About Us: New Hampshire Rivers Council

Annual Report 2015 (this PDF is best printed double-side on legal-sized paper)
Annual Report 2014
(this PDF is best printed double-side on legal-sized paper)
Annual Report 2012 (this PDF is best printed double-side on legal-sized paper)

The New Hampshire Rivers Council has made many significant contributions to river and watershed conservation. The following is a small sample:

  • Partnered in a comprehensive study of the value of surface waters in New Hampshire.
  • Worked with grassroots organizations to implement minimum water levels on protected rivers.
  • Worked with policy makers to preserve protections against harm caused by sludge spreading along rivers and over aquifers.
  • Participated in the Citizens for New Hampshire Land & Community Heritage Coalition to work with the Governor's Commission on Land & Community Heritage to recommend a new, permanent and adequately funded program for land conservation in New Hampshire.
  • Advised numerous river groups considering or applying for inclusion to the State Rivers Management and Protection Program, most recently the Souhegan and Isinglass rivers.
  • Supported several Local River Advisory Committees in their successful quest to remove their exclusions in the Comprehensive Shoreland Protection Act to include the Upper and Lower Merrimack, Lamprey, Contoocook and North Branch, and Swift Rivers — rivers that are already covered in the River Management & Protection Act, but which were exempted from the important shoreland protection bill when it was passed.
  • In cooperation with other state, regional and national organizations, educated Congress to fund the Land & Water Conservation Fund — our nation's single most significant source of land and water protection funding.
  • Partnered with the New Hampshire Lakes Association to create a Watershed Stewardship Program.
  • Joined other New Hampshire organizations to negotiate a creative license agreement for the 15-mile Falls dam on the Connecticut River. In a cooperative, non-adversarial process, conservation and recreation groups worked with the dam owner on an agreement that will provide better protection to the river ecosystem and preserve almost 12,000 acres of land on the river and surrounding the Connecticut Lakes.

Objectives
  1. Ensure that the "instream flow rules" that protect the ecosystem of rivers in the state management program are established.
  2. Contribute to a study of the economic value of the state's rivers and lakes.
  3. Conduct workshops for citizens and decision makers regarding important river issues.
  4. Coordinate river and watershed groups statewide to help them work on river and watershed issues.
  5. Strengthen our organization's leadership and membership

Priorities
  • Educating and informing the public and decision makers about the benefits and value of New Hampshire's rivers, watersheds and related natural resources;
  • Building a constituency for New Hampshire rivers by coordinating and supporting grassroots river and watershed organizations;
  • Advocating for policies, and funding that conserve river resources and improve their management;
  • Encouraging and supporting the nomination of additional rivers into the state's Rivers Management and Protection Program.

Officers

Michele L. Tremblay, Webster, NH
President

Michele L. Tremblay, Principal, naturesource communications, provides organizational development, policy, planning, and training services to federal, state, and local agencies and nonprofit and grassroots groups throughout the Northeast US and Canada.. Michele served as chair of the Watershed Advisory Group for the Executive Committee of the Merrimack River Initiative. She has served as a representative to the Upper Merrimack Local Advisory Committee and as its chair and Program Director for the committee's Upper Merrimack Monitoring Program since its inception in 1990. Michele was appointed by the Governor to represent conservation interests on the State Rivers Management Advisory Committee and serves as its chair, the Water Council, and the Public Water Access Advisory Board. Michele served on the (now sunsetted) state Soreland Advisory Committee. She was previously appointed by the Governor to the the State Lakes Advisory Committee As Executive Director the State Conservation Committee, she also served on the, Historic Agricultural Structures Advisory Committee, and Conservation License Plate Advisory Committee. For two decades, she served on the Boscawen Conservation Commission (that manages the Boscawen Town Forest and Tree Farm) and was its chair for fifteen years. She is active in legislative issues and in 1998, coordinated river conservation groups for the initiation and successful passage of a bill that granted shoreland protection to previously excluded rivers in New Hampshire. She served on the Penacook-Boscawen Water Precinct Board of Commissioners for several years. A New Hampshire native, she has served the region and state in a variety of land, planning, river, and lake conservation groups and received the first NH River Conservationist of the Year in 1998, an Environmental Hero by Proctor Academy in 2002, River Network River Hero in 2003. Ms. Tremblay was honored to receive the Helen Award for Volunteerism in 2006 and a President's Volunteer Service Award from the Bush administration in 2008. In 2013, she received a River Advocate Award and a Longevity Award from the New Hampshire Rivers Management and Protection Program. Michele is a Justice of the Peace in the State of New Hampshire.

