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A Partnership of UNH Cooperative Extension and NH Fish and Game

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It is now time to get to work implementing the many actions in the 2015 NH Wildlife Action Plan. One of these actions was to use the updated wildlife species data to revise the list of endangered and threatened species in New Hampshire. This was accomplished over several months in the fall of 2016.

Why do we do this? There are some species whose existence in New Hampshire is unlikely to continue unless we do something to help them, such as removing threats or restoring habitat. Under RSA 212-A, NHFG is tasked with creating this list and revising it periodically. It is important to reevaluate it so we are concentrating our efforts on the species that need it the most. There are some species that are in better shape now than in the recent past. This means they can be removed from the list (delisted). Delisting means we have been successful in helping a species recover, and it is certainly cause for...

Nearly 40 people gathered in the Greater Wakefield Resources center on a wintry January evening. This was the first in a series of three events held from January – April 2017 involving stakeholders in the Moose Mountain Regional Greenways’ (MMRG) seven-town service area (Wolfeboro, Wakefield, Brookfield, Middleton, New Durham, Farmington, Milton) as part of a group helping MMRG develop their strategic conservation plan, titled - Our Home, Our Land, Our Tomorrow.A map of uncommon wildlife habitats used by Moose Mountain Regional Greenwaysduring their strategic conservation planning process.

During early 2017, the Taking Action for...

Volunteers survey along the brushy, shrubland habtiat used by rabbits. (Photo by Emily Lord)On a chilly Saturday morning in February, over 30 volunteers strapped on their snowshoes at the Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge to search for rabbits. Three days after a blanket of snow dropped on Southern New Hampshire, it was the perfect time to look for tracks and pellets – the telltale signs of rabbit presence. These citizen scientists are helping NH Fish and Game and UNH Cooperative Extension learn more about where eastern cottontails are found in New Hampshire.

The eastern cottontail rabbit was introduced to New...

As we walk through the woods we see a 10-15” diameter aspen here and there plus an occasional clump amidst what would otherwise be characterized as a pine-oak-maple stand with some beech, paper birch, and white ash. We see stone walls and tote roads dividing up these woods into clear sections or blocks. And as we approach a small old field, we see a couple of scattered apple trees along the edge that are way past their prime. There are a couple of old foundations, and just to the west of the field is a patch of huge multi-stemmed bull pine. Put all of this together, and we see amazing potential! 

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When Europeans first came to New Hampshire, moose were found statewide with the highest densities in the north. They were used as a primary source of both food and clothing and this unrestricted use quickly reduced their numbers and by the mid-1800’s moose were virtually extirpated from the state. The formation of the Fish and Game Department allowed moose to be protected from unrestricted hunting starting in 1901. During this time, habitat changes were occurring that were beneficial to moose. The transition of sheep pastures back into woodlands was one essential change for good moose habitat. In addition, in the 1960’s, a severe spruce budworm outbreak in the northern forest created the need for large timber salvage operations. These two habitat changes provided moose with the perfect mix of young...

The American Woodock (Scolopax minor) lives in young forests and shrubby old fields across eastern North America. (USFWS photo)We have owned a home and land in Wolfeboro since 1994. Soon after our purchase we discovered that we were privileged to own a woodcock singing ground. A singing ground is a place where male woodcock display in the Spring to attract and mate with female woodcock and raise their young. The display is called the "Sky Dance." Our family has derived immense pleasure from watching our harbingers of spring annually.

Our property includes about 90-acres of forested woodland, consisting of mostly mixed...

When the request for proposals came from the Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership (PREP) in 2015, the Somersworth Conservation Commission knew what they wanted to do. They saw an opportunity to get their Natural Resources Inventory done with the help of Strafford Regional Planning Commission (SRPC). The proposal they submitted together with SRPC was funded and they got to work.

The foundation of the 2016 Somersworth Natural Resources Assessment (NRA) is a map-based Habitat maps are available for all New Hampshire towns through the NH Fish & Game Wildlife Action Plan website.Geographic Information Systems...

The town of Brentwood Conservation Commission has been working towards managing some town-owned properties for wildlife habitat. That may sound like an easy task, but there is a lot to consider when making management decisions, especially on town-owned lands. The Commission must balance multiple uses and important natural resources in their decisions: protecting drinking water, keeping forests healthy, maintaining important wildlife habitat, providing a place for people to enjoy the outdoors. Sometimes these uses and needs can be at odds; managing for one may be to the detriment of the others. You can see how quickly management decisions can become difficult and overwhelming, but there is a lot of help available to towns interested in managing their lands for wildlife.

Here we share some of the first steps Brentwood has taken towards action. We hope that by sharing...

by Evy Nathan, Chair of the Kingston Conservation Commission and NH Coverts Project volunteer

How to get kids and their families off smart phones and media devices and out of doors? That is the question.

Encouraging youth to become involved with conservation has been my take-away as a Coverts [volunteer], and as the chairperson of our local Conservation Commission. We've completed several terrific programs with the schools and the Scouts, but have yet to succeed in actually getting kids out on hiking trails. When I learned a couple of years ago about Exeter's Trail Passport System, I decided it was an idea our town could adapt.

A quote from the...

The foundation of the Somersworth Natural Resources Assessment (NRA) is a map-based Geographic Information Systems (GIS) inventory of the City’s existing natural resources. Six primary natural resource maps were developed to display and analyze topography, agricultural resources, water resources, conservation and unfragmented lands, habitats identified in the NH Wildlife Action Plan (WAP), and the highest ranked habitat areas identified in the WAP. A build-out analysis was conducted to map and identify areas of the City where potential future development may occur. The final step of this NRA was the creation of a co-occurrence map that identifies the presence of multiple key natural resources. A brief analysis of each of these maps is...

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