Atkinson

News and Views    Trails and Lands    Town Canoe/Kayak Launch

Conservation Commission

Members

  • Chairman - Tim Dziechowski
  • Vice Chairman - Paul Wainwright
  • Secretary - Pete McVay
  • Dan Kimball
  • Denise Legault

Meeting Schedule

About Us

The Atkinson, NH Conservation Commission is an all-volunteer group which is appointed by the Board of Selectmen. It operates under the auspices of New Hampshire RSA 36-A, which empowers the Conservation Commission to provide "for the proper utilization and protection of the natural resources and for the protection of watershed resources of said city or town."

The Commission is the only local board specifically charged to protect the natural resources of the town, and as such provides a focal point within town government for environmental concerns.

The Atkinson Conservation Commission serves as an advisory board to the NH State Wetlands Bureau and the Atkinson Planning Board and Zoning Board of Adjustment.

Contact Information

Minutes

  • *Meeting minutes not provided on this website may be requested and obtained at the Town Hall
  •   For archived minutes click here.

    • 2013 Conservation Meeting Minutes   
    • 2012 Conservation Meeting Minutes   
    • 2011 Conservation Meeting Minutes   

Available Forms and Documents

Useful Links

  • **NEW Changes to the Shoreline Protection Act and Permit Application**
  • In 2011 the New Hampshire legislature repealed the Comprehensive Shoreland Protection Act (CSPA) and replaced it with the Shoreland Water Quality Protection Act (SWQPA).

  • This was done at the very end of the legislative season by an amendment attached to a "must pass" budget reconciliation bill. Because of this many municipal officials throughout the state are unaware that the law was changed.

  • NH DES has not done much outreach on this and as late as Fall 2011 still had outdated information on their webpage. Here is a link to the current page (as of 5/7/12). NH DES Shoreland Program

  • Much of the law remains the same, with the goal being to protect the state's public waters. But there are procedural changes. The slide show near the end of the web page gives a good summary of the changes.

  • The law used to have an exemption for the most common project of building a deck facing public water. This allowed for a new deck to be built up to 12' towards the reference line (but not past it) with no permit or waiver required.

  • This exemption has been repealed. Now all projects which have any impact within 250' of a public water body need a permit. While this sounds like a major new burden, there is a provision for an expedited permit by notification for minor projects. The permit by notification application is here: Shoreland Permit by Notification

  • The permit by notification may be used under the following circumstances:
    • - Not expanding a primary structure closer to the reference line
    • - Less than 20% of the post construction site will consist of impervious surfaces
    • - The project consists of less than 1500 square feet of total impact
    • - No more than 900 square feet may be new impervious surface
    The permit by notification application covers 95% of the permit requests the conservation commission has seen on Big Island Pond. It can be turned around in as little as 11 days, and cannot be appealed by abutters.

  • One other change is that the reference line for Big Island Pond is now established by elevation rather than the Big Island Pond video of the waterfront. That elevation is 203.3 feet. The conservation commission has a GPS which measures elevation and can assist homeowners. The area of Atkinson which is subject to the SWQPA is shown on this map Comprehensive Shoreland Protection Act Map (pdf) published by the Rockingham Planning Commission (3 MB download). The only part of Atkinson which has SWQPA protection is Big Island Pond.

  • We are available to answer questions and provide help. Send an email to conservation@atkinson-nh.gov .
  • New Hampshire Association of Conservation Commissions
  • Atkinson is a member of the New Hampshire Association of Conservation Commissions. NHACC is a private, non-profit association of municipal conservation commissions. Its purpose is to foster conservation and appropriate use of New Hampshire's natural resources by providing assistance to conservation commissions, facilitating communication and cooperation among commissions, and helping to create a climate in which commissions can be successful. Their website contains a wealth of conservation information and informative links. Go to NHACC.
  • For Kids
  • The NH Fish and Game Department publishes “Wild Times” wildlife journal for kids on its website.:   Wild Times Magazine
  • More Lands and Trails
  • All conservation and recreation reserves in New Hampshire, on a graphical map! Go to NH GRANIT's Conservation Lands Viewer for a fully-interactive map of all lands open to outdoor activities. This map database is constantly updated by communities and conservation commissions.

  • The Trust for Public Land (TPL) continually acquires and manages land in New Hampshire.

  • The Society for the Preservation of New Hampshire Forests (SPNHF) manages and protects over one million acres in the state of New Hampshire.
Return to Top