May 31, 2011

Will the NH State Senate Support NH Landowners?

The following joint letter from the Forest Society and the NH Timberland Owners Association was sent to each State Senator on May 27, 2011:

Dear Senator:

We write to ask you and your Senate colleagues to act next week on House Bill 648, a bill to provide relief to New Hampshire property owners inappropriately threatened by eminent domain.

By an 85% to 15% margin the voters in New Hampshire voted in November 2006 to adopt an amendment to the state constitution which reads (as Article 12-a):

No part of a person's property shall be taken by eminent domain and transferred, directly or indirectly, to another person if the taking is for the purpose of private development or other private use of the property.

The State Senate voted in the spring of 2006 to recommend this amendment to the voters by a vote of 24-0.

The idea that any private entity would threaten to use eminent domain in conflict with this amendment strikes at the very core of why New Hampshire voters adopted Article 12-a to our Constitution. This is why the House adopted HB 648 earlier this session by a vote of 317-51.

Members of our two organizations believe strongly that here in New Hampshire the private property rights of New Hampshire citizens must be defended against the inappropriate use of eminent domain. Each of our organizations has been working with private landowners for more than a century to assure that the stewardship of the State’s working forests is in good hands. These landowners expect us to stand up for their rights as property owners. We expect our elected officials to do the same.
Please join the strong majority of your House colleagues, and the strong majority of voters who established Article 12-a in voting to support HB 648.

Jasen Stock, Executive Director

New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association
54 Portsmouth Street
Concord, NH 03301
(603) 224-9699

Jane A. Difley, President/Forester

Society for the Protection of NH Forests
54 Portsmouth Street
Concord, NH 03301
(603) 224-9945

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