Comments about the vision of Bear Brook State Park are now welcome 

  • Canada geese and ducks look for food on the Bear Brook State Park pond as the fog comes off the water on Friday. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

  • The welcome sign to Bear Brook State Park in Allenstown on Friday. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

  • Canada Goose swim in the Bear Brook State Park pond in Allenstown on Friday morning, March 26,2021. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Canada goose look for food at the Bear Brook State Park pond on Friday morning, March 26, 2021. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 3/29/2021 5:18:16 PM

For the first time in more than 25 years, Bear Brook State Park has released an exhaustive study that documents improvements and updates needed at the Granite State’s largest state park.

The nearly 200-page report centers on all aspects of park maintenance and upkeep, and addresses its endless goal of finding balance between recreation and the protection of natural resources.

The management plan, under the supervision of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, took two years to assemble.

The public has until April 30 to weigh in on the plan, via email or regular mail. Also, a virtual listening session will be held on April 22, giving the public a second option to express opinions, this one done in real time.

The new management plan was prepared by a 15-person technical team of natural-resource professionals from various state agencies. A 15-person steering committee, which included members of the public who were affiliated with the recreational uses and environmental interests of the park, oversaw the project.

Throughout the process, the steering committee received regular updates from the various agencies involved. Public meetings were sprinkled into the schedule, providing a forum to ask questions and offer opinions.

The park’s first forest management plan was written in 1948, when Bear Brook – located mostly in Allenstown – covered 6,849 acres. The second plan, more detailed and thorough than the first, occurred in 1994. The park now spans more than 10,000 acres.

“This current plan,” the report states, “seeks to encompass changes in policy, practices and technology that have transpired in the intervening 25 years while continuing to emphasize long-term management strategies and multiple uses.”

The plan, the authors said, will meet the park’s needs for the next 15 years.

“Documented in this plan is the future management for forestry, wildlife, cultural, ecological and recreational resources in the park,” Brent Wucher, the public information officer for the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, said in a statement. “The technical team used the latest science and practices across all disciplines to produce this integrated plan.”

Wucher wasn’t available for further comment.

Dozens of recommendations were included in the report. Among them – a new tollbooth to reduce traffic at the existing tollbooth; develop new strategies for the park’s two museums; expand campsites; update trail maps; a comprehensive study on invasive plants; preserve yet-to-be discovered archeology sites; protect the integrity of wetlands; develop wildlife-focused educational programs.

The official Bear Brook State Park Management Plan can be viewed at nhstateparks.org in the About Us section under Commissions and Committees.

The public is invited to examine the plan and offer input, through email or regular mail, until April 30 at 4 p.m.

Comments and questions should be mailed to Bear Brook Plan, 172 Pembroke Road, Concord, 03301, or emailed to BearBrookPlan@dncr.nh.gov.

(Ray Duckler can be reached by phone at 369-3304 or by email at rduckler@cmonitor.com.)



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