Sara Plourde / NHPR; Data: NH Legislative Budget Assistant

It’s a budget year, and lawmakers will soon be hard at work trying to come up with a balanced two year spending plan. If past is precedent, one place where budget-writers on both sides of the aisle may look for money is from what are known as dedicated funds – pots of money raised by fees and earmarked for specific purposes. But this year the practice may face serious pushback.

A big priority for environmental groups – The Land and Community Heritage Investment Program, or LCHIP – has survived through budget negotiations. But that win comes at the expense of a raid on funds set aside for renewable energy development.

Under the budget deal struck today LCHIP was allotted the full $8 million dollars that it’s expected to raise. The program uses funds raised from fees tacked on certain real-estate transactions to pay for land conservation grants.

Governor Hassan’s is proposing the state restore funding to Environmental groups’ first priority: the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program. The $4 million dollars a year for LCHIP comes from fees tacked generated by certain real-estate transactions. It’s supposed to go into a dedicated fund used to put land and historic building into preservation.

Land & Community Heritage Investment Program

The protection of 215 acres of land in Durham is among 18 conservation and preservation projects to receive funding through the Land & Community Heritage Investment Program.

The program this week announced it would be awarding $475,500 in grants, spread out in various amounts among the 18 projects.

photo: Bev Norton / Flickr

Twenty-three conservation and historic preservation projects will be sharing just north of $1 million in state grants courtesy of New Hampshire’s Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP).  Fourteen historic structures and more than 2,800 acres of land ultimately qualified for funding.

LCHIP's Last Hurrah? 23 Projects Get Money

Dec 15, 2011

The state’s Land and Community Heritage Investment Program, or LCHIP, has funded 23 projects across the state. But this could be the last year the program exists to help protect everything from historic buildings, to forests,  to farms.

The LCHIP managers say about $1 million in state money has leveraged about $ 13 million in projects.  Executive Director Dijit Taylor says one unusual site involves a farm on the state’s western border.

“It includes two islands in the Connecticut River, one of which has the potential to be a campsite for people canoeing down the river.”