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WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Judd Gregg (R-NH) today announced that significant federal funding for three important land conservation initiatives in New Hampshire has secured final approval.  The measure includes $2.5 million for the Silvo O. Conte National Wildlife Refuge, $2.4 million for Cardigan Highlands and $1.375 million for the Mahoosuc Gateway/Success Township Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) project. These funds were included in the Conference Report to the Fiscal Year 2010 Interior Appropriations bill, which was signed into law by the President on Friday, October 30, 2009.  Funding for these projects is included within the Committee allocation set out for Fiscal Year 2010 funding measures.  A detailed description of each project is included below.

Senator Shaheen stated, "Preserving New Hampshire's forests and natural refuges is key to the state's outdoor tourism industry. These expanded conservation efforts will protect our state's character and make the best use of our natural resources for years to come."

Senator Gregg, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, stated, "New Hampshire's landscapes and natural resources are a large reason why our state is such a great place to live and raise a family, as well as such a big draw for visitors who love the outdoors. It is our responsibility to protect these areas so that future generations are able to appreciate them just as we have. These initiatives go a long way in accomplishing this goal by allowing for additional conservation of significant lands and waterways here in the Granite State.  I applaud the hard work and dedication of individuals at the state and local level who continue to have the vision to preserve our State's environmental treasures."

"This is wonderful news for the people of New Hampshire and beyond," said Daryl Burtnett, state director for The Nature Conservancy in New Hampshire.  "Senators Gregg and Shaheen should be commended for their efforts to open up land to the public once held private for snowmobiling, fishing, hunting, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing - activities which have long been an economic staple for New Hampshire's North Country."   

"We are tremendously grateful to Senator Gregg for helping the Forest Society conserve nearly 9,300 acres of ecologically exceptional working forest located in a key area of New Hampshire, between Mount Cardigan and the White Mountain National Forest. The Cardigan Highlands project protects the full range of ecosystem services targeted by the Forest Legacy program, including productive timberland and unique forest communities, high-quality surface and ground water, exceptional fish and wildlife habitat, and extensive recreational and historic resources. The project is also a high priority for the two-state Quabbin to Cardigan Initiative (Q2C).  Thanks to Senator Gregg and Shaheen securing a $2.4 million appropriation, this landmark project is another huge step closer to completion."   

Burnham "Bing" Judd, Coos County Commissioner in Pittsburg, stated, "It's just great to get this funding to conserve the land along the Appalachian Trail. Whatever we can do to conserve this land is a plus! I personally thank Senator Gregg and Senator Shaheen on behalf of Coos County for their support for this project."

Paul Grenier, Coos County Commissioner in Berlin, stated, "This is great news for the future of Success. This funding will help cement the future of Success to the traditional land uses that has been enjoyed by over 5 generations of Coos County citizens." 

Steven Griffin, Isaacson Structural Steel Inc., stated, "I was thrilled to learn of the funding relating to Phase I of the Success Mahoosuc Project.  At a time when the City of Berlin is looking to diversify its economy, it is heartening to know that the more sensitive high elevation forest lands will be used as they are intended to be.  Berlin, and all of the North Country can turn an eye towards tourism with the success of this project.  I am grateful to Senators Gregg and Shaheen for coming through for the North Country, yet again."

Nancy Bell, The Conservation Fund, stated, "It is a pleasure to be working with the citizens in the greater Berlin area. The communities' expanded vision and re-energized efforts are creating new possibilities that include forest conservation and recreational opportunity as integral pieces of their economic future. Senator Gregg and Senator Shaheen have provided invaluable support encompassing these broader possibilities and funding this project."

Silvo O. Conte National Wildlife Refuge - $2.5 million:
These funds provide for continued land acquisition across the four-state Refuge, including efforts to conserve acreage in New Hampshire's Pondicherry and Mascoma River Divisions.  These areas are known for their diverse wildlife habitats and ecosystems, and are home to a number of species, including black bear, moose, white-tailed deer, and a variety of migrant birds.
Over the years, Senator Gregg has helped to secure $12.5 million for the four-state Conte Refuge.

Cardigan Highlands - $2.4 million:
These funds will benefit the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests' Cardigan Highlands project in Groton, Hebron, Rumney, Plymouth and Dorchester, New Hampshire.  Specifically, these funds will assist in the conservation of nearly 9,300 acres of ecologically exceptional working forest between Mount Cardigan and the White Mountain National Forest.

Mahoosuc Gateway/Success Township LWCF - $1.375 million:
These funds will allow the Conservation Fund to continue this multi-year, two-phase agreement to conserve 20,000 acres in the Success Township in Coos County.  These funds will support the second half of Phase I of the project which involves 5,970 acres, including 4,770 acres being added to the Appalachian National Scenic Trail and acquisition of a conservation easement covering 1,200 acres of land adjoining the Trail. 
Last year, Senator Gregg secured $1.375 million for this project.