How Is a Conservation Commission Established?

A conservation commission of no less than 3 nor more than 7 members may be created by vote of the local legislative body (town meeting, city council or board of aldermen). In a town, an article establishing a conservation commission must be placed on the warrant in order to be considered at town meeting. Such an article might be worded:

"To see if the town will vote to establish a conservation commission of ___ (3 to 7) members and ___ alternate members in accordance with RSA 36-A, said members to be appointed within ___ days of the annual meeting by the selectmen, who also shall designate a temporary chairman for the purpose of calling the first meeting of the commission."

Once a municipality has voted to establish a conservation commission, it has the powers and duties described in RSA 36-A and other statutes. The number of members and alternate members on a particular commission is determined by the vote creating it. If a conservation commission of 3 members was authorized by the initial vote of the local legislative body, but subsequently a larger commission is deemed desirable, then an article must be placed on the town warrant (or the city ordinance must be amended) to authorize the appointment of additional members up to the maximum of 7 allowed by RSA 36-A.

If you are interested in starting a conservation commission in your community contact NHACC for assistance.


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