NH delegation welcomes $30 million for climate-smart forest practices
MANCHESTER – This month, U.S. Rep. Chris Pappas (NH-01), alongside U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH), and U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-02) applauded the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s announcement that the agency is awarding $30 million to the New England Forestry Foundation (NEFF). This funding will support the implementation of climate-smart forest practices by forest landowners to protect the environment.
The grant was one of the 70 selected projects under the first pool of the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities. This program’s investments seek to expand climate-smart solutions, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and provide direct benefits to agricultural producers, including small and underserved producers.
NEFF’s proposal includes the duality of stimulating New Hampshire’s forestry sector while protecting the ecosystem and its biodiversity. By enacting climate-smart forestry incentives and a system to monitor and report metrics on greenhouse gas benefits, this funding will help to understand which climate-smart forestry practices can benefit the environment and to what extent.
“New Hampshire agricultural producers will benefit from sustainable practices that support their operations and protect our environment. This investment in climate-smart forest practices ensures both of these goals are possible,” said Congressman Pappas. “I applaud this announcement from the USDA, and I will continue to support programs that benefit the Granite State economy, our rural small businesses, and our environment.”
“Working forests are not only an important part of our economy and way of life in New Hampshire, they’re also a powerful tool to combat climate change,” Shaheen. “I’m excited about this work to support climate-smart forestry practices and sustainable harvesting that result in substantial climate benefits. Expanding markets for wood products from sustainable forests can further benefit climate mitigation efforts by substituting for more carbon-intensive materials, all while supporting healthy rural economies.”
“Sustainable, climate-smart agriculture and forestry can be a major catalyst for our economy and another step to fighting climate change,” said Hassan. “The federal funding headed to New Hampshire will provide necessary resources to help forest landowners transition to environmentally-sustainable practices. I will continue working to help reduce the threat of greenhouse gas emissions and invest in growing our clean energy economy.”
“Climate-smart and sustainable forestry operations are key to combating climate change, and as a member of the House Agriculture Committee, I have been proud to advocate for forward-thinking and innovative forestry practices in New Hampshire,” said Kuster. “This federal funding headed to the New England Forestry Foundation to help Granite State forest landowners implement sustainable practices represents an important investment in our environment, local rural agricultural producers, and our state’s economy.”
In July, Pappas led the New Hampshire delegation in sending a letter in support of the New England Forestry Foundation’s (NEFF) application for the USDA’s Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities. This letter urged the USDA to give NEFF’s proposal full consideration and stated that “the NEFF proposal would advance the goals of the pilot program, benefit our state, and constitute a responsible use of federal funds.”