Judith Spang, Durham, NH

Vice president
Judith Judith Spang has been a river person since her childhood growing up on the Warren River in Rhode Island. Her passion for our state's rivers and their magnificent watersheds began when she built a house on 124 acres of land along the Lamprey River in Durham 33 years ago. She earned a bachelor's degree from Bryn Mawr, a master's degree in city/regional planning from the Pratt Institute, and a MBA from the UNH Whittemore School of Business. Previously a professional land use planner, she found her skills first called upon when serving on the Planning Board, developing and advocating for passage of Durham's wetlands and shoreland ordinances. She led the effort to designate the Lamprey as one of the first rivers protected under NH's Rivers Management and Protect Act. She subsequently worked to secure the river's designation as a National Wild and Scenic River, for which she received the national "Outstanding River Advocate of the Year" award from American Rivers. While she was chair of the Lamprey River Advisory Committee, the group secured $2.8 million dollars in Federal funding since 2000. Judith was elected to the Board of the River Network in Portland, OR. In 1996, Judith was elected to the NH House of Representatives and served as the Chair of the Resources Recreation and Development Committee. She sponsored over 30 environment bills, including permanent funding for Land Conservation and Heritage Investment Program, and revising the Shoreland Protection Act. She established the Southeast Watershed Alliance and study commissions on stormwater, groundwater, and sedimentation of the Oyster River, all of which she chaired or co-chaired. She is currently on the Board of LCHIP, chairs the Conservation License Plate Committee, and serves on the legislative In-stream Flow Pilot Study committee. Recently, Judith’s advocacy of the state's rivers earned her a River Advocate Award. She joins the New Hampshire Rivers Council Board with anticipation of continuing her work with a dedicated organization and says that her greatest satisfaction has been to serve as the intermediary that takes the expertise of natural scientists into the realm of policy.


Jacquie Colburn, Bar Harbor, ME

Secretary
Jacquie gained an appreciation of the outdoors as a kid growing up in Connecticut. She had a 600-acre salt marsh in her backyard, and happily, it is still there today. She earned a degree in Natural Resources Management from the University of Connecticut and between college and graduate school, worked for environmental engineering consulting firm in Connecticut. But as a kid Jacquie was also introduced to northern New England, through vacation trips in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and in Acadia National Park in Maine. So following graduate school, she relocated to central New Hampshire. She worked as a planner for the Lakes Region Planning Commission for three years and then assumed a new position at the NH Department of Environmental Services (DES), administering DES's Lakes Management and Protection Program. After 19 years in this role, in 2011 Jacquie assumed responsibility for NH's rivers as well; she most recently administered the Rivers Management and Protection Program and the Lakes Program at DES. Jacquie has served on several municipals boards and commissions since moving to New Hampshire and presently she serves on the board of the Loon Preservation Committee, the Squam Lakes Association, and the New England Chapter of the North American Lake Management Society. She was also named the DES Employee of the Year in 2011. Jacquie resides in Bar Harbor with her husband Ken and Gabby, their rescue kitty. She enjoys hiking, biking, canoeing, and kayaking, and wishes she had more time to enjoy our woods, mountains, lakes, rivers, streams and ponds.Jacquie looks forward to contributing to the important progress that the Rivers Council has achieved over the past twenty-five years and hopes to help continue to build the relationship between the state, communities, and nonprofit organizations that support sound river management across the state.

Donald L. Ware, Merrimack, NH
Treasurer

Donald Ware is the Chief Operating Officer at Pennichuck Water. He represents the public water supplier interests on the state's Rivers Management Advisory Committee.

