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NRCS Chief Visits New Hampshire

NRCS Chief Tours New Hampshire

June 11, 2008

NRCS Chief Arlen Lancaster demonstrated his dedication to conservation in New Hampshire on his recent visit to Vermont and New Hampshire. Despite sweltering temperatures that begot community “cooling centers” and air quality warnings from health officials, Chief Lancaster remained enthusiastic about his whirlwind schedule in both states.Engineer Ed Hansalik explains to Chief Lancaster restoration efforts in Alstead NH.

With State Conservationist George W. Cleek, IV as his guide in NH, Chief Lancaster toured the newly restored watershed and stream banks of Warren Brook and Cold River, where a devastating flood killed several people and damaged homes and businesses in 2005. Along for the tour was District Conservationist Deborah Weymouth, who stressed the immense efforts put forth by NRCS employees and other helping hands to rebuild the area. Ed Hansalik, an NRCS Civil Engineer who worked on the project, was there to give the Chief a detailed account of the vast restoration efforts.

Jeff and Steve Holmes' FarmChief Lancaster also visited the Holmes Farm, a 4th generation farm and long-time participant in NRCS programs, located in the town of Langdon. After discussing the conservation efforts implemented on the farm, the Chief took time to listen to Jeff and Steve Holmes’ concerns regarding their land and farming in general.

The day ended with a gala affair in Walpole, celebrating the closing of the Ballam Farm and Ranch Land Protection Program (FRPP) easement, a significant achievement that exemplifies the great conservation work instituted throughout New Hampshire. The Chief was remarkably unruffled and composed as he spoke to a group of about 30 at the indoor reception, even after touring the site in 90-degree temperatures.

Chief LancasterChief Lancaster emphasized the need for organizations to work together toward the protection, conservation, and sustainable use of our natural resources. In the spirit of cooperative conservation, NRCS worked with The Trust for Public Land, The Monadnock Conservancy, and the Town of Walpole’s Conservation Committee to prevent development on the Ballam farm.