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State Holds Hearings On Final Draft Of New Wetlands Code

John Phelan
Wikimedia Commons

The state begins public hearings Monday on the final draft of a major update to its wetlands rules.

The regulations lay out when developers need a permit to work around sensitive wetlands – whether to build a dock, a bridge or a logging road – and set parameters for those developments.

The state hasn't rewritten this code since 1991, and they've been working on these new regulations since 2014 – including a series of public hearings on an early draft this year.

Clark Freise, the assistant commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, says they hope this new draft is clearer than before, and more tailored to the different stakeholders that need wetlands permits – but he says there’s still plenty of room for improvement.

"It’s always a challenge to balance between the important environmental services those wetlands provide, and the ability for each and every individual to enjoy the property that they own,” Freise says.

Public hearings on the draft rules will take place around the state over the next two weeks, in Concord, the Lakes Region, the Seacoast and the North Country.

Freise says they want to hear from landowners, loggers, farmers, conservationists and anyone else who routinely interacts with wetlands.

Annie has covered the environment, energy, climate change and the Seacoast region for NHPR since 2017. She leads the newsroom's climate reporting project, By Degrees.

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