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Shoreline Development
and Recreational Use of Lakes

Development and recreational pressures on lakes have been implicated in declines in numbers of breeding loons and in reduced loon breeding success. Several researchers suggest that shoreline development and associated recreational use of lakes play an important role in limiting loon populations, and might be the primary factors in the reduction of the loon's historical breeding range.

Loon Defending Nest

New Hampshire is the fastest growing state in the northeast, and even marginal shoreline sites on many of our lakes are being developed or altered from their natural state. LPC is working to determine the effects of shoreline development and increasing human populations on the abundance and reproductive success of loons.

LPC maps loon nesting and brooding sites using a Geographic Information System (GIS) to identify areas of significant habitat across the state. The resulting maps are shared with the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services and the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. These agencies forward permit applications for shoreline alterations near loon nest sites to LPC for review, to ensure that developments incorporate buffer areas to protect loon nesting and nursery sites.

LPC’s work helps ensure that development and use of our lakes is done in a way that recognizes and respects the needs of loons and other wildlife. We will continue to work cooperatively with other conservation organizations to preserve our lakes for loons and for people through education, management, land acquisitions and conservation easements.