Environment

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.

Britta Greene / NHPR

Hundreds of volunteers will head to lakes across the state Saturday for an annual census of New Hampshire's loons. The count is organized by the Loon Preservation Committee, a New Hampshire-based non-profit.

Courtesy Tony Alter via Flickr/Creative Commons.

We know…we’ve been remiss, and it’s time to talk about the elephant in the room. Something Wild, as you know, is a chance to take a closer look at the wildlife, ecosystems and marvelous phenomena you can find in and around New Hampshire. But over the years there is one species in New Hampshire that we haven’t spent much time examining. A species, I think that has been conspicuous in its absence. Humans.

Daniel Case, Wikimedia

New Hampshire is receiving more than $160,000 to keep waste water from boats out of the state’s lakes and shores.

The funding announcement was made Friday by the U.S. Department of the Interior, which is distributing $32 million nationwide through the Clean Vessel Act.

Under state law, boats aren’t allowed to discharge their holding tanks in any inland bodies of water, or within three miles of the New Hampshire seacoast.

Courtesy DES

To everything there is a season and this is the season when we go swimming and we spend a lot of time talking about Cyanobacteria. So what is it, exactly? we spoke with Sonya Carlson in 2016 when she was the head of the Beach Inspection Program with the state Department of Environmental Services and gave us a primer on the micro-organism.

Evans-Brown/NHPR.

Outside/In host Sam Evans-Brown, joined us in the field this week at Something Wild. We were in Sutton, NH tracking some turkey vulture chicks, because Dave discovered some vultures living among the rocks in a nearby cliff-face.

Courtesy SNHU

A New Hampshire undergraduate has confirmed the presence of a fungus in the state that, over the past thirty years, has caused either extinction or massive decline in more than 200 species of frogs around the world.

That was enough to get Outside/In host Sam Evans-Brown interested.

Something Wild: Porcupines Aren't As Prickly As You Thought

Jun 9, 2017
Smithsonian's National Zoo via Flickr

We’ve been hearing a lot about porcupines this year. They seem to be everywhere! It’s positively a plague of porcupines!

So why are there so many? Biologists don’t have an official answer, but Dave Anderson has a hypothesis involving coyotes and fisher cats. The porcupine’s only real predator is the fisher. It takes a tough critter to eat a porcupine. Anecdotally, trackers and hunters are reporting that fisher numbers appear to be down this year, so it makes sense that porcupine numbers are up.

Amy Quinton, NHPR

New Hampshire imports all of its fossil fuels, meaning a lot of money leaves the state to keep our lights on. Local clean energy companies want to change that, by transitioning to renewable sources like solar and biomass. 

Congresswoman Annie Kuster expressed support Monday for New Hampshire’s green energy economy  and opposition to Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord. Speaking in Peterborough alongside clean energy advocates, Kuster said the state should stay committed to the goals of the Paris agreement and invest in New Hampshire energy.

Courtesy Heidi Asbjornsen

The specter of drought is often raised in these early days of summer. And for good reason, though water levels have returned to normal around the New Hampshire, state officials are still warning residents to remain cautious after last summer drought. And while we often fret about the health of our lawns and our gardens, Dave (from the Forest Society) wanted to address drought resistance among his favorite species, trees.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Picture unspoiled wild forest, the type of place only animals and Boy Scouts feel at home. Now erase that image from your mind, and picture a power line right of way: one of those ruler-straight strips of utility poles that brutishly slash through the woods. Would anything choose that for a home?

http://gph.is/YBbvez

On today's show:

Courtesy stillwellmike via Flickr/Creative Commons.

The battlefield is ancient. Strewn with the debris of generations. Trees splintered, rocks shattered. Neither side will yield this talus slope in the pursuit of that which is most coveted. This is Game of Stones.  

Actually, this is just another installment of New Hampshire’s Wild Neighborhoods, and this time we’re scaling the battle ground known as Talus. And there was some disagreement at Something Wild about whether we should call it “talus” or “talus woodland”.

Courtesy Brendan Clifford, via NH Fish & Game

Before we get into this week's topic, check out Chris and Dave's recent appearance on NHPR's Outside/In. They joined host Sam Evans-Brown for a special edition of "Ask Sam".

There are few sounds in nature that command your attention as effectively as the rattle of a rattlesnake. And though these snakes are not aggressive, that sound does elicit a hard-wired, innate fear response. Roughly translating to “Watch Your Step, Mister!” the rattle is an alarm designed to stop trouble before it starts.

Courtesy WikiMedia

Image yourself on a walk in the woods. It’s early spring; tiny tree flowers are clinging to branches. A nearby stream quietly gurgles and peepers pepper the air. Idyllic, right? Then, all of a sudden….a brobdingnagian buzz from a lilliputian louse! Paradise lost! (Sorry, mixing Miltonian metaphors.)

Well…maybe not. 

We tagged along with Diane DeLuca, a biologist with NH Audubon on her rounds of the Deering Wildlife Sanctuary. DeLuca has been working on their Phenological Monitoring Pilot Project, and defines phenology as "the study of 'phenophases', which are the different phases that plants and animals go through in their life cycle each year." 

    

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Those early hints of spring can call to a gardener like a siren song. Yet the urge to get one’s seeds into dirt can be dangerous: most seedlings won’t survive a single frost. To help with that, gardeners use 30-year averages that predict when the last frost will probably occur. The thing is, in New England, climate change has temperatures rising relatively quickly.

NASA GOES

March 20th marks the Vernal Equinox.  It's one of two points on our calendar when day and night are of equal length. More or less. It may be more of a convenient handle we put on an arbitrary point on our annual revolution around the sun, but it is significant in that it marks the point in the year where we start seeing more daylight than darkness.  So with the days growing longer, this is a great time to talk about photoperiod.

Ross Boyd

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

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services / Flickr/CC

There’s no way around it. This week, Something Wild is a little thick. Like hundreds of pages thick but stay with us.

  

  

Chris Shadler

Chris Schadler is a wild canid biologist, and for about 25 years, her specialty has been the coyote. The first confirmed case of coyotes in New Hampshire was an individual found in a trap in Holderness in the mid 1940s. But they have likely been here longer, because as Schadler points out, they didn’t parachute into Holderness, they will have migrated south from Canada.

Courtesy of New Hampshire Audubon

Fisher populations are down, there’s consensus among wildlife biologists at least about that. But why that is happening is open to debate, as is what to do about it. 

Something Wild sat down with a couple of wildlife biologists recently who disagree; Meade Cadot, former Executive Director of the Harris Center for Conservation Education, and Patrick Tate, leader of the state’s fur-bearer project for NH Fish and Game.

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