About Us: New Hampshire Rivers Council

The New Hampshire Rivers Council has made many significant contributions to river and watershed conservation. The following is a small sample:

  • Partnered in a comprehensive study of the value of surface waters in New Hampshire.
  • Worked with grassroots organizations to implement minimum water levels on protected rivers.
  • Worked with policy makers to preserve protections against harm caused by sludge spreading along rivers and over aquifers.
  • Participated in the Citizens for New Hampshire Land & Community Heritage Coalition to work with the Governor’s Commission on Land & Community Heritage to recommend a new, permanent and adequately funded program for land conservation in New Hampshire.
  • Advised numerous river groups considering or applying for inclusion to the State Rivers Management and Protection Program, most recently the Souhegan and Isinglass rivers.
  • Supported several Local River Advisory Committees in their successful quest to remove their exclusions in the Comprehensive Shoreland Protection Act to include the Upper and Lower Merrimack, Lamprey, Contoocook and North Branch, and Swift Rivers — rivers that are already covered in the River Management & Protection Act, but which were exempted from the important shoreland protection bill when it was passed.
  • In cooperation with other state, regional and national organizations, educated Congress to fund the Land & Water Conservation Fund — our nation’s single most significant source of land and water protection funding.
  • Partnered with the New Hampshire Lakes Association to create a Watershed Stewardship Program.
  • Joined other New Hampshire organizations to negotiate a creative license agreement for the 15-mile Falls dam on the Connecticut River. In a cooperative, non-adversarial process, conservation and recreation groups worked with the dam owner on an agreement that will provide better protection to the river ecosystem and preserve almost 12,000 acres of land on the river and surrounding the Connecticut Lakes.



  1. Ensure that the “instream flow rules” that protect the ecosystem of rivers in the state management program are established.
  2. Contribute to a study of the economic value of the state’s rivers and lakes.
  3. Conduct workshops for citizens and decision makers regarding important river issues.
  4. Coordinate river and watershed groups statewide to help them work on river and watershed issues.
  5. Strengthen our organization’s leadership and membership



  • Educating and informing the public and decision makers about the benefits and value of New Hampshire’s rivers, watersheds and related natural resources;
  • Building a constituency for New Hampshire rivers by coordinating and supporting grassroots river and watershed organizations;
  • Advocating for policies, and funding that conserve river resources and improve their management;
  • Encouraging and supporting the nomination of additional rivers into the state’s Rivers Management and Protection Program.


Michele L. Tremblay, Webster, NH
Michele L. TremblayMichele L. Tremblay, Principal, naturesource communications, provides organizational development, policy, planning, and training services to federal, state, and local agencies and nonprofit and grassroots groups throughout the Northeast US and Canada.. Michele served as chair of the Watershed Advisory Group for the Executive Committee of the Merrimack River Initiative. She has served as a representative to the Upper Merrimack Local Advisory Committee and as its chair and Program Director for the committee’s Upper Merrimack Monitoring Program since its inception in 1990. Michele was appointed by the Governor to represent conservation interests on the State Rivers Management Advisory Committee and serves as its chair, the Water Council, and the Public Water Access Advisory Board. Michele served on the (now sunsetted) state Soreland Advisory Committee. She was previously appointed by the Governor to the the State Lakes Advisory Committee As Executive Director the State Conservation Committee, she also served on the, Historic Agricultural Structures Advisory Committee, and Conservation License Plate Advisory Committee. For two decades, she served on the Boscawen Conservation Commission (that manages the Boscawen Town Forest and Tree Farm) and was its chair for fifteen years. She is active in legislative issues and in 1998, coordinated river conservation groups for the initiation and successful passage of a bill that granted shoreland protection to previously excluded rivers in New Hampshire. She served on the Penacook-Boscawen Water Precinct Board of Commissioners for several years. A New Hampshire native, she has served the region and state in a variety of land, planning, river, and lake conservation groups and received the first NH River Conservationist of the Year in 1998, an Environmental Hero by Proctor Academy in 2002, River Network River Hero in 2003. Ms. Tremblay was honored to receive the Helen Award for Volunteerism in 2006 and a President’s Volunteer Service Award from the Bush administration in 2008. In 2013, she received a River Advocate Award and a Longevity Award from the New Hampshire Rivers Management and Protection Program. Michele is a Justice of the Peace in the State of New Hampshire.

