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Siding With Sununu, Commission Pans State Site for Boat Launch on Lake Sunapee

Britta Greene / NHPR

A state commission says a contentious site on Lake Sunapee isn’t the right place for a new boat ramp, capping nearly 30 years of debate over the state-owned Wild Goose property.

The Lake Sunapee Public Boat Access Development Commission acknowledges in its report to the governor that the lake needs more public deep-water boat access and trailer parking.

But they say the Wild Goose site isn't the safest or cheapest place to build it.

A few commission members disagree, saying traffic upgrades would make Wild Goose work.

Tom O'Brien is president of New Hampshire Lakes, which has supported letting the commission handle this issue.

"They've at least made a decision about what isn’t the most appropriate and responsible … solution to public access on Lake Sunapee,” he says. “The question will be in the long-term, perhaps, what is? And I don't have an answer to that."

One idea the majority of the commission suggests is adding more boat parking at Sunapee State Beach, or even dredging to expand access.

They also want the state Department of Fish & Game to transfer control of Wild Goose to the state parks.

And they want the legislature to consider repaying Fish & Game for what it's spent on the issue over the years, so it can more easily look for a new solution.

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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