June 26, 2009

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Judd Gregg (R-NH) today announced that the Senate Appropriations Committee has approved $200,000 in federal funding for continued land conservation efforts along the Lamprey River.  These funds will allow the Land Trust partnering with the Lamprey River Advisory Council to continue its efforts to protect the sensitive environmental lands along the Lamprey River and permanently preserve an additional 125 acres in Epping, Newmarket, Durham and Lee, New Hampshire.  These funds were included in the Fiscal Year 2010 Interior Appropriations bill, which is now ready for consideration by the full Senate.  Funding for this project is included within the Committee allocation set out for Fiscal Year 2010 funding measures.

Senator Shaheen stated, "The Lamprey River is one of New Hampshire's most beautiful natural resources and an important habitat for many species, and I am happy this funding will expand conservation efforts and ensure public access to this natural treasure. I have supported conservation efforts throughout my career, and I'll continue these efforts in the Senate because I know how important conservation is not just to preserving our state's beauty and distinctive character, but also to supporting our important outdoor tourism industry."

Senator Gregg authored legislation to designate the Lamprey River as a Wild and Scenic River and has secured more than $4.7 million for the continued protection of lands surrounding the Lamprey. To date, 1,938 acres have been conserved including 12 miles of frontage along the river.

Senator Gregg, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, stated, "The Lamprey River watershed provides an extraordinary benefit to the people and wildlife in the region.  It is the largest tributary of the Great Bay Estuary and supports an incredibly diverse ecosystem.  Its clean water provides both drinking water for Durham and Epping and recreational opportunities for residents and visitors to the area.  The river's wild and scenic designation further highlights its importance.  I want to thank the Lamprey River Advisory Management Council and the Southeast Land Trust for their continuing commitment to protect the river and I will continue to work hard to support this partnership."

Brian Hart, Executive Director of the Southeast Land Trust, stated, "We appreciate Senator Gregg's continued leadership and Senator Shaheen's support in securing this funding for the protection of the Lamprey River.  These funds will help conserve scenic views, pristine shoreline, productive farmland and critical habitat along this wild and scenic designated river."

Sharon Meeker, President of the Lamprey River Advisory Management Council, stated, "The Lamprey River Advisory Management Committee is very pleased to note the addition of $200,000 in the budget for the Lamprey River management. About half the river has been designated in the federal Wild and Scenic Rivers program, and it since has been able to protect more than 12 miles of river frontage, leveraging funds by a ratio of three to one.  The Lamprey flows from the hills in Northwood, New Hampshire some 47 miles to the Great Bay, offering a remarkable diversity of habitat, from forests to open fields, from quiet backwaters to fishing rapids, and from wetlands to sandy river banks.  People have lived near the river for more than 8,000 years, reaping its bounty of fish, mussels and wildlife at first, and now canoeing and kayaking its rapids, taking walks along its banks, and fishing."

Press Contact

Alex Reese