New Hampshire Rivers Council

On Tour Highlight

On March 29th, the New Hampshire Rivers Council will be presenting its 14th annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival On Tour event at the Bank of New Hampshire Stage. They are offering an opening reception, door prizes, and exhibits by national and local business sponsors. 


Located in Concord, New Hampshire, the New Hampshire Rivers Council is the only statewide conservation organization dedicated to the protection and conservation of New Hampshire river resources. 

The New Hampshire Rivers Council is committed to the conservation and ecologically sound management of New Hampshire’s rivers, watersheds, and related natural resources. Since its incorporation as a non-profit organization in 1993, the New Hampshire Rivers Council has worked to educate the public about the value of the state’s rivers, designate rivers in the state’s protection program, and advocate for strong public policies and wise management of New Hampshire river resources. 

The Rivers Council grew out of the New Hampshire Rivers Campaign, a group of concerned citizens and conservation organizations that united in 1985 to create a voice for the protection of New Hampshire rivers. The Campaign helped establish the state’s Rivers Management and Protection Program in 1989. The Campaign also helped shepherd river nominations into the new state protection program and helped establish river corridor protections under the state’s Comprehensive Shoreland Protection Act. In 1992, the participants in the campaign recognized the need for a permanent, ongoing voice for river protection in the state, and formed the New Hampshire Rivers Council. 


The New Hampshire Rivers Council has made many significant contributions to river and watershed conservation. They have 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, and worked with policy makers to preserve protections against harm caused by sludge spreading along rivers and over aquifers. 

They also have 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 and have advised numerous river groups considering or applying for inclusion to the State Rivers Management and Protection Program, most recently the Souhegan and Isinglass rivers. 

The New Hampshire Rivers Council has 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, and have partnered with the New Hampshire Lakes Association to create a Watershed Stewardship Program. 

As well, they 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. 

The New Hampshire Rivers Council has four stated 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. 

They accomplish these priorities through a series of programs and initiatives such as the Winnicut River Watershed Restoration and Management Plan, their River Runners program, and their McQuesten Watershed Restoration Project. 


“Our Wild & Scenic Film Festival On Tour Event gives us a profile we would not otherwise have by being part of something taking place on a national scale,” says Michele L. Tremblay, President of the New Hampshire Rivers Council. “By having the ability to curate the films we are showing, we know that we can tailor our showings to our audience. It is such a great event for outreach with the community, building our membership, and connecting with our sponsors and funders. 2024 looks to be our best year ever.” 

“My favorite part about hosting an On Tour Event,” continues Tremblay, “is looking out at the audience and seeing nothing but smiles and getting the sense that they have been really moved by what they have seen. We find that this response carries on after the event and inspires people to become more active in finding solutions.”