Would you favor or oppose protecting all National Forest roadless areas of 1,000 acres or more from development?
Roadless areas represent only about 2 percent of the total landbase of the United States, yet they provide clean drinking water, recreation and key habitat for rare plant and animal species. They also offer opportunities for monitoring and research, and help block the spread of invasive species. In New Hampshire the 780,000-acre White Mountain National Forest contains 16 roadless areas. By maintaining these areas, all of which are almost within a half-mile of existing roads, large blocks of forested backcountry could be preserved. In addition, the forest would be protected from the harmful effects of off-road vehicles, mining, oil drilling and other development. A Forest Service survey of New Englanders revealed that 94 percent of those polled believe "the remaining undisturbed forests on the White Mountain National Forest should be protected." With an $8.4 billion road maintenance and reconstruction backlog, we should focus on maintaining the current roads rather than building costly new roads into roadless areas.
For more information contact the Appalachian Mountain Club, www.outdoors.org.
How will you ensure that rare ecosystems, such as the Atlantic White Cedar and Black Gum swamps, throughout New Hampshire are protected from development?
There are 30 Atlantic White Cedar swamps and 56 Black Gum swamps throughout New Hampshire. While both of these tree species are found throughout the state, rarely are there enough in a growing cluster to dedicate them as "swamps." Unfortunately air and water pollution caused by increased development is threatening the swamps. Storm water run-off and wastewater discharge are two of the largest threats. These swamp lands and the surrounding areas need to be protected for the public to enjoy.
For more information contact The Manchester, New Hampshire Urban Open Space, www.mv.com/ipusers/env/.
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