Stories

Andover Engages with Local Residents

When Taking Action for Wildlife came to Andover in the fall of 2012, the six-member conservation commission knew what they wanted to do - find creative ways to engage local residents and raise awareness about the value of wildlife habitats in Andover. They rolled up their sleeves and got to work right away. The group spent the winter months planning a program of public outreach activities to run from spring through fall, 2013. They included a mix of outdoor field trips, indoor slide presentations and a photo exhibit.

Foundations and stonewalls provide testament to this area’s agricultural past. (Photo by Jim Oehler)

Maintaining Traditions at Leonard Wildlife Management Area

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.

 

Moose are primarily browsers feeding on leaves, twigs, and buds of hardwood and softwood trees and shrubs. (USFWS Photo)

Moose in a Changing Climate

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.

This is a spotted salamander, a species that requires vernal pools to complete its life cycle. Photo by Victor Young.

Vernal Pools: An Important Resource for Wildlife

Vernal pools are home to many wildlife species, including those that breed exclusively in this habitat type – fairy shrimp, wood frogs, and spotted salamanders. “These temporary wetlands are often small and dry in late summer, and therefore are easily overlooked during land-use planning,” explains NH Fish and Game wetlands biologist Michael Marchand.

Easton - Got Wildlife?

The Town of Easton, in northern Grafton County, has a way with coming up with catchy names. Their “Pastry and Preservation” conservation events have drawn local residents to enjoy good food and learn about the town’s natural resources. So no big surprise that they came up with “Got Wildlife?”, a creative activity to engage residents in recording wildlife sightings in town. They hung a map of town right outside the town clerk’s office (with permission, of course!) where there are often residents standing in line.

Grasslands is a term that applies to many open land habitats. Typically, we think of grassy areas with no shrubs or trees and no agriculture. However, even pastures and hayfields can provide adequate habitat for some grassland species. Their use by wildlife depends on the vegetation height, density, and composition.

Where There are Birds, Bees, and No Trees: Grasslands in New Hampshire

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.

Town and Community Forests Study Revisits an Overlooked and Underused Resource

Town-owned conservation lands are for people—places to come together and build community, learn about the stewardship of the natural world, and recreate alone or in groups. Town lands protect valuable natural resources—water and wildlife habitat. They can bring income to the town.

Landowners Working for Whip-poor-will

Nanci and Charlie Mitchell - Gilmanton, NH. Nanci and Charlie Mitchell live on a large tract of land in Gilmanton which they manage largely to protect and improve wildlife habitat on the property. Recently, they went the extra step of conserving the majority of it with help from the Forest Society. Nancy and Charlie took risks and bold steps along the way, and in the process, have helped wildlife in the area immensely. Among the most notable of their recent activities was purchasing an adjacent 360-acre parcel abutting their land on Swett Mountain.

A Backyard Haven for Wildlife

You don't need to own hundreds of acres to manage your property for wildlife, and the Ellingwoods have proof. Mark and Susan have lived on their 7 acre property in Hancock for 20 years, and over that time they've taken simple, but thoughtful steps to create a haven for wildlife right in their own backyard.

Biologists study New Hampshire’s rivers and streams for the presence of certain fish and mussel species to help better understand their distribution. Photo by Mike Marchand.

Spotlight on Wildlife Action Plan Habitats: Defining Watersheds

New Hampshire's Wildlife Action Plan identifies 27 unique habitat types across the state. Many of these are easily recognized and definable, like grasslands or rocky ridges. Others require a bit more thought and consideration of how they should be defined, mapped, and managed.