Communities across New Hampshire are invoking the state’s Land and Community Heritage Investment Act to preserve open spaces, even though state funding for land conservation and historic preservation faces extreme pressure from a ballooning budget crisis. Under the terms of the act, New Hampshire matches local conservation funding efforts with state money — an offer more than 100 communities have whole-heartedly supported at town meetings during this month alone. This surge of support for local conservation measures has given rise to hopes that the state will maintain its current funding level of $6 million per year for land-protection efforts. “We’re hoping that the voice of New Hampshire citizens expressed at town meeting will be heard by the governor and the legislature as they work on what is admittedly a very tough budget,” said Chris Wells of the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests.
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