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Natural Resources

The Rockingham Planning Commission (RPC) region enjoys the benefits of having clean water, open spaces, clean air, diverse wildlife habitats, and productive soils. Having good natural resources and services has allowed the region to support and accommodate the growth of residential, industrial and commercial development. As land uses change there is increased pressure on the region’s natural resources and the services they provide. The ability to maintain and protect these resources and services is one of the largest challenges the region faces. However, how is accomplished this complex due to competing needs for the resources, balancing property rights, and the short and long term costs involved.

The Natural Resources chapter examines natural resources and services, along with several topics directly linked with those resources, including:

  • Water Resources
  • Land Use Issues
  • Water Infrastructure
  • Wildlife and Habitats
  • Waste-Related Issues
  • Air Resources
  • Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries
  • Recreation and Open Space
  • Climate Change Impacts on Natural Resources

Regional Master Plan - Natural Resources Chapter and Maps

Natural Resources Chapter Goals

Goal 1

Development and redevelopment practices minimize impacts on natural resources and improve those resources when possible.

Goal 2

Development and land use change impacts on water resources are minimized and improved when possible.

Goal 3

The region develops and redevelops in ways that allow waterways to flow as naturally as possible and precipitation to infiltrate into the ground.

Goal 4

Open spaces are preserved for agriculture, wildlife habitat, recreation, environmental services, and to maintain community character.

Goal 5

Large, undisturbed blocks of land are protected and interconnected, particularly lands with sensitive habitats or lands of local importance.

Goal 6

The region promotes new and continued use of agricultural lands and resources.

Goal 7

Public and private drinking water supply sources are protected from overuse and pollution.

Goal 8

Water and wastewater system owners, including municipally-owned systems, collaborate with each other on management and system improvement projects.

Goal 9

The region is minimizing its contribution to air pollutants.

Goal 10

Waste generation is minimized and sites with past hazardous waste issues are restored to a usable condition.