Vermont And New Hampshire Senators Introduce Bill To Advance Conservation Along The Upper Connecticut River

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Senators from Vermont and New Hampshire have introduced the Upper Connecticut River Partnership Act of 2009, legislation that would help conserve the largest ecosystem in New England.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) was joined by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) in introducing the bipartisan legislation late Thursday.  The bill would authorize the U.S. Secretary of the Interior to give technical and financial help for the Upper Connecticut River through the Connecticut River Joint Commissions.  The Joint Commissions consist of New Hampshire's Connecticut River Valley Resource Commission and Vermont's Connecticut River Watershed Advisory Commission.  Since 1989 the two advisory panels have been working cooperatively in promoting stewardship to protect the Connecticut River. 

Leahy said, “Once again our two states are united in advancing this bill in the Senate.  Vermont and New Hampshire have a long history of working together for the communities along the river.  Our bill will help us chart the way forward to preserve the natural and economic vitality of the Connecticut River Valley for generations to come.”

Gregg said, “The Connecticut River is one of the most important river watersheds in the Northeast.  It provides valuable cultural, economic and recreational benefits, in addition to supporting a diverse natural ecosystem, and unparalleled scenic beauty. Since 1989, The Connecticut River Joint Commissions has been leading the local efforts to protect the watershed. I am pleased to be a co-sponsor of this bipartisan legislation that will build on the management activities already underway.  I applaud the staff and board members of the CJRC for all they have done to protect the Connecticut River and look forward to continuing to work with them.”

Sanders said, “This legislation will promote our ability to protect the Connecticut River and I am pleased to be part of this bi-state, tri-partisan approach.  The additional resources that this bill would authorize are a critical component to ensuring a sound future for the river.”

Shaheen said, “I’m pleased to join with my New Hampshire and Vermont colleagues to work together to protect the Upper Connecticut River.  The collaborative work supported by the Connecticut River Joint Commissions will help protect this important historic, cultural and ecological resource for generations to come, and I am proud to support the work of citizens and communities along the river in their conservation efforts.”

Companion legislation was also introduced Thursday in the House of Representatives by Reps. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and Paul Hodes (D-N.H.). 

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