As we walk through the woods we see a 10-15” diameter aspen here and there plus an occasional clump amidst what would otherwise be characterized as a pine-oak-maple stand with some beech, paper birch, and white ash. We see stone walls and tote roads dividing up these woods into clear sections or blocks. And as we approach a small old field, we see a couple of scattered apple trees along the edge that are way past their prime.
This fall I’ve been slowing down a lot to allow squirrels and deer to cross the road. On rainy nights next spring I’ll stop to help frogs and salamanders cross and then come June I’ll help turtles. Animals move. For a variety of reasons. Depending on the species and time of year they may be looking for food, a mate, a place for their young, etc. The path they move along may not always be easy. Even fish encounter barriers to their movements.
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.
With the amount of snow we’ve had on the ground this winter, it’s hard to believe that spring is here, but it is! The days are getting longer, birds are singing, and tree buds are starting to swell. Before we know it this snow will melt away – I promise, it really will – more migrating birds will return, filling our early mornings with their eager songs.
When the request for proposals came from the Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership (PREP) in 2015, the Somersworth Conservation Commission knew what they wanted to do. They saw an opportunity to get their Natural Resources Inventory done with the help of Strafford Regional Planning Commission (SRPC). The proposal they submitted together with SRPC was funded and they got to work.
Planning outreach in your community? Take a page from Campton's book and consider hosting an outdoor field event exploring local habitats. In 2012, Conservation Commissioners in Campton, NH decided to focus some attention on a special natural feature in their town, Bog Pond, that was identified as important habitat on the Wildlife Action Plan Highest Ranked Habitats map. They started by reviewing the Wildlife Action Plan maps for Campton to identify habitat types and highest ranked habitats.
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.
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.