David Packard, Goffstown, NH
David PackardDavid is a scientist working formerly with Granite Shore Power in New Hampshire and Eversource. He spent much of his career in the construction, start-up, and repair of power generating plants around the southwestern United States and New Hampshire, working in the area of fuels and air quality, and negotiating major contracts. He is past chairman of the Goffstown Solid Waste Commission (the town with one of the highest recycling rates in New Hampshire), most recently serving on the board of NH LAKES, and currently Chair of the NH Lakes Management Advisory Committee. He is a former Boy Scout leader with a profound interest in the preservation and wise use of the state’s waters and natural resources. David and his wife Pat enjoy birds, wildlife, dogs, and two wonderful energetic grandchildren on and in the water at Lower Suncook Lake in Barnstead—and occasionally gets the opportunity to drop in his canoe.

Sally Soule, Kittery Point, ME
Sally SouleSally works for  the Watershed Assistance section of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES)  as the Coastal Watershed Supervisor. In this role, she provides assistance to municipalities, non-profit organizations, and others to develop, implement, and measure the success of watershed restoration and protection projects in New Hampshire’s coastal watershed. Sally has worked for DES for over fifteen years and has managed a variety of projects to address nonpoint source pollution. Prior to her work at DES, Sally worked as the Education Director for the Nashua River Watershed Association. For close to ten years, Sally has also served as a volunteer water quality monitor for the Maine Healthy Beaches Program.

Donald L. Ware, Merrimack, NH
Don WareDonald Ware is the Chief Operating Officer at Pennichuck Water. He represents the public water supplier interests on the state’s Rivers Management Advisory Committee.


Kally Abrams, Errol, NH
Kally believes fully in loving what you do. Having heartfelt enthusiasm for storytelling as well as her passion for the outdoors, Kally was determined to find a career that would allow her to combine her education along with what’s dearest to her. Kally invested herself in a rewarding career at Stonyfield where she spent the last 16 years dedicating her energy as a Financial Systems Planning & Reporting Manager for a company with a strong environmental mission, as well as being a brand ambassador & advocate for the environment before recently retiring to adventure full-time.  Kally’s lifetime of adventuring began at an early age; today she uses those and new experiences to create written pictures. Kally believes stories craft meaningful connections between us and the environment. She enjoys the challenge of using her unique voice to visualize details outlining a fuller picture to readers. Kally has always been recognized as the giver of great hugs and champions a positive role in anything she sets her mind to. She uses her passion and enthusiasm for the outdoors to advocate for some of her favorite places on earth and organizations. At her core, Kally is a dedicated environmental advocate donating countless hours volunteering for groups in a plethora of ways; loon watching resighting bands, planting & maintaining lands for the NE Cottontail, monitoring lake & pond water quality, and combing through beach sand for micro & macro plastics, to name a few always searching for new ways to make a difference. Today, you’ll find Kally sharing experiences with family and friends remote fishing, hiking, camping, kayaking, and along the way striving to connect people with her strong desire to protect nature, our environment, our waterways, and our shared home.

Jacquie Colburn, Bar Harbor, ME
Jacquie ColburnJacquie gained an appreciation of the outdoors as a kid growing up in Connecticut. She had a 600-acre salt marsh in her backyard, and happily, it is still there today. She earned a degree in Natural Resources Management from the University of Connecticut and between college and graduate school, worked for environmental engineering consulting firm in Connecticut. But as a kid Jacquie was also introduced to northern New England, through vacation trips in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and in Acadia National Park in Maine. So following graduate school, she relocated to central New Hampshire. She worked as a planner for the Lakes Region Planning Commission for three years and then assumed a new position at the NH Department of Environmental Services (DES), administering DES’s Lakes Management and Protection Program. After 19 years in this role, in 2011 Jacquie assumed responsibility for NH’s rivers as well; she most recently administered the Rivers Management and Protection Program and the Lakes Program at DES. Jacquie has served on several municipals boards and commissions since moving to New Hampshire and presently she serves on the board of the Loon Preservation Committee, the Squam Lakes Association, and the New England Chapter of the North American Lake Management Society. She was also named the DES Employee of the Year in 2011. Jacquie resides in Bar Harbor with her husband Ken and Gabby, their rescue kitty. She enjoys hiking, biking, canoeing, and kayaking, and wishes she had more time to enjoy our woods, mountains, lakes, rivers, streams and ponds.Jacquie looks forward to contributing to the important progress that the Rivers Council has achieved over the past twenty-five years and hopes to help continue to build the relationship between the state, communities, and nonprofit organizations that support sound river management across the state.

