US Rep Bass: Conservation Programs Vital to Preserving New Hampshire's Natural Resources, Economic Growth

Joins colleagues in supporting Land and Water Conservation Fund, Community Forest Program

WASHINGTON – Stressing that conservation programs are vital to preserving New Hampshire’s natural resources and economic growth, Congressman Charles F. Bass (NH-02) recently signed onto two bipartisan letters to the House Appropriations Committee urging sufficient funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and the Community Forest Program (CFP) during the Fiscal Year 2013 appropriations process.

Bass said:

“Conservation programs like the Land and Water Conservation Fund and the Community Forest Program are vital to our way of life in New Hampshire.  Our scenic views and natural resources are treasures to be shared and preserved for future generations while at the same time contributing to our state’s economy through the forest products, tourism, and outdoor recreation industries. 

“Conservation programs like these have already made an impact on projects such as the Newfound Pathway at Newfound Lake, the Randolph Community Forest, and the Paul T. Doherty Memorial Forest in Gorham.  Given New Hampshire’s long history of responsible environmental stewardship, funding LWCF and CFP at sufficient levels will allow ongoing land conservation projects in our state to continue.

“We have a lot of priorities that we need to meet, and I believe we can do so in a fiscally responsible manner.  I look forward to working with my colleagues on ensuring support for these programs.”

According to the Outdoor Industry Foundation, active outdoor recreation such as hiking, biking, camping, or wildlife viewing supports 53,000 jobs in New Hampshire and produces nearly $4 billion annually in retail sales and services – a significant impact on our state’s economic well-being.

Rob Riley, the President of the Northern Forest Center, said, “The Congressman’s support for the Community Forest Program can ensure that New Hampshire stays on the forefront of innovative working lands conservation.  Examples of community forests in Errol, Randolph and Gorham have set a precedent for lands providing community benefit in Coos County.  We have exciting opportunities in Milan and Northern Grafton County and in Vermont where we are providing direct services to help communities acquire and manage forest land.  The federal program, while small, will help provide capital to continue local efforts and leverage significant outcomes for the region.”

“Congressman Bass understands how wise conservation investments through the Land and Water Conservation Fund protect New Hampshire’s natural and recreation heritage, and boost our local communities,” said Will Manzer, CEO of Eastern Mountain Sports.  “Conserving those places where we get out to hike, fish, hike or paddle supports the businesses that build our vibrant recreation economy.  His leadership is to be commended.”

Rodger Krussman, State Director for Vermont and New Hampshire for the Trust for Public Land, said, “In New Hampshire specifically, and across northern New England and the country, communities are helping to strengthen forest-based economies through local ownership and management of timberland.  Congressman Bass’ support for community forests recognizes that community forests are a uniquely powerful conservation strategy that protect critical natural and recreational resources and empower citizens and communities to be a part of the economic solution that sustains jobs and enhances the quality of life in the region.”

A copy of the Land and Water Conservation Fund letter can be found here, and a copy of the Community Forest Program letter can be found here.