New Durham incorporated a Conservation Overlay District into its Zoning ordinance. It identifies lands having exceptional significance for protection of natural resources and water quality based on the recommended Conservation Focus Areas identified in the Land Conservation Plan for New Hampshire’s Coastal Watershed (2006). The stated purpose of New Durham’s 2008 Conservation Focus Area District is:
- Maintain diverse wildlife habitat, abundant wetlands, high water quality, productive forests, and outstanding recreational opportunities;
- Conserve the best remaining lands of exceptional significance containing the critical ecological, biological, and water resources of the Town’s Watershed; and
- Guide the location, density, and design of development within the Conservation Focus Areas to minimize harmful impacts while allowing for a reasonable level of use of these lands.