GREGG AND SHAHEEN ANNOUNCE SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE APPROVES FUNDING FOR NEW HAMPSHIRE LAND CONSERVATION INITIATIVES
U.S. Senators Judd Gregg (R-NH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) announced that the Senate Appropriations Committee has approved significant federal funding for three important land conservation initiatives in New Hampshire. The measure includes $3 million for the Silvio O. Conte National Wildlife Refuge, $2.4 million for Cardigan Highlands and $1.375 million for the Mahoosuc Gateway/Success Township Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) project. These funds were included in the Fiscal Year 2010 Interior Appropriations bill, which is now ready for consideration by the full Senate. Funding for these projects is included within the Committee allocation set out for Fiscal Year 2010 funding measures. A detailed description of each project is included below.
Senator Gregg, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, said, "New Hampshire is home to some of the most spectacular environmental areas in this country and it is our responsibility to protect these natural resources so that our children and grandchildren are able to appreciate them just as we have. Each of these initiatives plays an important role to ensure the protection of sensitive lands and waterways here in the Granite State. These funds are a testament to the hard work of dedicated groups and individuals at the local and state level whose efforts will ensure that these areas are protected for future generations of residents and visitors to enjoy."
"New Hampshire's forests and natural refuges are key to both our timber industry and our tourism industry, and these enhanced conservation efforts will protect our state's natural beauty and make the best use of our natural resources for tourists and businesses alike," said Shaheen. "This funding will ensure New Hampshire's residents and tourists can enjoy all the many benefits of our natural resources, and it will protect those resources for years to come."
"This continued support for the Silvio O. Conte National Wildlife Refuge is wonderful news for the people of New Hampshire and beyond," said Daryl Burtnett, state director for The Nature Conservancy in New Hampshire. "Senators Gregg and Shaheen should be commended for their efforts to open up land to the public once held private for snowmobiling, fishing, hunting, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing - activities which have long been an economic staple for New Hampshire's North Country."
Jane A. Difley, President Forester, Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, stated, "We are tremendously grateful to Senators Gregg and Shaheen for helping the Forest Society conserve nearly 9,300 acres of ecologically exceptional working forest located in a key area of New Hampshire, between Mount Cardigan and the White Mountain National Forest. The Cardigan Highlands project protects the full range of ecosystem services targeted by the Forest Legacy program, including productive timberland and unique forest communities, high-quality surface and ground water, exceptional fish and wildlife habitat, and extensive recreational and historic resources. The project is also a high priority for the two-state Quabbin to Cardigan Initiative (Q2C). Thanks to Senators Gregg and Shaheen securing a $2.4 million appropriation, this landmark project is another huge step closer to completion."
Nancy Bell, the Vermont-New Hampshire Representative of the Conservation Fund, stated, "It is a pleasure to be working with the citizens in the greater Berlin area on the Success project. The communities' expanded vision and reenergized efforts are creating new possibilities that include forest conservation and recreational opportunities as integral pieces of their economic future. Senators Gregg and Shaheen's invaluable support encompasses these broader possibilities."
Steven Griffin, Isaacson Structural Steel Inc, stated, "I was thrilled to learn of the final funding relating to Phase I of the Success Mahoosuc Project. At a time when the City of Berlin is looking to diversify its economy, it is heartening to know that the more sensitive high elevation forest lands will be used as they are intended to be. Berlin, and all of the North Country, can turn an eye towards tourism with the success of this project. I am grateful to Senator Shaheen for her support, and to Senator Gregg for coming through for the North Country, yet again."
Burnham "Bing" Judd, Coos County Commissioner, Pittsburgh, stated, "It's just great to get this funding to conserve this land along the Appalachian Trail. Whatever we can do to conserve this land is a plus! I personally thank Senators Gregg and Shaheen on behalf of Coos County for their support for this project."
Paul Grenier, Coos County Commissioner, Berlin "This is great news for the future of Success. This funding will help cement the future of Success to the traditional land uses that has been enjoyed by over 5 generations of Coos County citizens."
Silvio O. Conte National Wildlife Refuge - $3 million:
These funds provide for continued land acquisition across the four-state Refuge, including efforts to conserve acreage in New Hampshire's Pondicherry and Mascoma River Divisions. These areas are known for their diverse wildlife habitats and ecosystems, and are home to a number of species, including black bear, moose, white-tailed deer, and a variety of migrant birds.
Cardigan Highlands - $2.4 million:
These funds will benefit the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests' Cardigan Highlands project in Groton, Hebron, Rumney, Plymouth and Dorchester, New Hampshire. Specifically, these funds will assist in the conservation of nearly 9,300 acres of ecologically exceptional working forest between Mount Cardigan and the White Mountain National Forest.
Mahoosuc Gateway/Success Township LCWF - $1.375 million:
These funds will allow the Conservation Fund to continue this multi-year, two-phase agreement to conserve 20,000 acres in the Success Township in Coos County. These funds will support the second half of Phase I of the project which involves 5,970 acres, including 4,770 acres being added to the Appalachian National Scenic Trail and acquisition of a conservation easement covering 1,200 acres of land adjoining the Trail.