Stories

The Bees' Needs: A collaboration between Kingston conservation commission and Sanborn Regional High School

What do you get when you give 135 high school sophomores an armload of heavy pointed shovels, pick-axes, and hacksaws, and send them off into the woods?

Well, that’s not a joke, so don’t wait for a punchline.

Amherst's Joppa Hill Farm property, with a new perimeter trail, after one year of not mowing. Photo by John Harvey.

A Guide for Grasslands: Town of Amherst Commits to Managing Bird Habitat

Amherst has few grasslands, and they are mostly small and scattered. There are no 25-acre abandoned airport fields here, but grassland habitats in Amherst may support around 70 species of wildlife. In New Hampshire, grasslands are largely man-made and require periodic management to be maintained. The vision of the Amherst Conservation Commission (ACC) is to maintain grasslands in Amherst as a vital component of the larger mosaic of wildlife habitats in our landscape.

Taking the Long View: David & Tanya Tellman

Don’t say you haven’t been warned. When you visit Dave and Tanya Tellman, landowners in Bethlehem, New Hampshire, you will be meeting the sort of forest enthusiasts that will make you want to go out and buy a big chunk of land, whether or not you have the time, the energy, or the means. Their passion for forestry, for plants, for wildlife, for working in the woods, for tilling the soil and harvesting fruits and vegetables from their land is deeply inspiring. I’ve spent the weeks since visiting them this summer quietly scheming about how

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.

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.

Habitat maps are available for all New Hampshire towns through the NH Fish & Game Wildlife Action Plan website.

Communities Partner with Planning Commissions

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.

An Outdoor Life: The Pennoyer Family

Read about a New Hampshire family who lives on their land with an eye towards raising children who know how to play (and work) outdoors. Written by Malin Clyde, UNH Cooperative Extension for Northern Woodlands Magazine, March 2008.

Artwork from students who participated in the bird watching study at Woodman Park Elementary in Dover.

Education & Conservation: Partnering Local Schools and Conservation Commissions

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.

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.

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.