N.H. Fish and Game Chairman Out Following Sunapee Boat Launch Dust-Up

Nov 13, 2017

Governor Chris Sununu has replaced the chairman of the state Fish and Game Commission following the commission's strong public criticism of the governor around public boat access on Lake Sunapee.

Plans for a new boat access at what’s known as the Wild Goose Site had been in the works for decades when Governor Sununu pulled the plug on the project in July. Sununu cited environmental and traffic concerns in his decision.

The Fish and Game Commission then shot back in August with a public letter, accusing the governor of caving to the demands of wealthy property owners near the lake. At the time, Ted Tichy was serving as the chair of the commission. He'd represented Coos County for more than 15 years.

This fall, Sununu nominated another man, Eric Stohl, to fill Tichy's spot. Stohl, a Republican, is a former state representative and retired Fish and Game conservation officer. Commissioner Robert Phillipson of Cheshire County is now serving as interim chair.

"As with any aspect of state government, it is important to include a variety of different viewpoints and allow interested individuals the opportunity to offer their time and talents to New Hampshire," said the governor's office in a statement.  The statement did not directly address whether criticism of the governor's Lake Sunapee action had influenced Sununu's decision.

The governor created a new commission in September to look into alternatives for public boat access on the lake. That commission met for the first time in October, and is tasked with delivering a report to the governor by March 1.