(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH), and Congresswomen Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01) and Annie Kuster (NH-02), announced that the U.S. Department of Interior has awarded New Hampshire more than $500,000 through the State Wildlife Grant (SWG) Program to boost Granite State conservation efforts. The SWG Program is a major funding source for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s Nongame Wildlife Program. Together with state matching funds, SWG dollars are used to restore habitat, conduct research and implement monitoring programs that enhance the state’s ability to manage and keep imperiled species from being listed as an endangered species.
SWG federal funds, for example, have been used to protect and help re-populate the New England cottontail, frosted elfin, karner blue butterfly and rare fish species. In 2016, Senator Shaheen and former Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell helped release two New England cottontail rabbits into the wild in Dover, New Hampshire, highlighting the federal efforts that have gone into rehabilitating the threatened population.
“Safeguarding our environment and wildlife is critical to preserving our state’s natural resources and strengthening our tourism economy, and also ensures generations of Granite Staters have the opportunity to enjoy all the beauty our state has to offer,” said Senator Shaheen. “I’m very glad to see New Hampshire receive this much-needed funding, and I’ll continue to work across the aisle to deliver federal resources that boost conservation efforts throughout New Hampshire.”
“Our state’s wildlife plays an important role in New Hampshire’s tourism industry, as well as the overall vitality of our natural resources, which are critical to our quality of life,” said Senator Hassan. “This funding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will help ensure that at-risk species, such as the New England cottontail and frosted elfin, are given the protection and conservation they need in order to recover and thrive. In a state whose quality of life is strongly linked to our environment, it is essential that the ecosystem we rely on is healthy and prospering.”
“New Hampshire’s beautiful wildlife draws visitors from all over the country, but declining populations of endangered species can put the entire ecosystem at risk,” said Congresswoman Shea-Porter. “This federal funding is essential for New Hampshire’s Nongame and Endangered Wildlife program because it provides over half of the resources needed to protect New Hampshire’s endangered species. I am pleased that our state will once again benefit from the State Wildlife Grant Program, and I will continue to support federal programs that protect one of our state’s greatest economic assets – its natural beauty.”
“For generations, Granite Staters and tourists have enjoyed observing New Hampshire’s amazing wildlife,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “I’m pleased these funds have been awarded, as they will help Granite State species with dwindling populations recover, and I will continue to push for policies and programs that protect the animals who live here.”