Lake Sunapee

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Controversy over Wild Goose boat access on Sunapee

Aug 23, 2017

BY: CCNH-LFDA Highlights

A project to build a public boat access facility on Lake Sunapee effectively died this summer, when Gov. Chris Sununu removed discussion of a permit for the site from the Executive Council agenda.

The boat access project was named Wild Goose, after a motel that used to sit on the property. The Land Conservation Investment Program (LCIP) purchased the Wild Goose property in 1990. Since then, the Fish and Game Department has worked to build a public boat access on the site. The effort has involved multiple permits, studies, and even two trips to the state Supreme Court.

Longstanding opposition from the community

Nearby landowners and the Newbury Selectboard oppose the plan, due to concerns about road safety, the cost of development, and the negative impact of all-night lighting.

In a statement Sununu said:

“We have heard the concerns of the residents of Newbury, Sunapee, and the surrounding towns. Enough is enough. This project has been debated for the last twenty years and it is time to put an end to this flawed plan.”

Are rich landowners blocking public access?

Now the Fish and Game Department is firing back. In a letter released Tuesday, August 22, the Fish and Game Commission wrote:

“We feel the delay is due to a few wealthy individuals who have ownership on the shores of Sunapee and want to keep our 6th largest lake as their own private domain. … Countless hours and over $400,000 of the public’s money has been spent on studies, engineering and permitting to date. To throw this away because of the selfish feelings of a few individuals should be a crime, as New Hampshire Statute states, ‘No individual or corporation shall prohibit public access to public waters.’”

Do you have an opinion on the Wild Goose boat access project? Let us know in the comments below.


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