Directors

Steven Lowe, Canterbury, NH

Steven Lowe has been involved in rivers and streams starting as a boy learning to trout fish with his father. He and his wife Madeleine enjoyed canoeing the Merrimack River from Franklin to Concord many times after moving to Canterbury, NH in 1983. Most impressive to Steve were the abundance of hatching mayflies and caddisflies that indicate good water quality. Even more surprising was the feedback he received from many locals who still regarded the river as a sewer. From that flourished a passion for promoting the river and supporting the removal of the Sewall Falls dam. While already a member of Trout Unlimited and Ducks Unlimited Steven decided to increase his local involvement and became an early volunteer of the Upper Merrimack River Local Advisory Committee (UMRLAC). In the 1990s Steven and Madeleine started their own technical consulting business, Lowe Temperature Solutions, Inc. and raised their two sons. Now as he transitions to an empty nester Steve has been filling his time with UMRLAC rock baskets and ’Bug Nights’, NH Fish & Game salmon program and stream surveys, and TU’s ’Trout in the classroom program.’ As a Director of the Rivers Council Steve hopes to protect New Hampshire’s rivers for the future and to educate young and old in the value and importance of New Hampshire’s rivers and streams.


David Packard, Goffstown, NH

David is a scientist working for Eversource in New Hampshire. He spent much of his career in the construction, start-up, and repair of power generating plants around the southwestern United States and New Hampshire. He currently negotiates major contracts for the corporation. He is past chairman of the Goffstown Solid Waste Commission (the town with one of the highest recycling rates in New Hampshire), currently serving on the board of NH LAKES, currently chair of the NH Lakes Management Advisory Committee, formerly a Boy Scout leader, and has a profound intrest in the peresrvation and wise use of the state's waters and natural resources. David and his wife Pat enjoy birds, wildlife, dogs, and two wonderful energetic grandchildren on and in the water at Lower Suncook Lakes in Barnstead—and occasionally gets the opportunity to drop in his canoe.


Sally Soule, Kittery Point, ME

Sally works for  the Watershed Assistance section of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES)  as the Coastal Watershed Supervisor. In this role, she provides assistance to municipalities, non-profit organizations, and others to develop, implement, and measure the success of watershed restoration and protection projects in New Hampshire’s coastal watershed. Sally has worked for DES for over fifteen years and has managed a variety of projects to address nonpoint source pollution. Prior to her work at DES, Sally worked as the Education Director for the Nashua River Watershed Association. For close to ten years, Sally has also served as a volunteer water quality monitor for the Maine Healthy Beaches Program.

Frank Tupper, Canterbury, NH

Frank Tupper, former NH State Representative and Canterbury Town Selectmen, brings valuable experience and knowledge to the Council after having served on the Resources, Recreation, and Development House Committee as well as the Environment and Agriculture Committee. His love for water and fishing has been life long, spanning all the way to Alaska. Frank enjoyed fishing for a living in Alaska, working as a special education teacher, and producing documentary videos. Frank led the fight to keep a large solid waste landfill off the shores of the Merrimack River.

Honorary Directors

Stephen Blackmer, Canterbury, NH
Camilla Lockwood, Temple, NH
Patricia Schlesinger, New Hampton, NH
Kelly Short, Canterbury, NH

Staff

Kara Russell, New Hampton, NH
Program Administrator


Kara Russell has been actively involved in protecting our waters since attending her first town meeting with Save Our Groundwater, as a 13-year-old.   What started as a simple 8th grade social studies assignment sparked a passion and career in restoring and preserving our water resources. 
Kara earned a degree in Marine Biology from Roger Williams University, where she conducted research on fish habitat restoration using Reef Ball technology.  She studied abroad at the Bermuda Institute for Oceanic Sciences where she became a certified scientific SCUBA diver and studied human impacts on coral reef ecology.  Her career began at the Narrragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve as a Field Technician assessing the health of salt marshes and then as a Marine Lab Assistant Manager for the Environmental Protection Agency.  Once Kara saw firsthand how toxic sediment negatively affects the development of fish embryos, she had a strong desire to be part of a solution. Kara took her passion for habitat restoration and conservation to the next level by working as a Program Coordinator for The Nature Conservancy of New Hampshire for nearly 5 years.  At TNC, she developed the largest community-based oyster restoration program (grew from 16 to nearly 200 people) in an effort to improve the water quality of Great Bay.  She also earned a MS in Environmental Studies with a Science Teaching Certification from Antioch University New England, where she developed skills and tools to educate a wide range of learners about science concepts.   Kara brings her skills in program development and management, outreach, as well as environmental education strategies to help expand the New Hampshire Rivers Council’s programs and opportunities.  She is so happy to be part of an organization that is dedicated to protecting the rivers of her home state.


Contractor

Carl Paulsen, Dover
Fundraising and Membership Services Consultant