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Eastern brook trout.As a child, I followed my Mom and Dad into the woods on all sorts of different adventures.  I often participated in hobbies that my Dad enjoyed as a way to connect and spend time with him.  My Dad taught me about photography, hiking, skiing and canoeing. As he got older, fly-fishing became nearly an obsession for him, and so, as a dutiful daughter, a fly fisherman I became. 

I enjoyed hiking along the tiny backcountry streams with my Dad and my husband, hoping to outwit a rather wily brook trout who (I hoped) was less familiar with the trickery of artificial flies landing on the surface of the water than the fish in the larger streams nearer the road.  I caught as many trees as fish, but I did enjoy observing the river and the life that it nurtured.

One day, I...

In today’s high tech world, children are too often disconnected from nature and have little experience with their natural environment.  Schools do not have adequate support or experience to teach environmental subjects or connect students to local natural areas. To counteract this trend, the New Hampshire Association of Conservation Commissions (NHACC) has developed a school partnership program to connect educators and elementary schools in an effort to integrate environmental education and local conservation.  Conservation commissions around the state are encouraging children to enjoy the outdoors and cultivating the next generation of environmental stewards by partnering with local schools....

Looking to improve wildlife habitat on your land?

NH Fish and Game’s Small Grants Program may be able to help. The Small Grants Program can help municipal, private, and land trust landowners, who own a minimum of 25 contiguous acres, restore or enhance habitat for wildlife. Funding of up to $4,000 per year (no more than $10,000 over a ten-year period) is available, plus it’s very simple to apply. Projects that may qualify for funding include: brush clearing or mowing to maintain grasslands and shrublands; release of old apple trees to improve wildlife food production; and maintenance of...

Spotted turtles are a state threatened species in New Hampshire. (Photo by Mike Marchand, NHFG)Spring 2018 kicked off the start of a new spotted turtle project to learn more about these small wetland turtles in order to develop better conservation actions.  Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program biologists will be using small baited turtle traps in wetlands and vernal pools to capture turtles where they are suspected to be. Each individual will then be given a series of small notches on its shell so that biologists can keep track where and when that turtle is caught again. This mark-recapture method allows us to estimate population sizes over time and that data will be compared regionally with other...

The 3 B’s of Winter Tree and Shrub ID: Branching, Bark, and Buds

Winter may seem like a lousy time to identify trees and shrubs. Without leaves to look at, things definitely get a little difficult, but with a few tricks (and maybe a good book) in hand you can up your botany game and learn to identify trees and shrubs without leaves! And why, you might ask, would we even bother to identify trees and shrubs in the winter?  Besides honing a skill to impress your friends and neighbors, a lot of management decisions are made in winter. The frozen ground reduces the impact of heavy machinery, making in and ideal time for a timber harvest, or wildlife habitat management. As such, it can be helpful to know what trees and shrubs are on your land to help guide management. Here are the 3 B’s of winter tree and shrub identification:

Branching
All trees and shrubs have one of two branching patterns.  They are either opposite, where twigs come...

By Anne Tappan, Lee Conservation Commission
Winter 2018 Taking Action for Wildlife Newsletter
Photos by John Tappan

Over the last year and a half, the Lee Conservation Commission (LCC) has partnered with wildlife specialists from UNH Cooperative Extension and students from the Thompson School of Applied Science to improve habitat for American Woodcock. Mills Reserve borders Little River Park in Lee, NH, tucked between the playing fields and the Little River. The town owned parcel is a reclaimed gravel pit. The dry, sandy bowl at the base of the slope just beyond the playing fields has been a known woodcock singing ground (courtship area) for four years.

The woodcock is listed as a Species of Greatest Conservation...

New Hampshire's wildlife habitats and the species they support could be significantly altered if the effects of climate change are not addressed - and NH communities are an important part of the solution! More frequent and heavier rain events resulting in extensive flooding, earlier ice outs on our lakes, more variable stream flows, milder winters and hotter, drier summers.... all these factors affect the state's wildlife populations as well as ourselves. So what's a community to do? In our newest fact sheet in the 5 Ways series, we address a number of actions communities can take to help make a difference for wildlife, while also providing protection for people and property Take a look at...

Cobblestone Tiger Beetle, an endangered species in New Hampshire.Last summer I was, ­as usual, working in my office on my computer when I got an unexpected call. The caller, Peter, was so excited! He had decided to explore a cobble island in the middle of the Pemigewasset River on the last day of his vacation, and he found a Cobblestone Tiger Beetle, one of the state endangered species. Peter, like many of you, is passionate about the wildlife and his special place – which for him is the entire Merrimack River Watershed (from the White Mountains to the Atlantic). Peter also has a special love for insects, from his undergraduate days studying...

Over the past few months, I have been noticing an abundance of white pine cones in the trees around Carroll county. Rather than producing consistent crops of seeds every year, white pine has good seed years every three to five years, with fewer seeds produced in the intervening years.

It takes two years for white pine cones to develop and mature. At the end of the first growing season, the cones will be approximately one inch long and a purplish color. During the second summer, the cones turn yellowish-green and then a light brown in the fall as they ripen. If you look up in the trees now, you will see many green cones that resemble "gherkin" pickles. The cones will open as they become mature and the seeds will be released in the fall, traveling anywhere from 200 to 700 feet from the tree.

Because white pine is an important timber...

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...

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