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April 07. 2013 8:39PM

Future state park?

Committee to craft plan for Livermore Falls stewardship


The "Pumpkin Seed" bridge crosses Livermore Falls. (COURTESY)

HOLDERNESS - A committee made up of town and state officials will meet later this month to come up with a stewardship plan for the Livermore Falls area, which despite its beauty has been a trouble spot for decades.

The falls area, which has borders in Plymouth, Campton and Holderness, is owned by the state. It is a popular area for swimming and sightseeing, and it has the historically important "Pumpkin Seed" bridge, the remains of a bridge erected in 1886 that was closed in 1959.

At least 10 people have also died near the falls over the years, according to authorities, many of them swimmers who became caught up in the dangerous rapids.

It has become a popular party place for tourists and Plymouth State College students, and Holderness police have told town officials that as many as 40 percent of their arrests in warm weather occur there, said Selectman Shelagh Connelly.

"It's a beautiful piece of property," Connelly said. "We need to change how it's being used, we want to try and make it not a place of underage drinking and littering and such."

With help from Executive Councilor Ray Burton, area town officials have established a committee to look at ways of changing the usage of the site.

Also involved are local and county law enforcement, rotary clubs, and the state's Department of Resources and Economic Development.

The committee will hold its kickoff meeting on April 30 at the PSU Welcome Center at 6 p.m., with local and state officials on hand.

Among the issues to be discussed are parking and policing at the site, whether the property should be converted to a state park, and possible user fees to enter the site, said Town Administrator Walter Johnson.

PSU is pleased to be participating, according to university President Sara Jayne Steen.

"As a regional comprehensive university, we should be actively engaged with our region, and this is our home," Steen said.

dseufert@newstote.com


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