I sat at my desk, eyes glued to my computer screen, flipping slowly through photos. I’m giddy with excitement, enjoying the scenes unfolding, snapshot by snapshot, in front of me. A beaver makes its way out of the pond and passes next to the camera, then in the next shot, I see it is pulling a shockingly large log behind it. I’ve seen the evidence of beaver’s work so many times, it barely catches my attention anymore, but there is something magical about seeing pictures of the animal at work.
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.
Last summer I was, as usual, working in my office on my computer when I got an unexpected call. The caller, Peter, was so excited! He had decided to explore a cobble island in the middle of the Pemigewasset River on the last day of his vacation, and he found a Cobblestone Tiger Beetle, one of the state endangered species.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
"Take a walk along one of Gerry Langdon’s carefully constructed woods roads - through stands of hemlock, past the clearing with the small pond, through well- spaced hardwoods, carefully weeded and thinned - and you almost forget that you’re just minutes from the high- way..." Read more