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Sununu Ends Lake Sunapee Access Plan

Valley News Correspondent
Published: 7/29/2017 12:07:41 AM
Modified: 7/29/2017 12:07:53 AM

Newbury, n.h. — The long-standing debate over a proposed boat access site on Lake Sunapee, just north of Newbury, on the lake’s western shore appears to be over, with Friday’s announcement by Gov. Chris Sununu that he was pulling the permit extension for the plan from the Executive Council’s agenda.

“We have heard the concerns of the residents of Newbury, Sunapee and the surrounding towns. Enough is enough,” the governor said in a statement. “This project has been debated for the last 20 years and it is time to put an end to this flawed plan.”

It was not clear whether Sununu was seeking another plan at the same location or wanted to see New Hampshire Fish and Game find another site on the roughly 10-mile-long lake.

“We will work with the residents of the area to find a better solution to ensure greater public access,” Sununu said.

June Fichter, executive director of the Lake Sunapee Protective Association, was pleased with the governor’s announcement.

“It is terrific news from our point of view,” Fichter said, adding that LSPA is not opposed to increasing boat access on the lake but fought this plan by New Hampshire Fish and Game.

“We are committed to working with the towns to finding alternatives and satisfying the need,” Fichter said. “We believe it can be done.”

Fichter said LSPA is opposed to both the 3-acre Wild Goose location and plan, with its $3 million price tag, for a few reasons. She said it went from originally being proposed as “car-top” only access, but over time became a big parking lot with a double boat ramp that would have required a lot of excavating to correct a steep slope. Additionally, Fichter said, the sight lines entering Route 103B were poor and could have led to accidents.

There are five public access areas on the lake, including Sunapee Harbor and Lake Sunapee State Beach, with smaller locations in Georges Mills, Blodgett’s Landing and Burkhaven.

Fichter said LSPA believes a better solution would be to improve parking and access at the state beach, which is about 1.5 miles north of the state-owned Wild Goose property.

Patrick O’Grady can be reached at pogclmt@gmail.com.




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