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Government Proposals

This page highlights ongoing activities related to the health and stewardship of lakes, including key legislation under consideration in Concord and the deliberations/recommendations of Chesterfield’s Watershed Committee and other relevant Town decision-makers.

Town of Chesterfield

Watershed Management Committee

Mission/ Purpose:   To provide recommendations to the Town of Chesterfield Board of Selectmen that advance the understanding, planning, implementation, and use of watershed management tools and techniques to affectively protect and enhance the water quality of Spofford Lake. 

The public is welcome to attend meetings, which typically convene every other Thursday from 9:30-11:00 at Town Hall.  Check the town website for the exact schedule. 

Minutes:  Minutes of all meetings , December 2021 to present, can be found on the Town's website.

Town Vote, March 12, 2024

The Results:  We are delighted that Town residents approved all three ‘stormwater runoff’ initiatives.  More than 70% of voting residents agreed that managing runoff warranted approval of the three ordinance changes covering pervious paving, surface water management, and driveway permits.  Thank you to all who voted yes.  We appreciate your support.

Amendments to Town Ordinances:  After discussions and consultation with the Watershed Committee, the Planning Board recommends that voters approve proposed amendments 1,2, and 5 to current Town ordinances.  

Amendment 1: Pervious Paving

Amendment 2:  Driveway Permits

Amendment 5:  Surface Water Management

To view the 6-page ballot, including the full text of the amendments, click here.

February 15, 2023 Public Hearing:   The Watershed Committee held a public information session at Town Hall.   The Committee's full presentation can be reviewed here.

February 2023:  Recommendations:  The Committee has recommended a number of actions to Town government.  A synopsis of those can be found here

Dear Members, Friends, and Lake Lovers: 

To express your opinion, contact

State of New Hampshire

March 21, 2023--Here’s an update, drawn largely from NH LAKES on the status of various bills in the NH legislature.  For details, check out and  You still have time to express your positions on these bills.  Contact our state representatives:

Michael Abbott, or 603-336-7090

Cathryn Harvey, or 603-363-4424

and our state senator:

Donovan Fenton, or 603-271-7875

Summary Updates

HB=House Bill; SB=Senate Bill; RRDC=Resource, Recreation and Development Committee; DES=Department of Environmental Services; SENRC=Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

--HB 1301 would enable a group of 25 or more residents or property owners of a town in which a lake, pond, or river is located to petition the NH Department of Safety to restrict or prohibit wakesurfing on the lake, pond, or river, or portion of the waterbody.

The RRDC considered several motions that ended in tie votes so this bill will go to the House Floor with no recommendation, wherein the bill and an amendment will be discussed and voted on by the full House of Representatives.

Comment: This bill is consistent with the current petition and public hearing process available for other uses of our lakes.  If enacted, it would give the residents and property owners of Chesterfield the means to seek sensible restrictions for wakesurfing on Spofford Lake.  Wakesurfing poses a significant safety and environmental threat when conducted in shallow areas and/or too close to the shore.  Scientific studies indicate that wakesurfing is inappropriate within 500 feet of the shore and in waters less than 20 feet deep.

--HB 1390 would limit the operation of wakeboats and their use in wakesports on public waters of the state outside of a wakesports zone defined as at least 50 acres of water that is 500 feet from shore and more than 20 feet deep.  The RRDC considered several motions that failed but ultimately recommended the bill as Ought to Pass with an amendment providing a 300 foot setback, minimum 50 acres, but no depth requirement.  The bill did not go on the consent calendar and will be discussed on the House Floor.

Comment: Scientific studies indicate that to preclude or otherwise mitigate wakesurfing’s damaging effects, it should only be conducted at least 500 feet from the shore and at depths of at least 20 feet. While a 300 foot setback is a step in the right direction, it is not sufficient.

--SB 431 would restrict wakesurfing on a public body of water, wherein no person could engage in wakesurfing on a body of water that is less than 50 acres in size or within 200 feet of a shoreline, dock, pier, boathouse, or other boats or on a portion of a body of water with a width, measured from the nearest shoreline to the second nearest shoreline, of less than 400 feet.

The Senate Transportation Committee has not yet made a recommendation.

Comment: A 200 foot setback is inadequate.  As indicated above, the science supports limiting wakesurfing to areas at least 500 feet from the shoreline and having a depth of at least 20 feet.

--HB 1103 would remove certain impediments to DES’s ability to seek penalties and fines for proven violations of the Shoreland Protection Act.  There is no change in the size of the fees for penalties.  

The RRDC unanimously recommended the bill as Ought to Pass and the bill was placed on the House Consent calendar.  It is now before the SENCR. 

--HB 1143, would allow the DES to monitor, manage, and reduce the risk of cyanobacteria blooms and directs DES to reduce, control, and prevent the nutrient inputs which cause cyanobacteria blooms.  Watch the January 2024 DES webinar on the current NH Cyanobacteria Plan here.

RRDC recommended Ought to Pass with Amendment and the bill as amended was placed on the House consent calendar. It has been referred to the SENRC.

--HB 1229 would require buyers, lessees, and transferees of shoreland property to acknowledge a minimum requirements document for compliance with the Shoreland Protection Act, wherein the buyers, lessees, and transferees would need to acknowledge and sign that they have read and understood the document.

The RRDC referred the bill for interim study and as such was placed on the House consent calendar.

--HB 1304 would bring New Hampshire into compliance with federal regulations concerned with the collection of boat registration fees.  Passage of this bill would protect federal funding for Marine Patrol and provide NH with a way to collect fees to support critical programs, including for aquatic invasive species prevention and management.

The Transportation Committee recommended as Ought to Pass with Amendment, the bill was consented to by the House, and then referred to the Finance Committee.

Comment: There is an effort on the federal level to change the Federal regulations such that the change would bring NH’s current method for collecting boat registration fees into compliance therewith, thus rendering this bill moot.

--HB 1360 as amended in Committee would give the Department of Safety emergency authority to establish no wake zones in the public and coastal waters for up to 10 days due to extreme weather or environmental conditions.

RRDC recommended Ought to Pass with amendment and the bill as amended was placed on the House consent calendar.

--HB 1409 would repeal the prohibition for the overnight mooring of houseboats.

RRDC recommended as Inexepedient to Legislate and the House voted to indefinitely postpone (i.e., the bill was killed).

Page updated March 21, 2024 

To voice your opinion,

contact your state legislators

Spofford Lake Association

PO Box 177
Spofford, NH 03462

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