A plan to significantly expand a wildlife refuge that covers parts of the Connecticut River watershed in New England is running into opposition from the timber industry and governors in several states.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service earlier this year released a 15-year conservation plan for the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge, which covers more than 37,000 acres in Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut. It identified 197,000 acres that could be added to the refuge either through purchases or other agreements with land owners or nonprofits.
Supporters say an expanded refuge is critical for Connecticut River populations of native species of plants, fish and wildlife. But the governors in Vermont and New Hampshire have raised concerns that the plan would take lucrative land off the tax rolls.