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NHACC is a nonprofit conservation organization that provides education and assistance to New Hampshire's local conservation commissions.



Conservation Commissions do?

Conservation commissions are local conservation volunteers who work to study and protect natural resources.

Conservation commissions are very active in New Hampshire!

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Conservation News and Events

NRCS Easement Update

The following update was provided by NH staff of the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS).

Good Afternoon Conservation Partners:

I’m writing to update you on the status of the NRCS conservation easement programs.  As you know, the Farm and Ranchland Protection Program (FRPP), Grassland Reserve Program (GRP), and Wetland Reserve Program (WRP) were repealed when the new Farm Bill was executed in February.  They were replaced by the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), which offers two permanent easement options:  Agricultural Land Easements (ALE) for working farmland and grassland; and Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE) for wetlands.

We are unable to accept ALE applications at this time.  A new application form and Cooperative Agreement are currently in development.  We will inform you as soon as additional guidance is received, and encourage you to continue working with interested landowners to maximize enrollment opportunities when they do come.

Applications are currently being accepted for the WRE.  The new 2014 application form NRCS-CPA-1200 (dated 2/14) is attached for your use and can be found on the NH NRCS web page at www.nh.nrcs.usda.gov under the Programs page, within the link for ‘Program Applicant Eligibility’.  This new form is required for all applicants requesting 2014 funding, including those with deferred WRP applications.  Please contact Ian Rodgers at 868-9931, ext. 104 for assistance in completing the application and land owner eligibility forms.

Please be advised there will be a national WRE application cutoff date established in late spring or early summer.  An affirmed date has not been provided yet and will be shared as soon as it is released.  Applications received after this date will be deferred for consideration until 2015. We have contacted all landowners with deferred WRP applications and requested they complete and return the new WRE application form by June 1.  The land eligibility and ranking criteria have not been finalized but we anticipate guidance to be forthcoming at the end of April.  If you have questions regarding land eligibility, or would like to submit a map for prescreening, please contact Jeremy Lougee at 868-9931, ext. 142.

Informational meetings will be held at several locations in late spring or early summer, as soon as final guidance is received.  We will inform you of the times and locations well in advance in hopes you will be able to join us.

Thank you for your patience as we transition into the new Farm Bill.  We encourage your feedback and look forward to working with you.

Deborah S. Weymouth, Assistant State Conservationist – Programs/Operations

Natural Resources Conservation Service

U.S. Department of Agriculture

2 Madbury Road, Durham, NH  03824

(603) 868-9931 Ext. 102, Fax:  (603) 868-5301



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New England’s Changing Forests: Free Talk at AUNE April 24

A panel of well-known foresters and ecologists will shed light on forest conservation and how forest dynamics affect New England’s landscape, on Thursday, April 24, at Antioch University New England (AUNE).

This event is free and open to the public as part of AUNE’s Speaker Series. It will take place at 7 p.m. in the Community Room at AUNE, 40 Avon Street, Keene, New Hampshire.


The panelists are:


• Tom Wessels, forest ecologist, author, and professor emeritus at AUNE, where he has been on the faculty of the Department of Environmental Studies for nearly fifteen years. He is the author of Reading the Forested Landscape; The Granite Landscape; Forest Forensics: A Field Guide to Reading the Forested Landscape, and other books.

• Swift Corwin, principal of Calhoun & Corwin Forestry LLC, based in Peterborough, New Hampshire; he is a licensed forester and  private consultant. He is an active member of the Peterborough Conservation Commission and a trustee for the Monadnock Conservancy

• Steve Roberge, forest resource educator with the University of New Hampshire  Cooperative Extension in Cheshire County and  a member of the board of trustees of the Harris Center for Conservation Education in Hancock, New Hampshire.

• Jeremy Wilson, executive director of the Harris Center for Conservation Education, and former professor at the University of Maine for eleven years.


Steve Jones, president of AUNE, who received his PhD in resources management at the College of Environmental Science and Forestry, State University of New York Syracuse, will moderate.


The panelists will look at the history of the region’s forests over the last 3,000 years, including the impact of global economics. They’ll discuss the challenges of managing conserved lands that are ever-changing and yet often expected to never change at all. They will leave plenty of time for questions and answers.


