Conservation

Kelsey Ohman / Flickr/cc

The state-owned park is beloved for both its mountain and lake. But the private company that owns the ski operation has long wanted to expand.  Now, the state has given preliminary approval, setting off a process of review and hearings and raising a larger conversation about balancing natural beauty with economic development.

Courtesy Prescott Farm Environmental Education Center

The Prescott Farm Environmental Education Center offers year-round programs for all ages. Its “Wildquest” camps help connect kids with nature and their local landscapes. 

Prescott Farm has always been a landmark for Gretchen O’Neill. “We’re very grateful that our daughter, Gabriella, can come here to attend the camp, or that we can come up and explore it and walk the trails.

Paul Cooper via Flickr CC

A total of $1.3 million in grants is going to 13 Connecticut River projects in New Hampshire and Vermont to improve water quality, restore habitat and conserve space.

The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation grants were announced Tuesday.

A fund dedicated to the restoration and protection of the river, its wetlands and shorelands is expected to provide about $21 million for the projects over 20 years.

Jeff Finn / Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/44459766@N02/6385935213

It was a record year for red-bellied woodpeckers in New Hampshire. That's the word from New Hampshire's birders as the international Christmas Bird Count tradition comes to a close.

Overall, bird enthusiasts from 21 regions across the state are reporting both high individual bird counts, and high species counts.  

Via Wikimedia Commons

The state has handed out grants to 36 historic, cultural, and land conservation projects as part of its Land and Community Heritage Investment Program.

The grants range from about $7,500 to study Jones Hall in Marlow to $400,000 to permanently protect 1,114 acres in Epping.

This year's recipients include 26 historic properties from the 1764 Park Hill Meeting House in Westmoreland to the 1918 Peterborough Town House. There are also 10 natural resource projects providing permanent protection of almost 3,000 acres in all of the state's 10 counties.

Courtesy NE Wilderness Trust

Fred and Rosalind Slavic built their home on a thickly wooded site in Fitzwilliam a half century ago. They wanted their 300-acre tract to remain in a wild state, so they have willed it to the Northeast Wilderness Trust. The trust will dismantle the buildings and retain an easement on the land.

Emily Hoyer / Flicker CC

A new study from the University of New Hampshire and Fish and Game finds that the state’s bobcat population has rebounded substantially.

Bobcats were hunted and trapped all the way through 1989, when the cats became so scarce that the state ended bobcat hunting. Back then there were estimated to be fewer than 200 bobcats in the state. Today, the new study estimates there could be as many as 800 to 1,200 of the elusive felines.

The study didn’t ask the question of what factors are leading to the recovery, and there is almost certainly more than one.

Saving The World's Wild Cats

Aug 7, 2014
Jens Hauser / Flickr/CC

Although at the top of the food chain, “apex predators" such as tigers, jaguars, and mountain lions face threats as varied as poachers, habitat destruction, and climate change. We’ll sit down with a leading expert to talk about this, how his efforts tie into a broader conservation movement, and the big cats in our own backyards.

GUEST:

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

One of the state’s biggest environmental organizations is finishing the fundraising for a 1,300 acre conservation deal in North Conway. Once it’s finished, the land will be added to the 4,000 existing acres of the Nature Conservancy’s Green Hills Preserve, where it will provide recreation for people, and habitat for plants and animals.

But before the conservancy closes the deal it wants to know what it’s getting, and to figure that out it assembled plant and wildlife experts from all over the state for a sort of naturalist marathon.

Michael Samuels

 

A big part of farming and conservation is finding creative solutions on a budget.

Courtesy NE Wilderness Trust

Fred and Rosalind Slavic built their home on a thickly wooded site in Fitzwilliam a half century ago. They wanted their 300-acre tract to remain in a wild state, so they have willed it to the Northeast Wilderness Trust. The trust will dismantle the buildings and retain an easement on the land.

New Hampshire residents have until Tuesday to report any wild turkey flocks they've seen in recent months.  The state's annual winter turkey survey, which started Jan. 1, runs through Monday.  Fish and Game biologists use the survey data to monitor the abundance and distribution of turkeys during the state's challenging winter months. Officials say turkeys generally travel in large flocks during the winter months and are highly visible.   Turkeys vanished from the state's landscape in the mid-1800s due to unregulated harvesting and loss of habitat from extensive land clearing.

NHPR/MacNameeKing

The Appalachian Mountain Club works with Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG), providing summer work opportunities to North Country students. Students learn about trail stewardship and conservation, and gain practical job skills. Cory Arsenault and Samantha Roux were part of a crew doing trail work.

Roux says the trail work is intensive and demanding, “building rock staircases, bridges. We clean the trail 

  off for people.”

Kurk Dorsey's "Whales & Nations"

Mar 19, 2014
Univ of Washington Press

The new book "Whales and Nations" by UNH professor Kurkpatrick Dorsey explores the history of international conservation efforts through the lens of the commercial whaling industry. We’ll talk with him about the whaling in the 20th century and why international diplomacy failed to regulate commercial whaling.

