Stories

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.

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. 

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.

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.

Brothers and landowners Gordon Peckham and James Sowders.

Flipping a Forest: From Low-quality Timber to High Quality Habitat

In 2014, brothers Gordon Peckham and James Sowders III purchased a 70-acre woodlot in Lempster. They knew their main goal for their new property was wildlife habitat, but they weren’t sure how to get started or whether hands-on management was needed.

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.

White pine with cones

Good Seed Year for White Pine Trees

Over the past few months, I have been noticing an abundance of white pine cones in the trees around Carroll county. Rather than producing consistent crops of seeds every year, white pine has good seed years every three to five years, with fewer seeds produced in the intervening years.

Volunteers in the town of Campton used maps and data from the Wildlife Action Plan to update existing town documents.

Got Wildlife?

Can you help us figure out how to incorporate wildlife information into our Master Plan Update? What steps should we take to include wildlife in our Natural Resources Inventory? How can we educate our residents about the value of wildlife and habitats? The Taking Action for Wildlife team has been hard at work helping communities answer these questions and use data and maps from the updated 2015 Wildlife Action Plan.

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.