LCHIP and the State Budget
The proposed state budget the House of Representatives approved on April 7 contains $5 million each year for LCHIP. To compare, the current budget for Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021 provided $3.5 million for the program each year. LCHIP is mentioned on Page 95 of the sprawling 721 page budget document.
Now that the full House of Representatives has acted, the proposed budget moves over to the New Hampshire Senate. The Senate’s Finance Committee will now begin consideration. We would encourage our members to contact the Senate Finance Committee in support of LCHIP.
In addition to thanking them for the Finance Committee’s past support of this important program, here are key points you can make to the Committee members:
- A 2014 report by the Joint NH Legislative Study Committee reviewed the status of land conservation and determined that for every $1 invested in land conservation by the state, $11 in natural goods and services are returned to the state’s economy. Conserved lands also support outdoor recreation, tourism, and forest and agriculture industries, as well as thousands of jobs.
- Since the program’s inception, the $43 million in funding through LCHIP has leveraged $299 million in funds from other sources. A ratio like that highlights the broad community level support for LCHIP-supported projects.
- Over the last 10 years, 177 out of the 505 total applications received were not funded. That figure indicates the demand and need for LCHIP continues, even 18 years after the Legislature established the program.
- Most importantly, this interest in LCHIP shows how much the people of our state value our natural and historic resources and are committed to the protection of those resources