The Cold River is located in southwestern New Hampshire. It rises at the outlet of Crescent Lake in Acworth and flows southwest 22.4 miles through the towns of Lempster, Acworth, Alstead, Langdon, and Walpole before emptying into the Connecticut River. The Cold River was nominated for designation into the New Hampshire Rivers Management and Protection Program (RMPP) by a group known as the Friends of the Cold River. The Department of Environmental Services has reviewed the nomination and is recommending the Cold River for designation into the RMPP.
The Rivers Management and Protection Act (RSA 483) was passed by the General Court in 1988. The Act states in part: "It is the policy of the state to ensure the continued viability of New Hampshire rivers as valued economic and social assets for the benefit of present and future generations. The state shall encourage and assist in the development of river corridor management plans and regulate the quantity and quality of instream flow along certain protected rivers or segments of rivers to conserve and protect outstanding characteristics including recreational, fisheries, wildlife, environmental, cultural, historical, archeological, scientific, ecological, aesthetic, community significance, agricultural, and public water supply so that these valued characteristics shall endure as part of the river uses to be enjoyed by New Hampshire people."
The Act directs the Department of Environmental Services to receive and evaluate nominations for the designation of rivers or river segments into the Rivers Management and Protection Program to protect outstanding values and characteristics. Nominations approved by the Commissioner must be forwarded to the next session of the General Court for review and approval. In fulfillment of this statutory directive, the nomination of the Cold River is hereby forwarded to the General Court.
The Department of Environmental Services recommends that the Cold River be designated into the Rivers Management and Protection Program and classified as a "rural" and "community" river as described in the recommendations contained in this report, thereby affording it the full benefit of the applicable protection measures outlined in RSA 483. The outstanding statewide and local resource values and characteristics which qualify the Cold River for designation are described in this report.