02/11/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 02/11/2021 14:57
WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen and Representatives Annie Kuster and Chris Pappas applauded the Biden administration's decision to repeal policy changes made in the final hours of the Trump presidency that would have hurt conservation efforts in New Hampshire. The repeal comes as the New Hampshire Congressional Delegation urged the Biden administration to undo this damaging policy by the previous administration, citing concerns that the policy would hobble New Hampshire's ability to maintain and conserve its outdoor spaces.
'The repeal of this harmful policy is a victory for New Hampshire's outdoor recreation industry and beautiful natural resources,' said Senator Hassan. 'As a result of this repeal, our state will once again have the flexibility that it needs to use the funds provided in the Land and Water Conservation Fund for critical conservation and outdoor infrastructure projects across the state. I was glad to have joined in introducing bipartisan legislation, that is now law, to permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and I will continue working with the delegation to protect our environment and bolster New Hampshire's tourism economy.'
'This is a win for New Hampshire conservation efforts and all those who enjoy our outdoor spaces. I'm glad the Biden administration heeded our call to reverse this ill-conceived policy that threatened our ability to safeguard natural sites in our state. Our state parks and beautiful outdoor spaces are a treasure for the people of New Hampshire and have always been the staple of our tourism economy,' said Senator Shaheen. 'I fought to permanently authorize and fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund and opposed Secretary Bernhardt's actions because ensuring our state has the investments it needs to preserve our outdoor spaces matters to our state's identity and impacts our economy. I appreciate the Biden administration's swift actions and look forward to working with the Department of Interior on other issues that respond to New Hampshire's environmental and outdoor recreation priorities.'
'Support from the Land and Water Conservation Fund has helped protect New Hampshire's iconic natural treasures and make possible the great outdoor experiences we value in the Granite State,' said Representative Kuster. 'I was proud to join our state delegation, as well as dozens of House colleagues from both sides of the aisle in a separate letter, in calling on the Interior Department to rollback short-sighted and damaging actions constricting LWCF that were taken in the lame duck period of the Trump administration. Our intent in passing the Great American Outdoors Act through Congress last year was to ensure states like New Hampshire can count on full and permanent funding of LWCF as they plan conservation projects that are important to our state and region. I applaud the Biden administration for moving so quickly today to make this right.'
'New Hampshire's way of life and our economy are rooted in our natural surroundings, and it is the responsibility of each of us to ensure that our environment is protected,' said Representative Pappas. 'I applaud the Biden Administration for overturning this misguided order, which would have limited our communities' ability to access Land and Water Conservation Fund resources. The LWCF is crucial to protecting New Hampshire's forests, lakes, rivers, and mountains and promoting outdoor access for all Granite Staters. I look forward to working with the Biden Administration and the Department of Interior to implement the Great American Outdoors Act and further protect our great outdoors, promote conservation, and provide access to outdoor recreation.'
The policy put out by the previous administration would have hampered states' ability to undertake critical conservation projects by limiting how states can use federal funding under the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The Land and Water Conservation Fund, which the delegation worked to fully-fund in the bipartisan Great American Outdoors Act that was signed into law last year, helps to preserve and maintain critical lands for national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, and recreational areas in New Hampshire and across the country.