Honey bees and other pollinating insects are crucial to our fruit and vegetable production and contributing to a healthy ecosystem. Unfortunately, pollinators face a number of threats, from habitat loss and degradation to nonnative species and diseases, pesticide misuse, and climate change.
Monitoring habitats before, during, and after management is critical for a few reasons:
Towns have limited resources to conserve land. A conservation plan or land conservation selection criteria can help your conservation commission prioritize projects to pursue for permanent land conservation. A community conservation plan will help you educate landowners, new commission members, other town officials, and the general public about important natural resources in your community. It will also demonstrate to potential funding entities that you are operating in a professional manner.
Community boards and committees can review municipal regulations, plans, and other documents to identify opportunities to incorporate climate impacts and adaptation actions.
One of the best ways to promote protection of natural areas in your community is to get everyone outside enjoying conserved land. Community engagement on conservation land provides an important link between conservation groups and the communities they serve.
The shorelines of lakes, ponds, and rivers are valuable real estate in New Hampshire, but their importance as wildlife habitat is also significant. The quality of riparian habitat (land adjacent to and directly influenced by streams, rivers, ponds, and lakes) may be the single biggest influence on the abundance and variety of wildlife that live in or around a water body. Lakes, ponds and rivers with plentiful natural vegetation and undeveloped shores surrounded by large blocks of forest will support the greatest number of wildlife species.
We love wildlife, but when wild animals are in the wrong place at the wrong time - bears at your birdfeeder, skunks under your porch, or deer in the garden - you need a strategy. When wildlife/human conflicts occur, it's important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Each wildlife problem is unique and you need to have some understanding of the animal and the available control methods before beginning any control strategy.
Engaging youth in conservation commission activities can create meaningful and lasting connections. Get started by reaching out to your local school or teacher and don’t feel like you need a fully fledged plan. Suggest project ideas that can be simple to start.
Conservation and education organizations throughout New Hampshire offer a variety of workshops and trainings focused on wildlife habitats, forest management, and good stewardship. Attending one of these workshops can provide a great learning experience and often involves a chance to go in the field to observe the natural resources or management being discussed, interaction with professionals, and learning from the experiences of others. Workshops can range from short indoor presentations to day-long outdoor field trips.
Land conservation needs funding! There are costs involved in purchasing the land or purchasing a conservation easement. Even if the easement or the land is donated, there are still costs associated with a land conservation project, e.g. appraisal and survey costs, legal fees, land trust costs, etc. Partnering with a land trust that has an interest in the land being conserved is recommended, especially since they can help locate and apply for funding sources when they work in partnership with a community.