More opportunities to “live free” in New Hampshire’s outdoors

Jan 28, 2010

ERROL, NEW HAMPSHIRE – In the hectic pace of the 21st century, one thing the people of New Hampshire can take comfort in is the outdoor escape their state offers. The Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge gives recreationalists an opportunity to truly “live free” in a time when financial woes have hit Americans hard.

With the help of funding from Congress, the Androscoggin Headwaters conservation project within Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge would help maintain the beauty of the New England area. Multiple ponds, the Androscoggin River tributary and wildlife habitat would be added to the public lands, and kayakers, canoeists and boaters would have even more opportunity to enjoy a moment’s peace in the great outdoors.

“The Androscoggin Headwaters conservation project offers great outdoor opportunities for people,” said Jeremy Sheaffer, the Northern forest associate for The Wilderness Society. “At a time when public access to wild places continues to disappear with a flurry of ‘No Trespassing Signs’, this project represents a significant piece of the Northern New Hampshire conservation puzzle that will be good not only for the wildlife and wetlands but will also provide a needed assist for one of the goals of the surrounding communities – more dollars coming into the region from increased tourism to the refuge.”

With input from 34 conservation and wildlife organizations, The Wilderness Society has released a document called the “Green Budget.” It details the federal agency funding the groups say is needed to sustain clean air and water, lands, oceans and wildlife over the long term — an increasingly urgent priority in an era of global warming. The “Green Budget” proposes a range of funding priorities and the Androscoggin Headwaters conservation project would be one of the initiatives. (Click here to see a short video about the need to invest in a green economy, find full report, obtain photos, etc.)

The calming refuge has some of the finest wildlife habitat in the state of New Hampshire, and Umbagog also has 8,700 acres of open waters. This project is just one example of the many projects conservation organizations want Congress to support within New Hampshire and throughout America.

In its first year in office, President Obama’s administration has reversed many environmentally detrimental Bush policies and introduced critical legislation to transition toward a green energy economy. In order to continue this progress for the next year, adequate funding must be allocated to create green jobs, conserve our natural resources and protect wildlife. The “Green Budget” provides Congress with a potential road map to accomplish that objective while also strengthening key environmental programs.

“We heard President Obama and we recognize the need for the federal government to tighten its belt, which is why we’re calling on Congress and the administration to eliminate wasteful spending.” said William H. Meadows, president of The Wilderness Society. “The president and Congress have some tough decisions to make but we believe sound economic and environmental policy go hand-in-hand. So while frugality is key, we must continue to invest in the kind of environmental initiatives that create jobs and protect our natural resources.”