GUESTS:

Public Service of New Hampshire is an energy utility – but it’s about to try an experiment in psychology, which it hopes might prompt consumers to use less electricity.

It's known as "nudging," and to explain how it works we turn to David Brooks, who writes the weekly GraniteGeek science column for the Nashua Telegraph and GraniteGeek.org.

JasonWalton / Flickr Creative Commons

A recent report places New Hampshire in the middle of the pack nationally when it comes to programs and policies to conserve energy, and that we’re behind the other New England states. We’ll look at the costs, regulations and the possible outcomes down the road.

GUESTS:

Sara Plourde

We’re beginning this new year with “Re-think 2014”, conversations and stories that challenge our assumptions, habits and ways of doing things.

We’re kicking off “Re-think 2014” with Fred Pearce, environment consultant for New Scientist magazine.  His article, “How Beer Money Helped Save a Nation’s Water Supply” appeared in Conservation Magazine. It’s an example of a conglomerate upending the business-as-usual model of pursuing profits no matter the environmental and human costs. In this case – helping to protect an essential natural resource for its own manufacturing, and the people of Columbia.

NHPR, Cheryl Senter

The Tuttle Farm in Dover is the oldest family farm in the United States. When Bill Tuttle and his family, the 11th generation to farm this land, decided to conserve it, they turned to the Strafford Rivers Conservancy.

 

Josh Wiersma

 

The spiny dogfish is a conservation success story, going from worryingly low levels to incredible abundance. The new challenge is getting people to eat them.


Peter Gray / NH Audubon

Twenty five years ago, bald eagles and peregrine falcons were struggling to return from the brink of extinction.  A handful of outdated surveys were all that existed to assess the location and condition of most wildlife species.  Conservationists and biologists from New Hampshire Audubon, the State, and universities raised the call to "do something!"

NHPR/MacNameeKing

The Appalachian Mountain Club works with Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG), providing summer work opportunities to North Country students. Students learn about trail stewardship and conservation, and gain practical job skills. Cory Arsenault and Samantha Roux were part of a crew doing trail work.

Roux says the trail work is intensive and demanding, “building rock staircases, bridges. We clean the trail 

  off for people.”

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

When setting aside land for conservation, what are the priorities? Nice views? Old trees? Mossy stone walls? A pair of conservation groups think that maybe the biggest consideration should be how much the land will help different species survive climate change.

New Hampshire’s show-stoppers are its great granite peaks, and a lot of resources are going toward protecting them.

Meagan Racey, USFWS via flickr

On July 22nd, bulldozers breached the Veazie dam in Eddington, Maine – an 830 foot strip of concrete that had separated the Atlantic Ocean and the Penobscot River for a century.  It was an effort undertaken by an unlikely coalition of conservationists, fishermen, power companies and others, who came together to help restore 1000 miles of endangered Atlantic salmon habitat. Brian Graber is director of the river restoration program at American rivers, one of the partners behind the project.

iStockPhoto

EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: Why was the Colorado River named the most endangered river of 2013?

                                                                                                   -- Missy Perkins, Jenkintown, PA

Governor Hassan’s is proposing the state restore funding to Environmental groups’ first priority: the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program. The $4 million dollars a year for LCHIP comes from fees tacked generated by certain real-estate transactions. It’s supposed to go into a dedicated fund used to put land and historic building into preservation.

Land & Community Heritage Investment Program

The protection of 215 acres of land in Durham is among 18 conservation and preservation projects to receive funding through the Land & Community Heritage Investment Program.

The program this week announced it would be awarding $475,500 in grants, spread out in various amounts among the 18 projects.

gLangille via Flickr Creative Commons

More than three decades ago, the Mountain Gorilla project started a tourism project to save the threatened gorilla population from poaching. The project hired poachers as park rangers and demonstrated that live gorillas were much more valuable as tourist attractions than dead ones. Since then, gorilla tourism has added hundreds of millions of foreign tourist dollars to state coffers in Central Africa, and the great ape populations have seen a modest rebound.

National "Blueways"

Oct 12, 2012
Evan Gregg / Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism

EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: The federal government recently designated the Connecticut River watershed as the nation’s first “National Blueway.” What is a National Blueway and does such a designation come with any funding for conservation or other purposes?                 

Fifty years ago, Rachel Carson's book, "Silent Spring", woke the world up to the perils of chemicals that promised food crops free of disease and insects, and time outdoors free of mosquitoes. The book is credited with starting the modern environmental movement. It was the birdwatchers that first alerted the scientists about robins literally falling from the sky soon after DDT was sprayed, as well as longer-term declines in birds higher on the food chain.

Flkr Creative Commons / US Fish and Wildlife

Today is the first day of a quintessential Granite State tradition: turkey hunting season.

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