Planning Lunches at Noon (PLAN) Monthly Webinar Series

The NH Office of Planning and Development (OPD) conducts monthly webinar series every third Thursday from 12 pm to 1 pm concerning various planning and zoning topics. To view upcoming webinars, click here.
Registration is required. All sessions are recorded and later published on their website and YouTube channel.
The webinar is a joint collaboration of NHOPD, NHMA, and the Regional Planning Commissions represented by Southern NH Planning Commission.

For assistance or if you have any questions, please e-mail

Millions in Grants Now Available

February 22, 2024

The Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) is now accepting pre-applications for the first of two rounds of grant funding through the Catalyst Program for economic and community development projects. A total of up to $50M will be made available with the first round offering up to $30M. Deadline for submission for the first round is March 15th at 5:00 PM EST. Projects considered for the Catalyst Program should address economic development initiatives such as modernization and expansion of access to public water and wastewater services, revitalization of transportation infrastructure, establishment of workforce development programs and facilities, growing the outdoor recreation economy, and providing access to new childcare and healthcare facilities.
The NH Department of Business and Economic Affairs (NHBEA) administers the program within the state and offers technical assistance to eligible projects planning to apply.
For more information on the Catalyst Program, technical assistance, and funding opportunities, please contact Steve Fortier at or visit their website at


On January 31st, the DES held a webinar concerning the newly released “Cyanobacteria Plan: A Statewide Strategy”.

If you were unable to attend the webinar, it is posted at

Should you have any questions, please contact:

Tracie Sales
Rivers and Lakes Programs Administrator

Rivers and Lakes Management and Protection Programs
Watershed Management Bureau, Water Division
NH Department of Environmental Services
29 Hazen Drive,  P.O. Box 95
Concord, NH 03302-0095
(603) 271-2959

News Release

USDA and EPA Strengthen Partnership to Improve Access to Modern and Affordable Wastewater Infrastructure for People in Rural America

WASHINGTON, Dec. 5, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Deputy Under Secretary Farah Ahmad today announced that USDA is strengthening its partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and a network of 25 organizations to help people in rural and underserved communities access affordable, modern and safe wastewater infrastructure.

The actions being announced today further the continued collaborations between both agencies to revitalize the nation’s wastewater infrastructure, improve water quality and protect the health of people living in rural areas.

“Decentralized wastewater systems are an integral component of our nation’s wastewater infrastructure, especially in rural areas where centralized treatment is often too expensive or unavailable,” Ahmad said. “USDA is committed to doing everything we can to ensure every family in America has access to modern, reliable wastewater infrastructure. That’s why we are strengthening our partnership with EPA to help historically underserved communities identify and pursue federal funding opportunities to address their wastewater needs. These efforts have enormous impact because when we invest in rural infrastructure, we invest in the livelihoods and health of people in rural America.”

To learn more, read full NEWS RELEASE.

Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC)

The NBRC has announced $43.6 million in new awards. Of that, nearly $20 million is from the Catalyst Program competition stemming from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Use these links to view the Press Release and the NH Award Recipients, including the GALA Community Center (grant administered by LRPC's Tracey Secula), the Lakes Region Model Railroad Museum (grant coached by LRPC's Executive Director Jeffrey Hayes) and Town of Gilford - Foam Recycling Project (grant application submitted by LRPC's Matthew Rose).

State Ten Year Plan on Transportation

Proposed Lakes Region Projects in 2023 - 2032 Ten Year Plan

The purpose of the State's Ten Year Plan is to develop and implement a plan allowing New Hampshire to fully participate in federally supported transportation improvement projects as well as to outline projects and programs funded with State transportation dollars. View list of projects.

Planning and Zoning Board Handbooks

The Planning Board in New Hampshire: A Handbook for Local Officials (updated 2021)
The Board of Adjustment in New Hampshire: A Handbook for Local Officials (updated 2021)

2021 editions of the Office of Strategic Initiatives's (OSI) handbooks for Planning and Zoning Boards are now available. Designed to serve as introductions to the organization, powers, duties, and procedures of Planning Boards and Zoning Boards of Adjustment in New Hampshire, these guides will acquaint board members and others with the basic board responsibilities of each and suggest procedures by which the work of the boards can be carried out in a fair and effective manner.

Visit the OSI website where you can view additional planning and zoning publications.

USDA Launches Resource Guide on Building a Recreation Economy

July 2020 — USDA has launched a Recreation Economy Resource Guide to provide rural community leaders and economic development practitioners a complete list of programs at Rural Development, Forest Service, and National Institute for Food and Agriculture that can be used to support recreational economies in rural America. 

The guide addresses key factors necessary to build a sustainable recreational economy including natural resource management, conservation activities, infrastructure investment, business development and more.

Progress Towards Digital Equity in NH

Digital access and skill have become increasingly important for so many aspects of everyday life, for people of all ages and all circumstances, especially for those who are English learners, elders, persons of color, veterans, disabled, low income, rural inhabitants, and incarcerated populations.  NH’s digital equity funding can be used to address digital divide challenges, e.g., relating to access to affordable broadband, computers, digital skills and cyber safety skill development, technical support, multilingual tech support, and more.

The LRPC is working with New Hampshire’s digital equity experts in guiding the development of NH’s plan, and to encourage all who are interested in the region to help shape the plan.  Over the next several months, a select team will be seeking public comment on vital elements including identification of digital divide barriers to improve economic and educational opportunity, healthcare access, and civic engagement.

You can learn about the many ways to become involved, share your insights and concerns, and help craft New Hampshire’s digital future at for many upcoming opportunities from an online survey and online forums to in-person meetings across the state.
We hope you’ll join us!

New Hampshire Broadband Impact Survey

State of New Hampshire
Social Distancing Broadband Impact

Take the Survey to help the State identify gaps in residential Internet connectivity.

State Ten Year Plan on Transportation

Proposed Lakes Region Projects in 2021-2030 Ten Year Plan

The purpose of the State's Ten Year Plan is to develop and implement a plan allowing New Hampshire to fully participate in federally supported transportation improvement projects as well as to outline projects and programs funded with State transportation dollars. View list of projects.

A resource for farmers and municipal decision makers

Headwaters Economics Toolset

Economic Profile System

In 2017 we were introduced to the Headwaters Economics Toolset. Using these report generators you can download socioeconomic reports of communities, counties, and states, including aggregations and comparisons. The Economic Profile System (EPS) uses federal data sources, including the Bureaus of Economic Analysis, Census, & others. EPS is also known as the Human Dimensions Toolkit by the Forest Service. Try it yourself here.

We'd like to thank UNH Cooperative Extension for providing us reports for all of the towns in the Lakes Region. Click the links below to view the reports. They will also be available on the towns' pages.

Please note: This information changes frequently. These reports were generated on July 14, 2017. For more up-to-date information, please use the tool to generate your own reports.

Alexandria Hebron
Alton Hill
Andover Holderness
Ashland Laconia
Barnstead Meredith
Belmont Moultonborough
Bridgewater New Hampton
Bristol Northfield
Center Harbor Ossipee
Danbury Sanbornton
Effingham Sandwich
Franklin Tamworth
Freedom Tilton
Gilford Tuftonboro
Gilmanton Wolfeboro