Shaheen, Hassan Announce Federal Funding for NH Public Lands

March 20, 2021

**Shaheen & Hassan cosponsored the bill signed into law to permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund and help address the more than $43 million maintenance backlog in New Hampshire**

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) announced that several New Hampshire projects have been selected to receive funding through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and the newly created National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund, which was established by the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) to support outdoor recreation, conservation efforts and address maintenance needs. As a result of the bipartisan GAOA cosponsored by Shaheen and Hassan that was signed into law last year, the LWCF’s now-mandatory, full funding of $900 million was allocated to projects and programs in the fiscal year (FY) 2021 government funding legislation that became law in December. One of these projects is the Dundee Forest Legacy Project in Bartlett and Jackson, which has been allocated $2.3 million through the Forest Legacy Program from the LWCF for conservation efforts that will support wildlife, sustainable forestry and outdoor recreation opportunities.

In addition, Congress listed specific projects to receive deferred maintenance funding for FY 2021 from the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund, which will provide up to $9.5 billion over the next five years to tackle deferred maintenance needs on public lands throughout the country. In New Hampshire, this backlog amounts to more than $43 million. Selected projects to address deferred maintenance in the White Mountain National Forest in FY 2021 include Sawyer River Bridge, Mount Washington Valley Chocorua Trails and White Mountain Snowmobile Corridor 19 Trail Bridge Replacement.

“New Hampshire’s public lands are among its greatest assets, serving as a natural treasure to Granite Staters and visitors alike, a refuge for precious wildlife and a boon to our recreation economy,” said Senator Shaheen. “Today’s announcement is an important first step towards addressing the substantial maintenance backlog faced by federal lands in our state, while also bolstering forest conservation efforts in the North Country. I supported the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act last year because it serves as a commitment by Congress to protect and preserve these beautiful lands in the years to come – a commitment I will always fight to uphold.”

“New Hampshire’s natural landscape and outdoor recreation are an essential part of our state’s identity and economic prosperity,” Senator Hassan said. “These federal dollars will go a long way toward preserving our state’s unique wildlife and ensuring that these outdoor spaces can be enjoyed for generations to come. I am pleased to see this significant federal funding from the Great American Outdoors Act headed to New Hampshire, and I will continue working across the aisle to protect our beautiful natural resources.”

In September, the Senators announced two New Hampshire projects that will receive funding through the LWCF State and Local Assistance Program, which includes nearly $129,000 for improving 13 miles of the Rockingham Recreational Trail from Fremont to Windham and more than $45,000 for renovations and the addition of a multi-use support and picnic facility at Danielle Park in Franklin.

Shaheen and Hassan have led efforts to help secure full funding and permanent authorization for the LWCF, which has helped protect more than 2.5 million acres of land and supported tens of thousands of state and local outdoor recreation projects throughout the nation. Shaheen and Hassan’s bipartisan bill to permanently reauthorize the LWCF was included in legislation that was signed into law in 2019. Shaheen and Hassan also cosponsored the Restore Our Parks Act, bipartisan legislation included in the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) to address the $20 billion backlog in long delayed maintenance projects on public lands.

In July, Shaheen visited Glen Ellis Falls to discuss the deferred maintenance needs of the White Mountain National Forest and highlight the importance of permanently funding the LWCF, which helps preserve and maintain sites like Glen Ellis Falls. The WMNF, where Glen Ellis Falls is located, would also be eligible for maintenance funding under GAOA. Additionally, in July, Hassan toured the Jigger Johnson campground and hiked to Rocky Gorge in the White Mountain National Forest to discuss how GAOA will benefit these sites.