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



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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

DES 2016 Local Source Water Protection Grants Application Available

NHDESProject funding is available from the Department of Environmental Services to develop and implement programs to protect existing sources of public drinking water. The grants are available to water suppliers, municipalities, regional planning agencies, non-profit organizations, educational institutions, conservation districts, and state agencies. Applicants can receive up to $20,000 for projects to protect drinking water sources, including watershed planning, delineation of protection areas, assessment of threats to water supply sources, implementation, and source security.

The application packet is available now to provide sufficient lead time for applicants to work with stakeholders and obtain compelling letters of commitment, which will be needed for some projects to score well in the competition for limited funds.  The importance of letters of commitment is reflected in the application materials.  Applicants should review the application materials at their earliest opportunity. Applications are available at: http://des.nh.gov/organization/divisions/water/dwgb/dwspp/lswp_grants.htm. Applications are Due November 2, 2015.

Please contact Pierce Rigrod at 271-0688 or pierce.rigrod@des.nh.gov if you have any questions or would like to discuss your proposal.

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Emerald Ash Borer Discovered in Gilmanton

Emerald ash borer was recently discovered in Gilmanton, NH. A public meeting about EAB and the quarantine on ash products and hardwood firewood takes place July 21 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. in Conference Room 1 (the multipurpose room) of the Belknap County Complex, 34 County Drive, Laconia. For more information, click here or visit nhbugs.org

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$230,000 Available for 2016 Conservation “Moose Plate” Grants

The New Hampshire State Conservation Committee (SCC) has announced that the 2016 Conservation “Moose Plate” Grant applications are available. Applications are due on September 25, 2015. Eligible applicants include municipalities, County Conservation Districts, qualified nonprofit organizations engaged in conservation programs, public and private schools (K through 12), County Cooperative Extension natural resource programs, and scout groups.

Approximately $230,000 is available for the 2016 grants. Awards will be announced in December 2015 and funding will be available to successful applications in beginning in April 2016.

Further information about the SCC Conservation Grant program is available at SCC.nh.gov. The 2016 Conservation Grant Application Instructions and Form may be downloaded through the website.

For further information, contact Dea Brickner-Wood, Administrator, SCC Conservation Grants, 603.868.6112, bluesky24@comcast.net or visit SCC.nh.gov.

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5/28/15 Conservation Easement Monitoring with CCs: Boundaries and Beyond

Easement monitoring - Deb Goard from SELTIf you find yourself bushwhacking through invasives or wading through tick-infested grasses swatting mosquitoes, there’s a good chance you're monitoring a conservation easement. But thanks to The Stewardship Network: New England (TSN:NE) and the Farmington Conservation Commission, I got a taste of the many enjoyable aspects to easement monitoring last week. I attended the “Easement Monitoring for Volunteers” workshop in Lee with the TSN:NE, Southeast Land Trust and Bear Paw along with over 20 conservation commissioners and other volunteers. Only a few days later I also took a real-life easement monitoring stroll through the woods with Dave Connolly, chair of the Farmington CC, and Steve Walker, the Stewardship Specialist for the Office of Energy and Planning

While I learned a lot about easement monitoring when I was an easement steward intern with the Society for the Protection of NH Forests last summer, it was a great experience to go out in the field with conservation commissioners to see and hear about stewardship from a different perspective. At the workshop I heard from commissioners who are responsible for monitoring easements that their town holds on private property. In other cases like Farmington, the town was the landowner and Dave and I came along on the state’s monitoring visit just to see the property and talk about its management. Farmington is working on the property’s trail system and also it was good for Dave to see if there was any dumping issues or misuse of the property and to see how the forest management was coming along.

Forest Management - Woodcock habitat - Farmington

First and foremost, easement monitoring is really about good stewardship and building and maintaining positive relationships with landowners in your community. Whether your town has been monitoring easements for years and has a whole system set up or if you know you’re behind on monitoring and need to get caught up, the monitoring process is a great opportunity to talk about stewardship and what conservation values are most important. All sorts of topics come up when talking about conservation easements. Does the landowner manage the land for forestry or agriculture? What about habitat management? Do members of the public hunt, fish, hike, snowmobile, or do other types of recreation on the property? Do you know where the boundaries are or does the landowner have good relationships with their neighbors on abutting lands?

Easement Monitoring WorkshopThe really fun part of easement monitoring may actually be all the fringe benefits that come with hiking in the woods on some unique and beautiful pieces of conservation land! On my hike with Dave and Steve in Farmington, we identified some animal tracks by the brook (raccoon), some scat on a rock (fox), and a frog hiding under a rock, along with many plants (indian cucumber, starflower, blueberries in blossom). Some times there are trails that you can hike on that will make your journey easy. Some times you are off-trail, but that’s where you can find a unique plant or animal sighting or maybe even something like vernal pools you didn’t know existed (be sure to note their GPS location!). 

If you are in need of some good basics about easement monitoring, but missed last week’s workshop, you can still download the presentation here. TSN:NE also has some other resources available, including a Sample Easement Monitoring Manual and a couple Sample Easement Monitoring Forms (Simple & Detailed). 

Photos: All photos by Emily Lord/NHACC. Deb Goard from SELT instructs the workshop group on some easement monitoring techniques; Forest management on the Farmington property for woodcock habitat; The easement monitoring workshop included some compass basics, which is very important if you are going in the woods. Sign-up for the Off Trail Workshop on June 6th, if you'd like to learn more about map and compass navigation! 

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NH Method: 2-day Wetland Evaluation Workshop for COMMUNITY VOLUNTEERS

This two-day wetland evaluation training session is designed for the needs of community volunteers (especially conservation commissioners) and others interested in learning how to use the NH Method. On the first day of training, we will cover introductory information about wetland evaluation using the NH Method. Participants will also learn how to use the NH Wetlands Mapper to create the required maps for wetland evaluation through hands-on training on computers. The second day of training will be a field session, focused on field identification of wetland types and observation of wetland characteristics that affect their functions. We’ll use the field data together with information derived from the mapping to evaluate the wetland’s functions using the NH Method data sheets.

2-Day Workshop:  Wetland Evaluation using the NH Method for Community Volunteers

Friday May 29 and Friday June 5, 2015  | 8:00am - 4:00pm

Day 1 - May 29, 2015 - Indoor and computer lab session at NHTI, Concord 

Day 2 - June 5, 2015 - Field Evaluation at Bear Brook State Park

Visit the NH Method Workshops web page for details and to register for this workshop. Cost: $40. Registration Deadline:  4:00pm Tuesday May 26. Space at this workshop is limited, so register soon!

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NHDES’ 2015 Drinking Water Source Protection Conference

NHDES’ 2015 annual conference will be held on Wednesday, May 6, 2015 at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord, NH from 8:30 am – 4:00 pm.  This conference has become the largest drinking water source protection event in New England and is the only statewide event focused solely on how to protect local sources of drinking water.

This event is held in partnership with the American Ground Water Trust.  You can view the full agenda and register for the conference by visiting the American Ground Water Trust’s website, http://www.agwt.org/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=195.  The registration page includes exhibitor and sponsorship information if you would like to have an exhibit table or be a sponsor of this event.

If you have any questions, contact Pierce Rigrod (Pierce.Rigrod@des.nh.gov603-271-0688) at NHDES or Win Saltmarsh (wsaltmarsh@agwt.org603-228-5444) at the American Ground Water Trust.  This event will offer New Hampshire Water Works Operators 5.0 Technical Credit Hours (TCHs).  The conference fee is $55.00 and includes lunch and refreshments for all registered attendees.

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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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