Is New Hampshire (and Vermont) Being Sold Down the River by Clinton?

For a state with a motto like “Live free or die”, asking President Clinton for federal American Heritage Rivers designation for any of its rivers doesn’t make sense.

“Live free or die” isn’t consistent with federal zoning and a River/ Watershed Czar appointed and paid for by the federal government. Unless citizens and politicians can stop it, it’s very likely that the Connecticut River will be one of the chosen 10. Clinton will decide soon.

Obviously, someone sold the New Hampshire legislature a bill of goods in March when it unanimously endorsed the federal designation for the Connecticut, Merrimack, Winnipesaukee rivers. Was it because of the influence of that fellow from Walpole, Dayton R. Duncan, whom Clinton appointed as Chairman of the Advisory Committee which selects rivers for the federal “blessing”? Is he in cahoots with Rep Ralph Akins who sponsored the Resolution? Of the handful of legislators who co-sponsored the Resolution, Rep. Paul McGuirk is from N. Walpole and Sen. Allen Whipple is from Walpole. If Dayton Duncan is paddling in the background, he’s doing New Hampshire no favor. The proud state is being egged on into bondage, town by town and square foot by square foot. Eight towns in the Merimack River Watershed smelled a rat and wouldn’t go along because of worries of what would happen to citizens’ property rights. Included were the towns of Merrimack, Litchfield, Bow and Boscawen.

Although U. S. Senators Judd Gregg and Bob Smith and Second District U. S. Rep. Charles Bass got taken in by the federal scam, First District U. S. Rep.John Sununu did not. He’s quoted in a May 3rd article in the New Hampshire Sunday News, as having concerns that the program “would expand the amount of land subject to federal restrictions without any congressional oversight”. In other words, the Federal Dogs from several agencies will have at New Hampshire’s land base within the watersheds of the designated rivers and there won’t be anything he can do to intercede.

You see, it’s not just the rivers themselves which would come under federal monitoring. Rivers have watersheds, the areas which the rivers drain. The Connecticut River, it is said, drains 2/3rds of New England. Add the Merrimack, Winnipesaukee and the Cocheco, which was nominated by the City of Rochester, and it’s bye-bye New Hampshire’s independence and hello “mother may I” with federal agencies and regional watershed councils. That’s why the watershed councils are crazy for this plan; it gives them additional federal backup and clout over what goes on in the watershed.

Meanwhile over in Maine, citizens fought tooth and nail at the grassroots level to keep the Penobscot River from being nominated a Heritage River… and bless ‘em, they succeeded. Maine has no riverunder consideration for nomination and that’s the way she wants it. But Vermont is in trouble because 40% of its land is in the watershed of the Connecticut River.

What to do? New Hampshire and Vermont can get those rivers removed from consideration as American Heritage Rivers if the Congressional Delegations ask that they be removed. The New Hampshire Legislature could reverse its March resolution of support and oppose the nominations. Private citizens and groups can contact their delegations.

But act now because time is running out. Although the chosen rivers were to have been selected last week by the President, now the time frame has been extended for another 30 days. A message for your U. S. Congressional Delegation? “Get us out of this federal zoning and red tape by removing all nominated New Hampshire (In Vermont, the Connecticut) rivers from the American Heritage Rivers designation, and do it now!”

Their e-mail addresses are listed below. When you write, include the name of your town or city.

New Hampshire:
U. S. Rep. John Sununu:
U. S. Rep. Charles Bass: 
U. S. Senator Judd Gregg: 
U. S. Senator Bob Smith:

U. S. Rep. Bernie Sanders:
U. S. Senator James Jeffords:
U. S. Senator Patrick Leahy:

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