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(Washington, D.C.) - U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen announced today that her request to support a major conservation initiative in western New Hampshire has been approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee.  Shaheen secured $282,000 for the Quabbin-to-Cardigan Conservation (Q2C) Initiative, which provides technical and financial assistance to local conservation projects.  These funds were included in the Fiscal Year 2011 Agriculture, FDA and Rural Development Appropriations bill, which is now ready for consideration by the full Senate.

"Western New Hampshire's natural beauty has long drawn tourists from across the country to our state, creating jobs, and supporting local businesses that depend on the tourism industry," said Shaheen.  "I am pleased to support this important conservation program so that we can protect our state's character and preserve these natural resources for years to come."

"The area along the western spine of New Hampshire includes some of the largest unprotected tracts of working forests in the state," said Jane Difley, president/forester of the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests.  "This funding will allow the Q2C Partnership to continue its innovative land conservation grants program, which last year helped conserve some 6,900 acres, including key water resources and wildlife habitat.  We need forward-thinking initiatives, like the Q2C, to ensure New Hampshire continues to be a top place to live, and we thank Senator Shaheen for her support of this funding."

Encompassing approximately two million acres, the Q2C region is one of the largest remaining areas of intact, interconnected, ecologically significant forests in New England, and is a key headwater of the Merrimack and Connecticut Rivers.  Funding allocated through competitive grants will help conserve the land base for forest products, tourism and the outdoor recreation economy of western New Hampshire.