New Hampshire Economist and Chancellor of the Community College System Ross Gitell is looking at the major demographic and economic differences between the rural and more urban parts of our state - a divide he says is growing. We’re talking about that, and his ideas on closing the gap.
When you hear the phrase "historic preservation," images of Victorian mansions, federalist homes, and gothic revival churches might come to mind. And those styles are all important parts of the state's architectural landscape. But in rural areas, a smaller, simpler type of building is just as important to preservation advocates: grange halls.
In New Hampshire we value rural character—a value that's reflected in a strong history of land conservation. Central to that history is conservation of privately owned land by means of what's called a "conservation easement deed" that limits future development. It's typically a family decision. A family chooses to conserve their land so that future generations will know the land as they do. The property stays on a town's tax rolls and its natural resources are protected in perpetuity. Land conservation benefits the public, and in most cases landowners are entitled to an income tax dedu