Environment

Martina Oefelein via Flickr CC

So the thing about “nature shows” - even this one - is that we tend to talk about plant and animal species in pretty independent terms. "The red-tailed hawk eats this, sounds like that, does this in the winter…" But as we’ve tried to explain over the years (here at Something Wild) the hawk is just one resident in a complex ecological puzzle; she interacts with other animals and plants in the neighborhood.

Fellowship of the Rich via Flickr/Creative Commons.

O Tannenbaum is a song often heard this time of year, and it signals a deeper arborphilia within our culture.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The nine states of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, including New Hampshire, have set a new, more ambitious goal for reducing carbon emissions by 2030.

They want to cut pollution by 30 percent -- or more, if that proves too easy.

The states in RGGI agreed this month on that new goal and other updates to the eight-year-old program. It lets polluters either reduce emissions, or buy credits to keep emitting. The proceeds from those credits go to rebates and efficiency projects.

 

Courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

'Tis the season for Christmas carols but at Something Wild one in particular captures our attention: The Twelve Days of Christmas. There are a lot of birds featured in the song but, like so many of our carols, the lyrics are from old Europe and don’t really speak to life in 21st century New England. So we thought maybe it’s time for an update… a rewrite… a New Hampshire Christmas carol.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

The final witnesses gave testimony on the Northern Pass transmission line Thursday, after eight months of hearings and years of planning.

Day 70 of adjudicative hearings at the New Hampshire site evaluation committee centered on wetlands and property values.

Ray Lobdell, with the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, testified in the morning session on whether Northern Pass would affect more sensitive habitat than expected.

NHPR

As we hunker down for the winter weather, we’re frequently too preoccupied with what is in our front yards that we tend not to notice what isn’t there. The snow and ice have muscled out the grass, and the chilly sounds of the north wind have blown away the dawn chorus that woke us this summer. And short of finding a postcard in your mailbox from a warm exotic location, signed by your friendly neighborhood phoebe, you probably haven’t thought much about the birds that flitted through your yard just months ago.

So the thing about “nature shows” - even this one - is that we tend to talk about plant and animal species in pretty independent terms. "The red-tailed hawk eats this, sounds like that, does this in the winter…" But as we’ve tried to explain over the years (here at Something Wild) the hawk is just one resident in a complex ecological puzzle; she interacts with other animals and plants in the neighborhood. 

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story reported that elevated PFCs were found in the Franklin Fire Department's drinking water. The chemicals were actually detected in a monitoring well at the department.

At least four New Hampshire fire departments have found an elevated level of toxic chemicals known as PFCs, either in their drinking water or in nearby monitoring wells.

Courtsey mgstanton via Flickr/Creative Commons.

Water is what has allowed life to generate and regenerate on this tiny blue marble of ours. Most of us would shrivel up and blow away without a water supply. And yet every year at this time water becomes scarce, surface water anyway. So the question is what happens when that water freezes. 

Seal
Richard Towell / Flickr Creative Commons

On a Tuesday morning last summer, Chris Martin boarded the John B. Heiser, a 33-foot research vessel,  headed for Duck Island. Mission: to count seals.

Picture yourself in the grocery store. You’ve got an organized list in your hand and you’re looking for the things on that list. And as you go down the aisles you’re whizzing by dozens, maybe hundreds, of things on the shelves until your eye picks out that one jar of peanut butter that you have on your list. It’s an efficiency technique that helps you find what you’re looking for.

A common theme on Something Wild is breeding. (Which is why we always sip our tea with our pinkies extended.) Seriously, though, we talk about the how, when and where because there are a lot of different reproductive strategies that have evolved in nature. Today we take a closer look at two such strategies through the lens of "how often": semelparity and iteroparity.

Sean Hurley

NHPR’s Sean Hurley recently took a walk to Moose Painting Pond, as he’s named it.  The most peaceful place in the universe, he supposes it to be.  Maybe because it’s so quiet and hidden – maybe because it’s a place where the things he invents seem to meet together with the things nature does.

Note: As with every Sean Hurley story, we really recommend giving this one a listen.

I found the path to the pond – and the most peaceful place in the universe - about six years ago while wandering around Sandwich Notch Road.

Moose Painting Pond, I call it. 

Every year there seems to be a different insect making a nuisance of itself. Some of them are harmless, but some are plagues upon us or our forests. It was only a year ago that Gypsy moths made their presence known in southern New England, where trees in some areas were hit pretty hard by the voracious caterpillar. And while incidents like these tend to spark a lot of discussion about how people might help reduce the damage, it’s worth remembering that the trees these caterpillars feed on are not entirely helpless.

