Navigate This Section
NHCL | Introduction
  | Base Data and Conservation and Public Lands
  | Population and Housing
  | Assessment and Current Use
  | Land Cover and Natural Blocks
  | Critical Water Resources
  | Farm and Forest Soils
  | Steep Slopes
Home | Return home

CLCA : New Hampshire's Changing Landscape

In 1999 the Forest Society released its first edition of New Hampshire's Changing Landscape. This report explored the relationships between population growth, land use change, and the impact of development upon the state's natural resources, including our forest and agricultural lands, critical water supply resources, and biodiversity. New Hampshire's Changing Landscape was updated again by the Forest Society in 2005 to incorporate various demographic and natural resource data to create a profile for each New Hampshire municipality.

Now New Hampshire's Changing Landscape has been updated once again. This new version includes a regularly updated, interactive online database with more than 250,000 records profiling every New Hampshire community, along with maps, graphics, and electronic slides.

Some of the Report's Key Findings

  • Residential growth continues to expand along existing transportation corridors. Carroll County leads the way with 24% projected population growth, putting the natural resources in that region at particular risk.
  • In 1950, almost two thirds of New Hampshire was at rural density; by 2030 only about one third of the state will be rural, with most of that land in the northern half of the state.
  • Low density single-family housing accounted for almost 74% of all housing construction in New Hampshire over the last two decades.
  • Anticipated population growth through the year 2030 indicates that another 225,000 acres of forests will be lost, dropping forested land to 78.5% of the state's total area.
  • Almost 20,000 acres over aquifers – a key source of clean drinking water – was converted from natural land cover to urban land uses from 2002 to 2010. Only 22% of appropriate aquifers are protected from future development.
  • Over the last two decades, New Hampshire has seen a 23% decline in land used for cropland and pasture.

NHCL 2010

NHCL 2005

NHCL 1999