For more information, contact Jack Calhoun, AUNE, jcalhoun@antioch.edu or 603-283-2108.




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Matching Grants Available from Land and Community Heritage Investment Program

The Board of Directors of the New Hampshire Land and Community Heritage Investment Program announces the availability of grants for land conservation and historic preservation projects. Requests for funding are due on June 27, 2014 

The Grant Round 13 application form will be available on the LCHIP website (www.lchip.org) during the week of April 14, 2014. Applicants must meet LCHIP eligibility requirements and submit a Project Registration Form on the LCHIP website. LCHIP provides matching grants, so at least 50% of the total project cost must come from sources other than the LCHIP grant.

Applicants are required to attend a grant-writing workshop if they have not done so previously. This year's grant-writing workshop will be held on April 30, 2014, at New Hampshire Fish and Game headquarters in Concord. Workshop registration information can be found on the LCHIP website (www.lchip.org). The deadline to register for the workshops is Friday, April 25, 2014.

For more information about LCHIP visit www.lchip.org or call (603) 224-4113.   



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Registration open for trails workshops in Gilsum, NH

KEENE, N.H. — The Monadnock Conservancy, in partnership with the Student Conservation Association (SCA) and the Stewardship Network: New England, invite interested citizens in the Monadnock Region to participate in one of two weekend trail work skills trainings in Gilsum, N.H., at the Conservancy’s John and Rosemarie Calhoun Family Forest. The identical trainings will take place on two separate weekends: May 3 and 4, and July 12 and 13. Many local groups and communities maintain trails in their towns but lack formal training and resources. This trail skills training is intended to help community and land trust volunteers gain the skills they need to create and maintain trails, enabling them to bring skills back to their communities to facilitate trail projects of their own. The training will feature an introduction to tools and safety procedures, followed by instruction on trail design, construction and maintenance, including construction of structures such as turnpikes and stone steps. The training will also include emphasis on volunteer management. The Conservancy’s John and Rosemarie Calhoun Family Forest is a demonstration forest and recreation area that is open to the public. An existing trail features Porcupine Falls, a scenic cascade along White Brook. Training participants will help improve portions of the Porcupine Falls Loop Trail. This trail is within one mile of Gilsum center and only nine miles of downtown Keene. This training opportunity is made possible through funding from the Quabbin-to-Cardigan Partnership (Q2C). Space is limited for this unique opportunity, and interested parties are encouraged to register by contacting Emily Hague, stewardship director, by phone at 603-357-0600 ext.104 or by email at Emily@MonadnockConservancy.org. A non-refundable registration fee of $10 applies. Food will be provided, and local lodging options are available. For information about course content, please contact Lew Shelley, training and education specialist at SCA: LShelley@thesca.org or 603-504-3264.

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New London Conservation Commission Seeking Part-Time Trails Intern

The New London Conservation Commission is seeking a part time trail maintenance support person to work on hiking trails in this summer. The person must be 18 years of age or older. The person will help with the maintenance, repairs and various trail projects this summer season.

Schedule includes 240 work hours, which must be flexible, subject to weather and specific needs. Basic transportation, cell phone, ability to climb steep terrain and lift heavy objects is required.

For more details, interested applicants may apply to robert@messerpond.com or NLCC, 375 Main St., New London, NH 03257.

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ARM Fund Grant Opportunities for Wetlands Restoration and Conservation Now Available

Aquatic Resource Mitigation (ARM) Fund grants are available for eligible wetland restoration, land protection or habitat improvement projects. Any of New Hampshire's communities that lie wholly or partially within the service areas are eligible to apply for ARM Fund grants.

ARM Fund payments are collected according to nine service areas and are available for the purpose of replacing or protecting wetlands and other aquatic resource functions and values that were impacted by development projects in the watershed areas. In 2013, the grant funded the preservation of 2,200 acres in 9 communities including wetland and stream restoration and enhancement and stream passage restoration.

For the full grant announcement, click here. For more information about what funds are available in particular service areas, click here

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NHACC Membership

NHACC is the only organization specifically serving the needs of conservation commissions in New Hampshire.


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