Stories

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.

Grasslands is a term that applies to many open land habitats. Typically, we think of grassy areas with no shrubs or trees and no agriculture. However, even pastures and hayfields can provide adequate habitat for some grassland species. Their use by wildlife depends on the vegetation height, density, and composition.

Where There are Birds, Bees, and No Trees: Grasslands in New Hampshire

Most of us Granite Staters are enamored, maybe even infatuated, with the forests of New Hampshire. It’s hard not to be. They cover about 84% of the state after all, and include a variety of 86 native tree species that blanket the landscape in a patchwork of leaves and needles, bark and branches.

The American Woodock (Scolopax minor) lives in young forests and shrubby old fields across eastern North America. (USFWS photo)

Working for Woodcock: Creating Young Forest for Wildlife

We have owned a home and land in Wolfeboro since 1994. Soon after our purchase we discovered that we were privileged to own a woodcock singing ground. A singing ground is a place where male woodcock display in the Spring to attract and mate with female woodcock and raise their young. The display is called the "Sky Dance." Our family has derived immense pleasure from watching our harbingers of spring annually.

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.

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. 

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

A Dinosaur in the Woods: How One Land Trust is Taking Action for Wildlife

This past fall, a brontosaurus made its way through the forests of Epping and Kingston, New Hampshire. But don’t be alarmed! While this beast ate whole trees and shrubs, leaving large forest openings in its path, it was no dinosaur. This “brontosaurus” is actually a large flailing-head mower attached to an excavator, used to grind up shrubs and young trees. The machine, more commonly seen clearing power line corridors, does an excellent job creating shrubland and young forest habitats.

Cobblestone Tiger Beetle, an endangered species in New Hampshire.

Cobblestone Tiger Beetle, an endangered species in New Hampshire.

Get Outside & Tell Us What You See!

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.

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.

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.