Under RSA 482-A:15 and administrative rules Env-Wt 700, individual municipalities may elect to designate wetlands as “prime-wetlands” if, after thorough analysis, it is determined that high-quality wetlands are present. Typically, a wetland receives this designation because of its large size, unspoiled character and ability to sustain populations of rare or threatened plant and animal species. Field and “desk top” data are used for the evaluation process.
After high value wetlands are identified, the municipality holds a public hearing before the residents of the community to vote on the designation. Once the municipality approves the wetlands for designation as prime, the municipality provides to the DES Wetlands Program a copy of the study and tax maps with the designated prime wetlands identified. DES reviews the submission from the municipality to ensure that it is complete and in accordance with Env-Wt 702.03.
Once the town's prime wetland submission is considered complete and approved, DES will apply the law and rules that are applicable to any future projects that are within the prime wetland or the 100 foot prime wetland buffer.
Review the following town prime wetland and prime wetland buffer maps to determine if your project is within these town designated protection areas. The original files can also be found at the town municipal offices.
Be aware that the town may have other local buffers or setbacks that are not addressed under the prime wetland or prime wetland buffer statute or rules.
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