III. Local Support
Local support for the designation of this segment of the Lamprey River into the Rivers Management and Protection Program is very strong. Both the Lee and Durham Boards of Selectmen and Conservation Commissions have voted to support the designation. More than 80 people attended a public hearing held at the Jeremiah Smith Grange Hall in Lee on December 4, 1989; an overwhelming majority of those in attendance expressed support for the designation. If fact, many people who spoke at the hearing advocated the classification of the Lamprey River as a "Natural River" and voiced strong support for the adoption of stringent protection measures for the river segment.
In June 1989, a federal license was issued for the construction and operation of a hydroelectric facility at the Wiswall Falls Dam in Durham. The proposed facility has been a source of controversy in the town for a number of years, and the issuance of a license by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has re-invigorated local efforts to stop the project and provide permanent protection for the river from new hydroelectric facilities. The license is currently under appeal by both the state and private parties, and a local effort is underway to have this segment of the river studied under the federal Wild and Scenic Rivers Program. Ninety percent of the riparian landowners in Durham and more than fifty percent in Lee have endorsed a request for the federal study.