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.
People who are aware of the problems associated with invasive plants can end up getting discouraged, once they realize that yes, they are all over the place. But don’t get discouraged! The good news is that they are not everywhere in New Hampshire, and there are options for towns, conservation groups, private landowners, and public agencies to actively work to control invasive plants.
Managing habitat for wildlife can require some out-of-pocket expenses for landowners. The good news is that programs exist to off-set costs. UNH Cooperative Extension maintains a simple overview of the programs available to landowners in NH. A good first stop to learn about financial assistance is to contact your local UNH Cooperative Extension county forester to learn what programs might fit your land and your interests.
Read about how other individuals, communities, and conservation groups have used conservation planning, natural resource inventories, habitat management, and education and outreach to take action for wildlife in New Hampshire. Visit the Stories page to get ideas for how you can take action, and share these stories to inspire others.
A great way to learn how to recognize and control invasive plants is to become a volunteer yourself. For many of us, hands-on learning is a great way to educate ourselves.
Contacting your county extension forester is a good first step in discovering the resources on your land. Your county forester can walk the land with you and help you understand what wildlife resources you have. They can talk with you about the hopes and dreams you have for your land and help you develop goals and objectives. They can talk with you about alternative actions you can take to achieve wildlife enhancement goals.
Vegetated buffers next to rivers and wetlands provide important habitat for wildlife, along with many other benefits, such as protecting water quality, absorbing flood waters, filtering stormwater runoff, providing shade, and reducing erosion. Protecting buffers is important for both terrestrial and aquatic wildlife, especially coldwater-associated fish like brook trout, amphibians such as wood frogs, and many reptiles. Some birds and mammals also use buffer habitat for foraging, denning/nesting, hiding, and traveling.
Invasive plants often take over places where soils or existing plants have been disturbed – sites like field edges, abondoned farms, roadsides, or at trailheads. One of the best things you can do to minimize the spread of invasive plants is to leave soils and areas of native plants alone, especially in places where invasive plants are nearby.
While there has been a regional focus on the lack of and need to create young, early-successional habitat in recent years, there is also recognition and consensus from wildlife biologists about the importance of older, late-successional forests for wildlife. Many of the components of these mature forests - large living and dead trees and downed woody material, for example - are important to a variety of wildlife species.
Citizen Science is a process by which both professional and volunteer scientists collaborate to investigate the world around them. Anyone can become a citizen scientist by engaging in scientific research, usually in collaboration with or under the direction of professional scientists and scientific institutions.