2020 Outdoor Recreation Legislation

The state’s natural environment and many outdoor recreational amenities are a magnet for young people. Stay Work Play supports measures to protect these irreplaceable natural and recreational amenities and the economic benefits they make possible.

Senate Bill 491

What it does

Aims to protect clean water in our rivers and lakes by increasing the amount of “buffer” or vegetation that is along the shorelines of lakes and rivers.

Why it’s important

Buffer zones (which this bill increases) are important for keeping water clean because they work above and below ground to filter and prevent runoff and pollution. The more forested the land is along the shorelines of rivers and lakes the more runoff and pollution is reduced and/or filtered.

Given the importance of the state’s water-based outdoor recreation resources are to both the state’s tourism economy and as a means of attracting and retaining young people, it is critical that these natural resources be protected.

Current status

Senate Bill 491 was Laid on the Table by the full Senate on March 5, 2020, pending a proposed amendment. Another vote has not yet been scheduled.

Senate Bill 590

What it does

Establishes a committee to develop science-based emissions reduction goals for the state of New Hampshire.

Why it’s important

This study committee will be tasked with identifying state agencies, as well as a process and timeline (including interim goals), for getting our state to net zero carbon emissions by 2050. At present, NH is the only state in New England without identified emissions reduction targets. Supporting this bill will help protect NH’s environment, our environment being a primary reason that young people stay in NH, according to Stay Work Play survey data.

Current status

The Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee passed a slightly amended version of the bill. The full Senate is scheduled to vote on the bill on March 19, 2020.