Advocacy Alert: Legislation Proposes to Change NH’s Current Use Program

Matt Leahy | January 12, 2024
A view of the state capitol from the Conservation Center in Concord.

The New Hampshire House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee will hold a public hearing on January 17 on House Bill 1484 legislation that would exclude from New Hampshire’s Current Use Program any forest land that a landowner enrolls in a forest carbon market program.

HB 1484 is intended to address concerns about these forest carbon markets. While the Forest Society recognizes the questions surrounding forest carbon offsets, as noted in our Voluntary Forest Carbon Markets Policy Statement, we are opposed to HB 1484.

The Forest Society’s concern with the bill is that it conflicts with the fundamental premise behind the Current Use Program (RSA 79-A). Specifically, the law’s Declaration of Purpose states:

"It is hereby declared to be in the public interest to encourage the preservation of open space, thus providing a healthful and attractive outdoor environment for work and recreation of the state's citizens, maintaining the character of the state's landscape, and conserving the land, water, forest, agricultural and wildlife resources.”

Even if a property is enrolled in a carbon market, it is still open and undeveloped; it meets the spirit and intent of the Current Use Program. As stated in the Forest Society’s position on voluntary carbon markets, public policy should not restrict landowners from using this tool. Therefore, we are opposed to HB 1484.

If you would like to register your opposition to HB 1484, click here.
(For a full tutorial on how to use this system, click here.)

  • Step 1: Enter your name, town, and email address.
  • Step 2: Select date- January 17
  • Step 3: Select committee- Ways and Means Committee; Select bill- 11:30 am HB1484; Select "I am a member of the public" and "I am representing myself." Indicate Your Position on this Bill: Select "I oppose this bill."
  • Step 4: Upload your testimony (optional)
  • Step 5: Submit! 

Thank you for taking action today!


Learn more

Learn more about forest carbon and forest carbon markets, including the definition of a carbon offset and how forest carbon offset projects work. Both of these documents were developed by the Securing Northeast Forest Carbon Program, a cooperative effort among the State forestry offices in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.