President Donald Trump signed bipartisan legislation into law to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund, redesignate the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site and protect the Nashua River.
In September, U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan and U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster, all D-N.H., introduced legislation to protect Nashua River and its tributaries.
This law designates portions of the Nashua, Squannacook and Nissitissit Rivers, which all run through New Hampshire and Massachusetts, as scenic rivers under the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. The legislation will also create a local advisory committee to work with state and federal agencies to protect the river.
The senators’ legislation was a companion to a bill introduced by Kuster in the House of Representatives. In 2014, Congress conducted a study that assessed the inclusion of the three rivers in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.
The fund was created by Congress in 1964, as a commitment to preserve natural areas and water resources, along with providing recreational opportunities to all Americans. The fund maintains this land for national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and recreational areas in all 50 states with no costs to taxpayers.
U.S. outdoor recreation economy generates roughly $900 billion in annual economic activity and supports 7.6 million jobs, all of which benefits from investments by the fund, according to information provided by Shaheen’s office.
The Saint-Gaudens site was also authorized by Congress in 1964 and preserves the home and artwork of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, the foremost American sculptor of the late 19th century.