Stories

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.

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

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. 

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.

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.

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.

Juliana and Mark Phillips: Carrying on the Tradition, Caring for Family Lands

Mark and Juliana Phillips’ home in Webster is part of 700 acres that has been in Mark’s family for generations. It’s where Mark was “surrounded by nature” as a boy. The land has seen changes since then - pastures grew in and habitats changed. “It was a classic, New England abandoned farm,” Mark says. The result was “less wildlife” than when the land was a mix of farm and forest cover. Juliana’s experience in nature early in life led to her attitudes about land today. “I grew up in a very rural part of New Jersey, where we spent most of the time outdoors.

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.

Southeast Land Trust Partners with Taking Action for Wildlife

Taking Action for Wildlife staff Amanda Stone and Emma Carcagno had the opportunity to assist a NH land trust to engage with local communities over the past several months using a new and exciting technology. SELT (previously known as Southeast Land Trust of NH), which currently serves most of Rockingham County and much of Strafford County, completed a new strategic plan earlier this year.  As part of that process, the land trust recognized a need to update their conservation focus areas to help direct their future work.

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.