Maryann Dugan, Salem, NH
Maryann is an environmental analyst at the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission, serving as project manager for the the Northeast Aquatic Biologists Conference and Workgroup, Volunteer Monitoring Workgroup, Merrimack River efforts, and various contracts regarding regional biological indices. Prior to her move to New Hampshire, Maryann worked as an environmental specialist for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s School District, leading a water quality sampling and biological monitoring program. She also served as an assistant consultant, field operations supervisor, and lead horticulturalist at a coastal dune restoration firm, implementing dune habitat management and renourishment projects along Florida’s eastern coastline. Maryann holds a B.S. ion Public Affairs, majoring in Environmental Management, from Indiana University Bloomington.

Linda Graham, Concord, NH
Linda Graham is a practicing artist using a variety of mediums to convey her sense of the world as ephemeral but lasting. Her formal BA is in classics but her Masters is in early childhood education. A lot of time passed between the two. For 15 years, Linda lived in the woods of central NH in a house with outbuildings she and her husband Ralph built using recycled materials from buildings slated for demolition. Observing the cycles of the seasons, back in the woods away from the usual, conveniences of 21st C life, she learned values that are not easily transmitted except through action. Upon returning to a more conventional life in Concord, she worked in positions from Head Start teacher to administrator in the Department of Developmental Services.  She has retired to focus on her artwork and continue to seek ways to express the importance of the natural world. She founded the NH chapter of the Great Old Broads for Wilderness, a conservation organization led by elder women that raises awareness through advocacy, education, stewardship and fun. Yes, Linda loves to laugh and have fun.

Maxwell Maynard, Concord, NH
Max Maynard works for the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services in the Air Monitoring Program. Before that he had several internships with NHDES including two with the Watershed Management Bureau as a Biomonitoring intern where he assisted in sampling and assessing many of New Hampshire’s rivers and streams. He has been volunteering with the Upper Merrimack Monitoring Program for over 5 years, deploying and retrieving rock baskets as well as identifying the macroinvertebrates at Bug Nights. Max received his B.S. in Environmental Science from Southern New Hampshire University.

Jessana Palm, Concord, NH
Jessana has been a professor at NHTI, Concord’s Community College for over 17 years. During her time at NHTI she has developed the college’s Environmental Science Program and a variety of courses in the natural sciences. She enjoys teaching a wide variety of courses from general biology and ecology to ornithology and sustainable agriculture. Prior to teaching she spent several years working internships at New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services and a biological aid for New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. In recent years, she has been a scientist partner for educators working with students to collect data on arsenic levels in drinking water through the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory SEPA (Science Education Partnership Award) program. In her off time, she and her daughter enjoy lots of activities including birding and exploring natural areas, riding horses, and drawing and painting.

James Plummer, Hollis, NH
Jake PlummerJames is an Environmental Analyst at the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC), serving as lead on the Nonpoint Source Workgroup and coordination of NEIWPCC’s Annual NPS Conference. Before joining NEIWPCC full time, James coordinated NEIWPCC’s Youth and the Environment Program for two summers as an intern. James holds a B.S. in Biology from the University of Tampa and is an Eagle Scout from Hollis Troop 12.


Thomas Swenson, Concord, NH
Thomas SwensonTom Swenson works for the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services in the Watershed Management Bureau. In his current role as Assistant Program Coordinator, he provides support for multiple programs such as the Volunteer Lakes Assessment Program and the Volunteer Rivers Assessment Program. Prior to his current position, he interned with the Trophic Lake Program for several years in the Jody Connor Limnology Center.

Honorary Directors

Stephen Blackmer, Canterbury, NH
Camilla Lockwood, Temple, NH
Patricia Schlesinger, New Hampton, NH
Kelly Short, Canterbury, NH


Carl Paulsen, Dover, NH
Fundraising and Membership Services Consultant