Using your wildlife conservation plan and natural resources inventory as a guide, you can start working on conservation projects to protect important habitats in your community. Habitat protection is often one of the primary reasons many landowners choose to conserve their land. Now is the time to initiate conversations with landowners who may be interested voluntarily conserving their land for wildlife habitat. Learn from some landowners who conserved their land with wildlife in mind.
Often, chemical control of invasive plants isn’t an option and mechanical control is the only way to manage invasive plants in an area. In these situations, many hands make light work, and volunteers can be an effective way to help achieve invasive plant management goals. Involving volunteers in these workdays also helps increase the network of individuals who are aware of issues related to invasive plants.
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.
Climate change is throwing a number of curveballs at NH's wildlife and habitats, from rising temperatures to more extreme precipitation. Community boards and conservation organizations can support resilient wildlife and healthy habitats by learning about the impacts and then educating others about what we can do. Whether you're working to engage your community's residents or members of your conservation organization's board, you can help raise awareness about the threats of climate change to wildlife and habitat and the importance of proactive protection.
Monitoring habitats before, during, and after management is critical for a few reasons:
NH Coverts volunteers are landowners, local decision-makers, teachers, business people, writers, retirees — anyone who wants to help wildlife in New Hampshire. Volunteers attend a one-time 3½- day training workshop held each spring. You’ll learn about wildlife conservation, forest stewardship, and effective outreach from a team of natural resource professionals.
Have you seen a new invasive plant in New Hampshire? Are you planning a stewardship or invasive plant control project in New Hampshire? You can use a program called EDDMapS (Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System) on your computer, smartphone or tablet to map invasive plants and record your control efforts. EDDMapS also has information about invasive plant species, distribution, and identification tips.
Many culverts in New Hampshire are undersized and inadequate for fish and other wildlife to pass through. As a community, conservation group, or professional, you can educate residents and members about the importance of wildlife-friendly culverts and steam crossings. A properly sized and designed culvert can accommodate fish and wildlife passage and reduce flood hazards and even help restore floodplains.
If you have a town or city-owned property with conservation value and the community would like to ensure the property remains a natural area forever, the town may choose to place a conservation easement on the property to protect it from development in the future. It is important to keep in mind that the landowner (the town/city) cannot hold an easement on property they own. Towns/cities can partner with a land trust to place an easement on town land. Consider the land trust goals and mission when determining who would be the most appropriate easement holder and project partner.
Hiking, mountain biking, bird watching, horseback riding, snowmobiling -- these are just some of the ways we get outside to enjoy nature and unwind from our day-to-day activities. However, even these seeming harmless activities can have impacts on wildlife including reduced abundance, reproduction, and survival. Thoughtful trail location allows us to get outside to enjoy nature and also minimize disturbance to wildlife.