To The Daily Sun,
Belknap County's economy depends on the environment for tourism and protecting property values. Our Belknap County Conservation District (BCCD) helps protect the environment and economy.
Every $1 invested by the county in BCCD generates $12.50. In the past, BCCD's budget request for $92,400 resulted in $1,155,00 being brought into Belknap County businesses. A reduction in BCCD's budget could impact the county's economy.
BCCD puts best conservation practices into action on the ground and on rivers flowing into area lakes. BCCD keep the County's environment healthy and attractive for residents, area businesses and tourism. 2017 projects planned include:
— Repair of major erosion site on Gunstock Brook which helps protect a Route 11B bridge and water quality.
— Forest and Stream Habitat Planning, and restoring a Wetland Boardwalk at the Gunstock Rec. Area.
— On-going assistance to landowners and Towns with activities ranging including land and water protection, conservation easements, construction of high tunnels, technical training and workshops and pollinator gardens.
BCCD's responsibilities are outlined in state law for conservation districts (RSA 432:12)
— BCCD is charged with protecting soil and water and related resources through projects for erosion control and flood prevention and creating conservation demonstration projects, assisting landowners and government.
— BCCD and other NH Conservation Districts are set up by the state to coordinate state and federal conservation programs at the local level.
— BCCD duties are different from Cooperative Extension which focuses on education and information outreach, 4-H and Master Gardeners. BCCD and Cooperative Extension have separate and complementary roles. For example to assist the County Jail agriculture program, BCCD built and paid for a high tunnel (greenhouse) and pollinator garden and Extension is providing on-going advice and assistance.
— All New Hampshire Counties have a Conservation District and invest county funds in their district.
Donna Hepp, Chair
Belknap County Conservation District
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