Vermont Governor Phil Scott Elected as First NBRC State Co-Chair


Press Release

14 FEBRUARY 2018

Newport, Vt. – Governor Phil Scott and Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) Federal Co-Chair Mark Scarano were in Newport Wednesday to announce that Scott will serve as the Commission’s first state co-chair. 

Story Link

Investing in the Future Forest Economy


A very large thank you to Joe Short and all the Northern Forest Center staff for yesterday’s event. A number of folks inquired about the priorities of NBRC.  Below are links to that information.  

All NBRC application materials are available here  (the link to upload the application will go ‘live’ April 1) Applications due before 5pm, May 11, 2018 

Scoring/Prioritization Criteria

NBRC Strategic Plan


From Joe Short,

Thank you for attending Investing in the Future Forest Economy earlier this week. I hope the event met your expectations and provided information, inspiration and connections useful to your work.

In follow-up, the Northern Forest Center will be preparing a meeting summary for the Northern Border Regional Commission, which I expect the NBRC will share when it is complete. In the interim, attached to this email are several of the presentations from Tuesday, as well as links to the businesses, organizations and stories featured on our afternoon panels. Should you wish to use any images or graphics from the presentations in your own presentations, please check with the authors first.

And finally, here’s an album of a few pictures from the day

Thanks again for your commitment to building a vibrant future for the people, places, businesses and forests of the Northern Border/Northern Forest region. My best,


Joe Short | Vice President

Northern Forest Center | Thriving Communities & Healthy Forests


Letter of Notification is due March 30, 2018


2018 Economic & Infrastructure Development Investments

It is important that you submit a Letter of Notification so that the States are aware that you will be applying.  The Letter of Notification is due March 30, 2018. Please review page 11 of the Application Manual so that you are aware of the items that should be contained in that letter. You may address the letter to NBRC LoN, 53 Pleasant Street, Concord, NH 03301 or send it to    

The Application can be found within the Application Manual in order to prepare to submit the application.

Timeline for FY 2018 NBRC Investments

March 30, 2018 Letters of Notification
May 11, 2018 Application deadline (5pm)
July 12, 2018 States will finalize scoring
July 19, 2018 Governor’s of all States will provide Signed prioritization lists to Federal Co-Chair

July 27, 2018 Governor’s Alternates will meet Approve Awards

July 27- August 3, 2018 Congressional Delegation make announcement of awards or anytime thereafter 

August 3, 2018 NBRC notification of Awards & notice to unsuccessful applicants – NBRC staff distribution of grant agreements begin

August 31, 2018 Signed Awards & ACH form must be returned to NBRC

9/1/2018 - 10/30/2018 Mandatory Grant Recipient Workshop/Webinar

September 28, 2018 All awards must be obligated 




NBRC Strategic Plan for 2017-2021


NBRC Strategic Plan for 2017-2021

Every five Years, the NBRC is mandated by Congress to produce a strategic plan.  This strategic plan for 2017-2021 will guide the Commission’s programs and investments as it seeks to help the Northern Border region emerge from a period of significant economic transition and challenge. The Commission’s strategies are designed to capitalize on regional assets to grow and retain wealth in the region, and are informed by local priorities identified by public, private, and not-for-profit stakeholders.  

The draft Strategic Plan is the result of interview with over 200 regional stakeholders, consideration of existing State and regional economic development plans, participation in economic development forums from around the region, and economic and demographic data collection. 

The Plan has been approved by the NBRC Federal Co-Chair and representatives of the Governors of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine. Contractors assisting to development plan were the Northern Forest Center, Concord, NH. 



Each State scores the applications received within their state independently. Generally, each state creates a team of reviewers and has access to a group of consultants who have specialized knowledge on scientific or technical expert opinion that provide guidance when needed. Final decisions about awards are approved jointly between the Federal Co-Chair and the Governor’s Alternates (the five members that make up board of the Northern Border Regional Commission). The scoring system for each state is provided below. If the application is for a multi-state project, each state will score the application independently. While States will consult with one another in order to strive for consistency, a multi-state application may be awarded in one state and not in another.

