Visiting Capitol Hill

On Wednesday and Thursday last week, I joined AMC’s conservation staff on a visit to Capitol Hill and met with U.S. Senators and Representatives from several Northeastern states to discuss issues and legislation critical to the forests, rivers, and trails of our region.

In two packed days, we met Senators Scott Brown (MA), Jeanne Shaheen (NH), and Olympia Snowe (ME) and Representatives Jim McGovern (MA), Mike Fitzpatrick (PA), Niki Tsongas (MA), Charlie Bass (NH), and Mike Michaud (ME). We also met with staff from the offices of Senators Ayotte (NH) and Collins (ME), and from the office of Congressman Olver (MA).

We discussed issues and programs that are critical for protecting the incredible landscapes of our region, ensuring high quality recreational opportunities are available for everyone, and maintaining the values of the special places and recreational resources that sustain our region’s economy.

As Congress works to finalize a transportation reauthorization bill, we asked our Members of Congress to protect exciting provisions in the Senate version that would provide the Land and Water Conservation Fund with $700 million per year for the next two years and to also ensure that dedicated funding for recreational trails and related infrastructure continues to be provided. We thanked the Mid-Atlantic delegation for their continued support of the Highlands Conservation Act, which has leveraged four dollars of matching funds for every dollar of federal funds.

We also discussed our efforts to get more kids outside enjoying the tremendous public lands and waters of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic and the importance of defending the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to make sure the fresh air we seek on backyard and backcountry adventures will be clean. Finally, we extended invitations to all to come out and get outside with us this summer and beyond!

The fact that we were able to get time with so many members of Congress speaks to our non-partisan approach to conservation and our voice in representing the interests of hikers, paddlers, and other outdoor recreationists in the Northeast.

Meeting with Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hamsphire and AMC Vice President of Conservation Susan Arnold (courtesy photo)

With Congressman Mike Michaud of Maine

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