New Hampshire Rivers Management and Protection Program

II. SUMMARY: RESOURCES OF STATEWIDE OR LOCAL SIGNIFICANCE

Explanation: In order to be eligible for designation to the NH Rivers Management and Protection Program, a river must contain or represent either a significant statewide or local example of a natural, managed, cultural, or recreational resource.

Instructions:

  1. By checking the appropriate boxes below, indicate the resource values that you believe are present in the nominated river and its corridor and whether you believe these values are present at a level of significance that is statewide or local. If the value is not present, leave the box blank.


  2. Value Present/
    Natural Resource
    Statewide Significance Local Significance
    Geologic or Hydrologic
    Resources
     
    X
    Wildlife Resources  
    X
    Vegetation/Natural Communities
    X
     
    Fish Resources
    X
     
    Rare Species or Habitats
    X
     
    Water Quality  
    X
    OpenSpace  
    X
    Natural Flow Characteristics    

    Managed Resources
    Impoundments
    X
     
    Water Withdrawals/Discharges  
    X
    Hydroelectric Resources  
    X

    Cultural Resources
    Historic/Archaeological
    Resources
     
    X
    Community River Resources  
    X

    Value Present/
    Recreational Resaurces
    Fishery Resources
    X
     
    Boating Resources
    X
     
    Other Recreational Resources  
    X
    Public Access  
    X

    Other Resources
    Scenic Resources  
    X
    Land Use  
    X
    Land Use Controls    
    Water Quantity
    X
    X
    Riparian/Flowage Rights
    X
     
    Scientific Resources  
    X

  3. Briefly describe the most important resource values which are present in the nominated river and why you believe these values are significant from either a statewide or local perspective. For example, if the river contains a segment of whitewater that attracts kayakers from throughout the state and is identified in a regional boaters' guide as a premier whitewater boating segment, you should identify recreational boating as a significant statewide resource and include one or two sentences in support of this statement. In addition, if you feel that a resource value is threatened, explain why.
Souhegan in Winter Formed by the convergence of the South Branch and the West Branch Souhegan Rivers in New Ipswich, the Souhegan flows approximately 31 miles through the communities of New Ipswich, Greenville, Wilton, Milford, Amherst and Merrimack before joining the Merrimack River. The Souhegan River is one of the most significant surface water resources in the Nashua region. Throughout history the River has served man by providing transportation and food, by powering early mills, by supplying water for irrigation and drinking and by carrying away wastes. The River continues to serve man, however, there is a greater appreciation for its natural, historic and cultural resources. The following information highlights the significant resources of the Souhegan River corridor.

The historic mills, dams and bridges within the corridor are a constant reminder of the historic use of the river for industrial uses. Fortunately for the corridor communities, some of the once vacant mill buildings have found new life as office and studio space, new industrial businesses and elderly housing. Many of the dams on the River have been converted to hydropower. The historic resources of the corridor have local and state significance.

The geologic resources of the corridor provide many of the communities with their only source of public water supplies. The stratified drift aquifers that follow the river corridor provide a source of high quality/high quantity drinking water used for public supplies by the Towns of Merrimack, Milford and Wilton. The aquifer also supplies water for a successful spring water company in Wilton. This groundwater resource is very significant locally. Other significant geologic resources include scenic areas, particularly the gorge in Greenville, the Horseshoe in Wilton and Wildcat Falls in Merrimack.

The importance of the Souhegan to the Atlantic salmon restoration program is recognized at the local, state and federal levels. As the best salmon nursery habitat in the region, the River is key to the success of the program. The River has recently become an important educational tool as part of the Adopt -a-Salmon-Family program sponsored by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Souhegan River is recognized regionally and in New England for its whitewater kayaking and canoeing. The River is identified as good, intermediate whitewater by both the Appalachian Mountain Club's River Guide and the New England Whitewater River Guide. The rapids in the Greenville/Wilton stretch are classified as Class II, III and IV whitewater. In addition, the Souhegan corridor is a significant local recreational resource for swimming, hiking and nature study.

The quality-of-life aspect of the Souhegan River is an important local resource. All of the communities along the River are reacquainting themselves with the important role the River plays in their community. This is resulting in a renewed interest in water quality, public access, trail development and historic resources as well as an increased focus on the scenic qualities of the corridor.

III. COMMUNITY AND PUBLIC SUPPORT

IV. OTHER SUPPORTING INFORMATION

V. RIVER CLASSIFICATIONS

VI. MAPS

VII. RESOURCE ASSESSMENT