All NBRC application materials are available here  (the link to upload the application will go ‘live’ April 1)
Applications due before 5pm, May 11, 2018 



Public Service Announcement - NBRC announces its 2018 Economic & Infrastructure Development Investment grant round


Contact: Christine Frost, Program Director Phone: 603-369-3001 x2
Email: Admin@NBRC.Gov
For Immediate Release

Northern Border Regional Commission announces its 2018 Economic & Infrastructure Development Investment grant round. Applications are due 5:00pm Friday, May 11, 2018.

With the divestiture of timberland in the late 1980s and closing of the majority of pulp and paper mills between 10 and 30 years later there emerged a shared struggle in what has become known as the Northern Forest region. Rural areas in northern New York and New England have been negatively impacted by the global economy and by out migration, this has left many communities not only searching for new identities, but ill-equipped to make the transition to more sustainable and diverse economies.

To address these challenges, in 2008 Congress created the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) to promote economic growth in a region that holds a special place in the hearts of many Americans. The region is located within an eight-hour drive from nearly 70 million people, is one of the most forested lands in the country and holds potential for both entrepreneurial excellence and authentic outdoor recreation and exploration.

NBRC is a partnership between the federal government and the states of Maine, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont for the northern counties of those states and is modeled after the long-standing Appalachian Regional Commission. NBRC’s intent is to improve the economies of the region through investments in; infrastructure necessary to support private investment, workforce development to meet the needs of transitioning business sectors, and community development that revitalizes the economies of the region’s traditional downtowns.

One of the tools NBRC uses to fulfill its mission set out by Congress, is to provide grant funding to local and regional entities to assist in implementing strategic plan objectives of both the NBRC and the four member states. Eligible applicants may apply for a maximum grant amount for infrastructure projects of $500,000. The maximum grant amount for all other projects of $250,000. NBRC investment funds originate from the Federal Government and are approved by the Federal Government’s NBRC representative (Federal Co-Chair) and the Governors of the four States. By statute, NBRC investments can be used for up to 80% of any project; making them attractive for leveraging other funds. Eligibility, fund uses, instructions, counties included and application process can all be found on the NBRC website at All applications are due by 5:00pm May 11, 2018, through the electronic upload link on the website. No paper documents will be accepted. Additionally, all phone, email and contact names are located on



Ms. KUSTER of New Hampshire. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor my good friend Mark Scarano as he steps down after nearly three years as Federal Co-Chair of the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC). Through his service on the Commission, Mark has continued his life’s work as a community economic developer serving areas that are most in need of support. Mark got his start in this field in Millinocket, Maine, and later in Piscataquis County. We in New Hampshire were fortunate that he came next to Grafton County, where for eight years he led its Regional Development Corporation and significantly expanded workforce development and entrepreneurship programs. In 2015, I was tremendously proud to support President Obama’s nomination of Mark to co-chair the NBRC, and his unanimous confirmation by the Senate was a testament to his stellar reputation and achievements. He has proved more than worthy of that honor, as he has been a tireless leader, steward, and advocate of the Commission’s important work during a period of tightening budgets and the emergence of new challenges, like the opioid epidemic, which are threatening our rural economy and its development. Ten years after it was first authorized, the Northern Border Regional Commission continues to play a critical role in driving the economic growth and community development in some of New Hampshire’s most economically distressed communities. It supports projects that create and sustain jobs, tackle workforce development, infrastructure, telecommunications, healthcare, culture, and much more. Mark has worked diligently during his tenure to streamline processes and procedures and maximize the impact of the Commission. Through his excellent leadership, Mark has been an invaluable resource to the Granite State and improved the lives of thousands who have relied on projects championed by the Commission. On behalf of my constituents in New Hampshire’s Second Congressional District, I thank Mark for his many years of dedicated service to the Granite State and the Northeast. His achievements will continue to benefit our state for years to come. I am honored to recognize and congratulate Mark, and wish him the very best of luck in the years ahead.