HB 1686 Seeks to Repeal LCHIP
Although we sometimes take for granted that everyone sees the value in protecting our state’s unique landscapes and natural areas, several bills pending before the New Hampshire Legislature will shake that assumption. Consider, for example, HB 1686, which takes aim at the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) by proposing its repeal.
The creation of LCHIP, and its role in safeguarding some of the special places in our state, reflects the fact that people do recognize how the conservation of important ecological resources contributes to the quality of life here. Fortunately, members on the House Finance Committee Division 1 just voted 9-0 to reject HB 1686. In legislative terms, they voted it “Inexpedient to Legislate” but we will say this subcommittee voted unanimously to kill the bill. Next up is a vote before the full Finance Committee and then on to a vote of the entire N.H. House of Representatives.
We (and by “we” I mean everyone who cares about the values behind LCHIP’s mission) therefore still have work to do to ensure this bill never becomes law. After all, a successful repeal effort would speak loudly about New Hampshire’s commitment to protecting our state’s beauty and rich culture. So, while HB 1686 is openly hostile to LCHIP, it also serves as a reminder for the conservation community that we have to continually advocate those programs that are central to our work.
What can you do? Just a short and quick note to your community’s legislator or to members of the House Finance Committee thanking them for their past support of LCHIP and encouraging them to vote against HB 1686 will go a long way. For information about other issues the Forest Society is working on, please visit our advocacy page.