shaheen. The UMRLAC thanks Steve Couture of the NH Department of Environmental Services Rivers Management and Protection Program for nominating the LMRACs for these two awards.
The Rivers Management and Protection Program celebrated its twentieth anniversary with a commemorative poster. The poster features the upper Merrimack from the Route 4 bridge at the Boscawen/Canterbury/Concord line with a photograph taken by Steve Landry, Boscawen UMRLAC Representative.
The UMRLAC began implementing the Upper Merrimack Management and Implementation Plan with assistance from the Central New Hampshire Regional Planning Commission. The Commission worked with the UMRLAC to write a successful funding proposal to implement the buffers objective. The Plan can be downloaded and printed in a PDF format or viewed online as an interactive web-enabled version from the redesigned UMRLAC web site at www.merrimackriver.org.
This year the UMRLAC begins its thirteenth 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 of NH (both Corporate and Merrimack Station); and Watts Regulator/Webster Valve. The UMRLAC also thanks the Conservation Commissions and Towns and Cities of Boscawen, Bow, Canterbury, Concord, Franklin, and Northfield for their ongoing support. The support of these towns, cities, and Adopt-a-River Site sponsors made possible equipment and supply purchases as well as maintenance to protect existing investments such as the UMMP’s stereoscopes. Special thanks go to St. Paul’s School for graciously hosting UMRLAC’s “Bug Nights” educational and research program, which continues its popularity in the region with dozens of individuals volunteering their collection and identification services.
The UMLRAC contracted with EcoAnalysts, Inc. to provide a data analysis and recommendations report related to the data collected in the Bug Nights program. This analysis will help guide the UMRLAC in its planning efforts for the next decade. The UMRLAC continued to review and provide comment on project plans and proposals including the FERC relicensing for hydroelectric facilities on the Merrimack River, site specific and wetlands applications in the upper Merrimack six municipalities, state surplus land disposal, and a proposed landfill expansion. The UMRLAC also provided comments on several NH Department of Transportation proposals and pre-application process.
The UMRLAC elected the following slate of officers in November: Michele Tremblay, Chair; Steve Landry, Vice-Chair, Krista Crowell, Treasurer; and Gary Lynn, Secretary. The UMRLAC is pleased to welcome Brian Sullivan of Franklin as the newest “UMRLACer.”
The UMRLAC hosted several informational and educational presentations from experts on issues including legislation, invasive species, climate change adaptation, and the NH Natural Heritage Bureau. During the summer, the UMRLAC hosted a public workshop in Canterbury on the revised Comprehensive Shoreland Protect Act. Several UMRLAC representatives participated in the annual Watershed Conference in November. Michele Tremblay presented a social marketing workshop.
Established in 1990, the Upper Merrimack River Local Advisory Committee (UMLRAC) has represented its six communities of Boscawen, Bow, Canterbury, Concord, Franklin, and Northfield in a variety of studies and planning activities related to the upper Merrimack River and its watershed. It serves as the area’s advisory board on its designation in the NH Rivers Management and Protection program.
It’s been nearly two decades since the UMRLAC met for the first time. Representatives have begun planning for a twentieth anniversary celebration during 2010. To learn more or to be part of the fun, please contact the UMRLAC or watch for updates on the UMRLAC web site at www.merrimackriver.org.
Please visit UMRLAC’s redesigned website for further information on the river, committee membership, activities, summaries from prior meetings, upcoming meeting agendas, maps, water quality data, and photographs of brave and selfless volunteers in action. The UMRLAC meets on a rotating basis in its six represented communities on the second Monday of each month at 7:00 pm. Many thanks to the Towns and Cities of Boscawen, Bow, Canterbury, Concord, Franklin, and Northfield for graciously hosting Upper Merrimack River Local Advisory Committee meetings. An informational “Around the Watershed” session is conducted at each meeting. All are welcome to attend. For additional information, please contact Michele Tremblay at 603.796.2615, www.merrimackriver.org, or any of your municipal representatives listed below.
Stephen C. Landry
Michele L. Tremblay