The New Hampshire River Management and Protection Program (RMPP) was established in 1988 with the passage of RSA 483 to protect certain rivers, called designated rivers for their outstanding natural and cultural resources. The program is administered by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES).
For a river to be designated for protection, an interested individual or organization must first develop a nomination outlining the river's values and characteristics. Support by local municipal officials and residents of the riverfront communities for the designation must also be sought and reported. Once completed, the nomination is submitted to the DES Commissioner and, if and when approved, forwarded to the General Court for consideration. If the Legislature approves the nomination, looking closely at the level of local support and presence of important river values, and if the Governor signs the bill, RSA 483 is amended to designate the river for protection under the program. The Exeter River was enrolled in the RMPP in 1995.
After designation, a management plan is developed so that the outstanding qualities of the river may be protected for future generations. The plan is developed and implemented by a volunteer local river advisory committee that also coordinates activities affecting the river on a regional basis. A typical plan identifies management goals and recommends actions that may be taken to protect the resources identified in the nomination. At the state level, the Department of Environmental Services assists with the development and implementation of the management plan and enforces regulations concerning the quality and quantity of flow in protected river segments.
The management plan is available at the DES website.