Stories

A Corridor for Wildlife at First Mountain Forest

Larry Ely and Ginger Lawson own First Mountain Forest, a 130-acre parcel recently protected with a conservation easement through the Mahoosuc Land Trust.  A recent walk held on the property (Oct.

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.

Landowners and communities are often forced to close trails, roads, and bridges due to beaver activity that prevents use.

Beavers

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.

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.

Volunteers survey along the brushy, shrubland habtiat used by rabbits. (Photo by Emily Lord)

Searching for Rabbits: Citizen Scientists Help Survey for Cottontails

On a chilly Saturday morning in February, over 30 volunteers strapped on their snowshoes at the Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge to search for rabbits. Three days after a blanket of snow dropped on Southern New Hampshire, it was the perfect time to look for tracks and pellets – the telltale signs of rabbit presence. These citizen scientists are helping NH Fish and Game and UNH Cooperative Extension learn more about where eastern cottontails are found in New Hampshire.

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.

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.

Making Habitat Happen: A Bird's Eye View

The LeClair Tree Farm: For the past 30 years, Art and Gale LeClair have been putting their dreams into action as they manage their 120 acre woodlot in Farmington, New Hampshire. Much of the LeClair’s home is constructed with wood harvested from their land, and the poorer quality trees that Art removes in thinning operations provide fuel for the wood-fired furnace that heats their home.

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.