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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...

During the several public input sessions we hosted for the revision of the Wildlife Action Plan, one message came out loud and clear. You wanted to know, more clearly, the actions you could take to help New Hampshire's wildlife. And you wanted to have information about Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) and their habitats at your fingertips. We’ve been working on making these things happen on the Taking Action for Wildlife and the NH Fish and Game (NHFG) websites. Here are some ways you can start to get to know New Hampshire's Wildlife Action Plan - the species in need of attention, important habitats, and actions you can take to benefit wildlife in our state: ...

In comic books and in Hollywood movies, arch-villains are often highly mechanized and possess awesome super powers. We watch battles unfold pitting good versus evil as they unleash their devious plans against each other for control of the earth.

Landowners and communities are often forced to close trails, roads, and bridges due to beaver activity that prevents use.Here in New Hampshire, many face an equally colorful and tenacious foe in the form of a large, robust rodent – the beaver. This worthy adversary is able to decimate well-tended orchards and landscape trees, stop streams, and flood out roads, fields and basements in a single night.  

They seem to possess a...

Can you help us figure out how to incorporate wildlife information into our Master Plan Update? What steps should we take to include wildlife in our Natural Resources Inventory? How can we educate our residents about the value of wildlife and habitats? The Taking Action for Wildlife team has been hard at work helping communities answer these questions and use data and maps from the updated 2015 Wildlife Action Plan. Since January, we have assisted 10 communities across New Hampshire. Below, find out what they have been up to and get inspiration for your own projects.

Winchester was looking for a way to engage the public with wildlife and they had a very short time frame to work in.  The Wildlife Sightings Map Activity was a perfect fit – it simply requires a laminated copy of the Wildlife Habitats Map, some sticky dots...

Most of us Granite Staters are enamored, maybe even infatuated, with the forests of New Hampshire. It’s hard not to be. They cover about 84% of the state after all, and include a variety of 86 native tree species that blanket the landscape in a patchwork of leaves and needles, bark and branches. But every once in a while there’s a break in the canopy. These gaps provide diversity to the forested landscape – many include shrublands, wetlands, rocky areas, or water bodies. And some of these holes in the forest contain a habitat type that is both very important for wildlife and increasingly rare - New Hampshire’s large grasslands.

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