SB 324 Would Hinder NH Conservation

Please tell lawmakers to drop it

Matt Leahy | April 21, 2016

Should the State of New Hampshire have the authority to intervene and block a private property owner’s right to sell his land to the federal government? 

This is one central question behind a bill the House Committee on Resources, Recreation and Development in the NH Legislature is currently considering.  What troubles the Forest Society about SB 324?  If it becomes law, not only would this proposal require prior approval of federal land acquisitions by the governor and executive council, but it would also mandate that federal land acquisitions be limited to 2 percent of the total land area of the state and limited to no more than 5 percent of the total assessed valuation of all the real estate in the community where the acquisition will occur.  This is a classic example of government interference with the right of a landowner to sell his or her land.  It also smacks of the kind of government over-regulation New Hampshire traditionally frowns upon.   

The Forest Society, along with our partners at the Nature Conservancy and the Appalachian Mountain Club, testified against the bill during a recent hearing in the Committee on Resources, Recreation and Development (our letter to the committee is here). Please communicate with members of the House RRD Committtee and ask them to protect property rights of New Hampshire landowners by recommending to the full House that SB 324 be deemed Inexpedient to Legislate. Thank you in advance for taking action on behalf of land conservation in N.H.