Stories

Brentwood: Moving Towards Management

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.

As spring arrives, bears are starting to emerge fron their dens, in search of food after a long winter. (Photo by Ben Kilham)

Living with Black Bears

With the amount of snow we’ve had on the ground this winter, it’s hard to believe that spring is here, but it is!  The days are getting longer, birds are singing, and tree buds are starting to swell.  Before we know it this snow will melt away – I promise, it really will – more migrating birds will return, filling our early mornings with their eager songs. 

Beaver with log caught on trail camera - March 14, 2014

Lessons Learned from a Trail Camera

I sat at my desk, eyes glued to my computer screen, flipping slowly through photos. I’m giddy with excitement, enjoying the scenes unfolding, snapshot by snapshot, in front of me. A beaver makes its way out of the pond and passes next to the camera, then in the next shot, I see it is pulling a shockingly large log behind it.  I’ve seen the evidence of beaver’s work so many times, it barely catches my attention anymore, but there is something magical about seeing pictures of the animal at work.

Eastern brook trout.

Bringing Back Brookies: Improving Stream Habitat for 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. 

The 3 B’s of Winter Tree & Shrub Identification

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.

As can be seen in this photo, horseshoe crabs have a hard shell and a long tail that is used to steer when swimming. Photo by Rachel Stevens.

Species Spotlight: Horseshoe Crab

The strangely unique horseshoe crab is one of five marine species that are considered Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) in New Hampshire. Particularly if you are a birder or a fisherman, you may already know the important ecological role that the horseshoe crab serves.

Dark-eyes Junco. Photo by Pam Hunt.

Boom and Bust: Population Cycles in NH's Wintering Birds

Those of you with bird feeders may recall two broad themes from the winter of 2017-18: there were fewer chickadees and a lot more juncos.

Vegetation was removed to provide turtle nesting habitat from an unreclaimed sand and gravel pit site located in southern New Hampshire. [Melissa Doperalski, NHFG]

Sand & Gravel Pits: Are we overlooking a solution to a critical habitat need?

Sand and gravel pits are numerous and widespread throughout New Hampshire, making up about 0.35% of New Hampshire’s landscape. Often overlooked and left unreclaimed, or quickly turned over into industrial or commercial development; these landscapes are rarely as barren as they appear to be and can provide important and c

Caring for Francestown's Conservation Lands

Betsy Hardwick is Chair of the Francestown Conservation Commission and a member of the Select Board. For the past eleven years, in addition to managing her family’s 30 acre property, she has worked to increase conservation land in her town and involve town residents in those lands through education, events and frequent communication. Much of this work has included enhancing and protecting valuable wildlife habitats. Betsy has lived in Francestown all her life, as have generations of family before her.

Woodcock Habitat Management at the Mills Reserve

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.