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scattering cremated remains

Scattering Cremated Remains in New Hampshire

We’re often asked, what are the specific laws for scattering cremated remains in New Hampshire? In New Hampshire, there are no specific state laws that dictate where you can store or scatter the ashes of your loved one.

This flexibility means you have many choices when it comes to deciding on a final resting place. However, it’s essential to consider several factors before scattering cremated remains of a friend or family member. 

First and foremost, always use common sense when scattering cremated remains. While there is no public health risk associated with ashes, be thoughtful of others. Avoid public places where people might inadvertently witness the scattering and be caught off guard. This consideration helps ensure a respectful and serene experience for everyone. 

Scattering Cremated Remains in Designated Gardens 

Many cemeteries offer dedicated areas for scattering remains, often known as “scattering gardens.” If this resonates with you, you should contact local cemeteries to check if they offer such a service. Gathering additional details about the process will help you make an informed decision.

Scattering Cremated Remains by Airplane 

While New Hampshire doesn’t have specific state laws governing the scattering created remains from an airplane, there are federal aviation regulations. These laws prohibit dropping any object that might harm people or property. Though cremated remains are not considered hazardous on their own, it’s crucial to remove them from their container before scattering them from the air. 

Scattering Cremated Remains at Sea 

Can I scatter cremated remains in New Hampshire waterways?

Choosing to scatter ashes at sea in New Hampshire means following federal regulations set forth by the Federal Clean Water Act . When it comes to burials at sea, keep in mind the following restrictions: 

  1. No scattering within three nautical miles from shore.
  2. No scattering across bays and rivers’ openings.
  3. No scattering at beaches or in wading pools near the ocean.
  4. No scattering of non-human remains, like pets.
  5. No depositing of non-decomposable materials, like plastic items, decorative objects or urns. These must be disposed of separately.

If you need to follow any of these exceptions, you may need an application for an MPRSA special permit. Additionally, the EPA needs to be informed within 30 days of any scattering at sea. For more detailed information, visit the EPA website

If you’re planning a memorial scattering service, consider New England Burials at Sea. This local company offers year-round, cost-effective services for both attended and unattended traditional ash scattering memorial cruises.

Scattering Remains on Private Land 

Can I scatter cremated remains on private property in New Hampshire?

If you’d like to scatter remains on your own private property, you’re free to do so. However, scattering cremated remains on someone else’s private land requires the landowner’s permission. To avoid any potential issues, determine whether the land is privately or publicly owned before planning the scattering. 

State and National Parks, and Other Public Lands 

Although specific rules vary across state and national parks, as well as other public lands, it’s generally recommended that you avoid scattering ashes within 100 yards of public roads, walkways or trails. 

Scattering Remains in New Hampshire State Parks 

Is it legal to scatter cremated remains in New Hampshire state parks?

If you’re considering scattering ashes in a New Hampshire state park, including protected lakes or other bodies of water, you will need to contact the park management. The Clean Water Act places strict regulations on scattering ashes in inland waters, such as rivers and lakes. In some cases, a state permit may be required. 

New Hampshire National Parks 

New Hampshire hosts two national parks: the Appalachian Trail and the Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park. If you’re considering scattering remains in either of these locations, make sure to check the specific regulations and frequently asked questions: 

White Mountain National Forest 

The White Mountain National Forest is not a national park, and its regulations are slightly different from those of New Hampshire state parks. According to the Forest Headquarters, there are no specific rules regarding scattering remains in the forest, but it is generally discouraged. Using common sense in this situation is your best bet.

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