WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced with U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) and Reps. Annie Kuster (D-N.H.) and Chris Pappas (D-N.H.) that New Hampshire has been awarded $467,410 from the Northern Border Regional Commission and U.S. Department of Agriculture to support the state’s outdoor recreation and forest economies.
Among the grants, $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.
The Northern Forest Center was awarded $177,354, 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 the commission and U.S. Department of Agriculture’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,” Shaheen said. “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.”
Hassan said:, "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."
“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," Kuster said. "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.”
Shaheen, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, has led efforts in Congress that support and invest in the Northern Border Regional Commission, and included her bipartisan legislation to reauthorize and expand the commission’s reach in the Farm Bill that was signed into law in 2018.
With support from Rep. Kuster, the legislation expanded the commission to include Cheshire County and communities in Belknap County.
Shaheen has also worked to included language to ensure portions of Northern Border Regional Commission 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 Northern Border Regional Commission.
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 commission in COVID-19 relief legislation.