Legislators did right by LCHIP

To the editor:

The New Hampshire House and Senate passed a two-year state budget in July that includes a full restoration of funding for New Hampshire’s Land and Community Heritage Investment Program, commonly known as LCHIP.

In recent years, revenue from real estate deed recording fees collected explicitly to enable LCHIP grants to nonprofit organizations and municipalities was instead swept into the general fund. As a result, the state has not been able to contribute fully to local conservation and historic preservation efforts, and many nonprofits, such as the Monadnock Conservancy, have missed opportunities to leverage federal and private matching funds to conserve significant properties.

With full funding restored — an amount estimated at more than $4 million each year — the state’s nonprofits will be able to do more in the next two years to preserve New Hampshire’s rich natural, cultural and historic heritage.

On behalf of the trustees, staff and the Conservancy’s supporters throughout the Monadnock region, I want to thank the New Hampshire Legislature for listening to its constituents and recognizing the value of LCHIP.

Thank you especially to Rep. Peter Leishman of Peterborough, who chaired a House Finance Subcommittee that worked to ensure LCHIP funding was as strong as it could be in the House budget draft. Thank you also to the following legislators who have been champions of LCHIP: Sens. Peter Bragdon, Jeanie Forrester, Sylvia Larsen, Chuck Morse and Bob Odell, and Reps. David Hess, Terie Norelli and Mary Jane Wallner.

Ryan Owens

Executive Director Monadnock Conservancy

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