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Shaheen and Hassan Legislation to Save LWCF, Redesignate Saint-Gaudens Site & Protect Nashua River Signed into Law

(Washington, DC) — U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) released the following statements after their legislation to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) was signed into law by the President. Shaheen and Hassan introduced bipartisan legislation to permanently reauthorize LWCF, which helps preserve and maintain critical lands for national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and recreational areas in all 50 states and nearly every congressional district at no cost to American taxpayers. The U.S. outdoor recreation economy generates roughly $900 billion in annual economic activity and supports 7.6 million jobs, all of which benefits from investments by LWCF. The bill signed into law includes Shaheen and Hassan’s legislation to protect the Nashua River and its tributaries and redesignate Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site as a “National Historical Park.”  

“I’m very pleased that these measures to preserve New Hampshire’s environment and support outdoor recreation are now the law of the land,” said Senator Shaheen. “Permanently reauthorizing LWCF will bolster our outdoor economy and help preserve the sites we treasure most in New Hampshire, including the White Mountain National Forest, and protecting the Nashua River’s waters, wildlife and natural resources will support communities across the region. The re-designation of Saint-Gaudens as a National Historical Park finally recognizes this landmark appropriately for its natural beauty, historical architecture and art. ”  

“I am delighted that this major bipartisan conservation bill, which includes important measures that we fought to include for New Hampshire, has been signed into law,” said Senator Hassan. “In addition to permanently reauthorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund, this bill also strengthens efforts to protect the Nashua River and its tributaries, and gives Saint-Gaudens the new designation of National Historic Park. I will continue to build on efforts like this that help to preserve and strengthen the beautiful natural resources that are vital to our economy and help define us as a state.” 

Senator Shaheen has led efforts to help secure full funding and permanent authorization for LWCF, which Senator Hassan has supported, to help protect more than 2.5 million acres of land and support tens of thousands of state and local outdoor recreation projects throughout the nation. Through several grant programs, the fund helps clean up wildlife areas, procure easements to improve public lands access for Americans, safeguard historic sites and battlefields, and much more.  

Shaheen and Hassan introduced legislation in the Senate to designate portions of the Nashua, Squannacook, and Nissitissit Rivers in New Hampshire and Massachusetts as scenic rivers under the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. This legislation was a companion to a bill introduced by Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) in the House of Representatives, and followed up on the recommendations of a study commissioned by Congress in 2014 that assessed the potential inclusion of these rivers in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.  

Authorized by Congress in 1964, the Saint-Gaudens site preserves the home and artwork of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, the foremost American sculptor of the late 19th century. The New Hampshire delegation introduced legislation to redesignate the site as a National Historical Park to bolster its visibility in the Cornish community and across New Hampshire. In the past decade, the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site has expanded to include multiple historic buildings, a vast collection of American art, a variety of arts-related activities, landscapes and trails. During his career, Saint-Gaudens created over 150 works of art, many of them commemorating heroes of the Civil War, including the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial in Boston and the Standing and Seated Abraham Lincoln monuments in Chicago.