Twelve Prominent Conservation Groups Ask Senate to Reverse House Cuts

Concord – April 18, 2011 – Twelve of the state’s most prominent environmental and conservation organizations have sent a joint letter to New Hampshire Senate President Peter Bragdon asking that the Senate reject the deep funding cuts to the budgets of the state’s natural resources agencies that the N.H. House of Representatives approved in HB-1.

The New Hampshire Lakes Association, Appalachian Mountain Club, the Trust for Public Land, the Nature Conservancy, and the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests are among the one dozen groups saying the proposed cuts to the Governor’s budget will “undermine the foundations of sustainable economic development,” and will unravel the “long standing bi-partisan commitment in New Hampshire to ensure we have a clean, safe and beautiful environment to pass on to future generations.”

Among the programs that will be zeroed-out by the House budget are the Lakes Management Program and the Rivers Management Program – cuts the environmental groups said will severely hamper “the state’s ability to protect the natural assets important to our drinking water supplies, recreational opportunities, and wildlife habitat.”

Also set to be terminated are the state’s three volunteer water quality monitoring programs, including VLAP, the Volunteer Lake Assessment Program. Established in 1985, VLAP annually enlists hundreds of volunteers around the state to collect lake water samples that the state processes and uses for the long-term study of the health of the state’s lakes.

Locally, Ossipee Lake has had a VLAP program for more than a decade, according to Ossipee Lake Alliance Executive Director David Smith, who also cited the soon-to-be–terminated New Hampshire Lakes Management Program as playing a pivotal role in helping create the broad coalition of lake stakeholders that resulted in a successful management plan for Ossipee Lake Natural Area, which is viewed as a model for similar plans around the state.

Other cuts that will result from the House budget include “drastic reductions” to the state’s Limnology Center programs, which the environmental groups’ letter said will result in the state no longer monitoring the water quality of beaches, public pools, lakes, rivers and streams, and the elimination of the Well Water Program and the Radon Program. Also to be scrapped is the state’s Shellfish Program, which the letter said will “lead to the closure of all commercial and recreational shellfish harvesting in the state.”

The conservation groups cited these and other threatened programs and initiatives as having a “demonstrated track record” of success in “supporting our economy as well as protecting the health and safety of our communities and citizens.”

Read the complete letter here.

Twelve Prominent Conservation Groups Ask Senate to Reverse House Cuts

3 thoughts on “Twelve Prominent Conservation Groups Ask Senate to Reverse House Cuts

  • April 19, 2011 at 6:12 am
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    Unfortunately, this is another result of the deep hole that the Democrats got New Hampshire in when they took over a few years ago. Like D.C., they went crazy and spent more money than we had to spend. Like any household, this does not last for long, hopefully, as reason comes before you go down the tube. Being frugal was what had attracted many to move to the low tax state environment. Check you tax bills lately and see what direction they have gone in! If these groups are what a special interest of the population wants, than let that segment pay for it. Sort of like your cable bill! Why do I have to pay for all the garbage that is on it in order to get ESPN, CSNE, NESN or Channel 9 and other channels that I actually want? I put a block on MTV years ago to keep my kids from being to get. New Hampshire was 80% fields in the 1800’s while now we are 80% forest! How much more do we need to protect?

  • April 19, 2011 at 8:03 am
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    It is time that the politico’s of this state get real. Stop putting the tax burden on the backs of homeowners and sin taxes. I want to have my taxes pay for services we need but I want them spread out to everyone….sales tax or income tax…just make it fair. And stop the blame game there is enough to go around in both parties.

    Remember, at the federal level we were not in a deficit until the Republicans, George Bush and Bush tax cuts, plus two wars and the prescription drug program put us there. Short memory people!

  • April 19, 2011 at 1:23 pm
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    Not sure why Jim is giving the Democrats credit for wanting clean air and water. Repubilcans I know want the same. The out of control spending by our elected officials crosses both political lines. A sales tax or other consumption tax probably isn’t the answer either. It will drive the tourists away. You could structure a income tax with exclusions of net income so that you capture the richest 5% of the earners in the state with the other 95% not paying income taxes. In the end, with schools, safety, roads, and other priorities needing funding, the environment will be the last on the list for spending. Unlike what they think in Washington, you can’t spend your way out of it, nor can you give the richest among us the tax breaks they continue to enjoy, or be the policeman of the world. So something has to give.

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