Stories

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.

Landowners and communities are often forced to close trails, roads, and bridges due to beaver activity that prevents use.

Beavers

In comic books and in Hollywood movies, arch-villains are often highly mechanized and possess awesome super powers. We watch battles unfold pitting good versus evil as they unleash their devious plans against each other for control of the earth.

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.

As spring arrives, bears are starting to emerge fron their dens, in search of food after a long winter. (Photo by Ben Kilham)

Living with Black Bears

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. 

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.

Volunteers survey along the brushy, shrubland habtiat used by rabbits. (Photo by Emily Lord)

Searching for Rabbits: Citizen Scientists Help Survey for Cottontails

On a chilly Saturday morning in February, over 30 volunteers strapped on their snowshoes at the Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge to search for rabbits. Three days after a blanket of snow dropped on Southern New Hampshire, it was the perfect time to look for tracks and pellets – the telltale signs of rabbit presence. These citizen scientists are helping NH Fish and Game and UNH Cooperative Extension learn more about where eastern cottontails are found in New Hampshire.

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.

A Corridor for Wildlife at First Mountain Forest

Larry Ely and Ginger Lawson own First Mountain Forest, a 130-acre parcel recently protected with a conservation easement through the Mahoosuc Land Trust.  A recent walk held on the property (Oct.

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.

State-endangered Blanding’s turtles can be identified by their dome-shaped shell and bright yellow chin and neck. Photo by Loren Valliere.

Teaming Up for Turtles

Big things can happen for wildlife when dedicated volunteers team up with biologists around the state. This is what happened in the town of Newmarket with a critical call-to-action for motorists to be aware of rare turtles attempting to cross roads. In late May and June each year, female turtles of every species must make their way to open, sandy areas to lay their eggs.