(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced with U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) that New Hampshire has been awarded $467,410 from the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to support the state’s outdoor recreation and forest economies. Specifically, $290,056 was awarded to the Appalachian Mountain Club to deliver trail building, stewardship and recreation management skills trainings annually to 200 Granite Staters, allowing them to meet the workforce needs of the New Hampshire’s outdoor recreation economy. $177,354 was awarded to the Northern Forest Center, allowing the organization to provide technical and market development assistance to wood products businesses in the NBRC region through the COVID-19 pandemic. These grants will be allocated through NBRC and USDA’s State Economic & Infrastructure Development program and help create and retain jobs and promote economic growth in rural Granite State communities.
“Federal resources from agencies like the NBRC and USDA play a key role in promoting economic growth and development in rural communities throughout New Hampshire,” said Senator Shaheen. “These new grants will empower rural communities by preparing Granite Staters to thrive in our state’s growing outdoor recreation sector and providing businesses in the forest economy crucial to the vitality of the region with the support they need to weather and recover from COVID-19. As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I’ll continue to fight for funding that invests in the future of Granite State communities.”
"These federal grants will support economic growth and outdoor recreation by providing crucial funding for the Appalachian Mountain Club's training programs and the Northern Forest Center that assists wood products businesses hit by the COVID-19 pandemic," said Senator Hassan. "I will continue to work across party lines to protect and increase funding for the Northern Border Regional Commission so that rural communities across our state get the support that they need to thrive."
“This federal funding from the Northern Border Regional Commission and the Department of Agriculture is an important investment in our state’s outdoor recreation and forest economies,” said Representative Kuster. “During the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, these grants will be especially helpful to our rural New Hampshire communities by supporting local workforce needs and providing assistance to wood product businesses in the region. I’ll continue working to secure increased funding to bolster rural economic development in the state.”
“The Northern Border Regional Commission does critical work to support New Hampshire’s regional economy, and that help is more important than ever as our businesses continue to adapt to these unprecedented times,” said Representative Pappas. “These federal dollars will go a long way to strengthen recreation businesses and local manufacturers, which are key drivers of New Hampshire’s economy. I will continue to work with our federal delegation and our local businesses to ensure they weather this storm.”
Senator Shaheen, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, has led efforts in Congress that support and invest in the NBRC, and included her bipartisan legislation to reauthorize and expand the NBRC’s reach in the Farm Bill that was signed into law in 2018. With support from Rep. Kuster, the legislation expanded the NBRC to include Cheshire County and communities in Belknap County. Shaheen has also worked to included language to ensure portions of NBRC funds be directed to assist rural communities affected by past mill closures, as well as support new markets and the infrastructure needs of the forest products industry. In August, the delegation announced that New Hampshire agencies and organizations were awarded $4,443,428 by the NBRC. Earlier this year, Shaheen led a bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers representing New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont and New York in a letter to congressional leadership calling for the inclusion of dedicated funding for the NBRC in COVID-19 relief legislation.