I rolled into the parking lot of the Mountain Wanderer Book Store in Lincoln, New Hampshire. I was there to meet two White Mountain hiking experts. Authors Mike Dickerman of Bond Cliff Books and Steve Smith, editor of the Appalachian Mountain Club’s White Mountain Hiking Guide. Steve also owns the Mountain Wanderer. From the bookstore, we drove to a nearby trail head for the Pemigewasset Wilderness Area in Lincoln.

Chris Martin/NHPR/NHA

We started the day on Appledore Island, just outside Portsmouth Harbor. The Shoals Marine Lab, resident there, traces its history back to 1928. Among the biologists spending the summer there this year were Dr. Elizabeth Craig, Tern Conservation Program Manager. "There are three species that I’m hoping we’re going to see today; the common tern, the roseate tern and the arctic tern." In her orientation she walks through the differences among the species, but all three are long lived, which for birds, means 10-30 year life-spans.

National Audubon Society

The iconic call of the loon is one you’ll hear on ponds and lakes throughout the state. We’re checked in with John Cooley, Senior Biologist with the Loon Preservation Committee to learn a bit about the bird and the state of its welfare.

The iconic call of the loon is one you’ll hear on ponds and lakes throughout the state. We’re checked in with John Cooley, Senior Biologist with the Loon Preservation Committee to learn a bit about the bird and the state of its welfare.

Something Wild recently visited Maria Colby, director of Wings of the Dawn Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Henniker.

Courtesy dimitrisokolenko via Creative Commons.

Labor Day weekend is often summer’s last hurrah – or at least our last chance to participate in those uniquely summer pastimes. So we thought we’d go out with some sun, surf and a nice breeze by exploring another of New Hampshire’s Wild Neighborhoods. And once again we take a tour of great place to visit, but a hard place to eke out a living.

Flikr Creative Commons / Jim.Richmond

States participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI, are looking towards the future. For the past two years, the nine states have been trying to determine how to clean up power plant pollution in New Hampshire and across the region after the year 2020.

A new set of draft proposals lays out how RGGI might do that. State climate campaign director for Environment New Hampshire Travis Madsen spoke about this with NHPR's Peter Biello. 

Sean Hurley

Steve Wilkes is a drumming professor at Berklee College of Music in Boston.  He’s also a former member of Blue Man Group and has toured the world with The Empire Brass Quintet. 

But for his latest gig, as this year’s White Mountain National Forest Artist in Residence, Wilkes won’t be making or teaching music - or painting his face blue.  Instead, he’s recording the sounds of the forest and compiling the first ever audio map of the White Mountains.

SARATOGA ASSOCIATES

The state's highest court will hear arguments involving a proposed wind farm in the town of Antrim.  It's the latest development in a years-long battle for the Antrim Wind project, which has been under development since 2009.

Texas A&M AgriLife

The Department of Environmental Services has been issuing more warnings than it usually does at this point in the summer for algal blooms, potentially toxic mats of cyanobacteria.

But David Neils, chief water pollution biologist at the department, says that uptick is partly caused by an increase in public awareness.

“People are becoming educated about cyanobacteria, so they’re looking for them more often, and call us more often.”

Some of those blooms that residents call DES about are small or nontoxic, but the department issues a warning just to be safe. 

Courtesy photo

It’s been a busy summer for the Seacoast Science Center’s marine mammal rescue team.

There’s been a surge of late in the number of beached seals in need of rescue along New Hampshire’s coast.

Ashley Stokes manages the marine mammal rescue team, and she joined NHPR's Morning Edition.

Talk about what these past few weeks have been like for your team. What are you seeing?

Officials with the town of Durham say they remain concerned about a proposal to bury a long-distance power cable across a one-mile stretch of Great Bay.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / Vermont Public Radio

A settlement between the state of Vermont and the plastics company Saint Gobain is catching the attention of some in New Hampshire who say the settlement should change the conversation around water quality here.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

The Connecticut River springs to life in Pittsburg, New Hampshire, just a few hundred yards from the Canadian border. From there, it snakes 400 or miles southward, where it discharges into the Long Island Sound. This month, a group of river-lovers are paddling the length of the Connecticut to highlight its history, importance and beauty.

Courtesy of Colleen P of Newington via Flickr/Creative Commons.

In this part of the country the Corvid family includes blue jays, gray jays, crows, and ravens. And ravens – Corvus corax – are the smartest of this intelligent family, actually their brain to body ratio is on par with whales and the great apes. 

Flikr Creative Commons / Ken_Lord

A Hampton fisherman wants to take his concerns about federal fishing regulations to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Hampton fisherman David Goethel says the federal government shouldn’t be able to force him to pay for his own at-sea monitors. At-sea monitors are regulators who accompany fishermen on some fishing trips to make sure catch limits are being observed.

Over a million dollars is headed to New Hampshire to help protect coastal communities.

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