Stories

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.

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.

Beaver with log caught on trail camera - March 14, 2014

Lessons Learned from a Trail Camera

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.

Vegetation was removed to provide turtle nesting habitat from an unreclaimed sand and gravel pit site located in southern New Hampshire. [Melissa Doperalski, NHFG]

Sand & Gravel Pits: Are we overlooking a solution to a critical habitat need?

Sand and gravel pits are numerous and widespread throughout New Hampshire, making up about 0.35% of New Hampshire’s landscape. Often overlooked and left unreclaimed, or quickly turned over into industrial or commercial development; these landscapes are rarely as barren as they appear to be and can provide important and c

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.

Managing Land for Wildlife Economically

Fred Ernst owns 670 acres of forestland in Acworth, NH. His interest in managing land for wildlife began during his career in a forest-based industry. As Fred describes it, “We practiced sustainability of forests and encouraging wildlife was a natural part of the process. When I bought the land in Acworth in 2001, the land had been “high graded” [most commercial quality trees removed], which had a lot to do with my ideas for improvement”.

The Greatest Life Under the Sun: Helen Evans

"...Helen Evans remembers the visitors who used to turn up at the door of her old farmhouse. They all wanted the same thing. 'I need some acreage,' they’d say, eyeing the fertile pasture and the expanse of oak-pine forest beyond..." Read more.

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.

On the Front Lines: Gerry Langdon

"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