WHAT DOES

NHACC Do?

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

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WHAT DO

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!

Click here to read more!

HOW

You Can Help.

Volunteer.
Invest In Your Local Community.
Consider Land Conservation.
And Above All - VOTE!

Click here to read about the many ways that you can help conservation in New Hampshire.

Conservation News and Events

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2/20/17 Regional Events

Regional Events for Conservation Commissions

NHACC is working with local conservation groups to provide more training and networking opportunities to conservation commissions.  Our goal is to facilitate communication and cooperation among commissions, to share ideas and develop best practices. 

Training Workshops
This spring NHACC will host Conversations with a Wetland Scientist in two locations:

  • March 9th at 3 pm at the Hugh Gregg Coastal Conservation Center
  • March 27th at 6 pm at the Keene Public Library
  • March 30th at 5 pm at Franconia Town Hall

Regional Roundtables
NHACC will coordinate two regional roundtable discussion with local conservation commissions at the following locations: 

  • March 15 with 5 Rivers Land Conservation Trust at 5:30 pm at the Conservation Center in Concord
  • April 22 at the Souhegan Sustainability Fair at the Wilton-Lyndeborough High School
2/20/17 Saving Special Places

Saving Special Places 2017

Be part of the 16th annual Saving Special Places Land Conservation Conference on Saturday April 8, 2017 in Alton, NH! This is the largest land conservation training, education and networking event in New Hampshire, attracting more than 300 participants! Our featured keynote speaker for 2017 is nationally acclaimed author and speaker, Terry Tempest Williams.

Join us in a conference experience that past attendees have described as “highly informative,” “inspirational”, and “the best land conservation conference around.” The conference features 30 workshops and 50 presenters covering a range of topics from Survey Map Scavenger Hunt to Storytelling, Agritourism, Wildlife, Conservation Easements and more!

 Saving Special Places is presented by UNH Cooperative Extension together with its partners:  NH Land Trust Coalition, Society for the Protection of NH Forests, Southeast Land Trust, Land and Community Heritage Investment Program, The Nature Conservancy, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Visit the conference website for all conference details and to register. (http://savingspecialplaces.org)

2/18/17 Legislative Update
NHACC has been watching several proposed bills this legislative season. We continue work in the legislature and on state committees to ensure that the voice of your town conservation commission is represented; providing strength in unity.

This year, NHACC provided testimony for three proposed bills that would most concern conservation commissions. NHACC supports Senate Bill 97 Relative to funding the NH agricultural lands program the sum of $3,000,000 for each of the fiscal year from the general fund.  The Senate Finance Committee Report for SB 97 recommends Inexpedient to Legislate and it was not included in the Senate Budget.
 
NHACC provided testimony at the House Ways and Means Committee to voice concerns regarding House Bill 359-FN, relative to returning a percentage of the LCHIP fee to the municipality where the real estate transfer from which the fee originates is located. The Ways and Means Committee voted HB 359 Inexpedient to Legislate by a vote 21-0. The 
full House accepted the committee report and voted "Inexpedient to Legislate" on 2/9/17.
 
NHACC also provided written testimony regarding House Bill 486, relative to protection of wetlands.  This bill proposes a state-wide wetland buffer of 100 ft.  We voiced the concerns of our members who would like to make sure existing local wetland ordinances will be grandfathered. 
The Resources, Recreation and Development Committee has set up a subcommittee to further discuss this bill.  No committee report has been issued yet.  

For more info go to Bills of Concern spreadsheet to check the status of each bill listed. 
What you can do:

  • Write letters and testify at hearings (dates on the calendar link on the Bills of Concern spreadsheet)
  • Be able to act quickly
  • Meet with your legislators once a year!
  • Letters do not follow the bill through the legislative process.
    You should continue to provide updates and forward them to subsequent committees.

To contact your State Representative, go to the General Court website and search for your legislator.

2/15/17 Partners Seek to Inventory Town Conservation Lands

NHACC with partners UNH Cooperative Extension and the Northern Forest Center are seeking to inventory all town-owned conservation lands in New Hampshire. This is a substantial project, and you can help. Cooperative Extension’s county foresters are currently reaching out to town officials and volunteers to help answer some key questions about town-owned conservation lands. Through this inventory, we hope to find out what town-owned land contributes to the economy, ecology, and society of New Hampshire and its towns.

Providing information about town-owned conservation lands doesn’t mean that a town intends to do forest management; town forests and other conservation lands are more than timber. Another part of this project is updating GRANIT’s Conservation/Public Lands layer. We expect to add many tracts that were not previously represented in the layer.

In most cases, the county foresters are speaking with town conservation commissions. If you haven’t heard from your county forester yet, you will soon! We are trying to collect as much information as possible by April 30.

For more information about this project, contact your county forester (find their contact info at www.NHWoods.org), Barbara Richter at barbara@nhacc.org, or Alicia Carlson at alicia.carlson@unh.edu.  

NHACC Welcomes New Executive Director

The NHACC Board of Directors is pleased to announce the selection of Barbara Richter as its new Executive Director.  Barbara will lead the organization, and provide assistance and direct support to NHACC members. Prior to NHACC, Barbara worked at W.S. Badger Company where she was responsible for regulatory compliance.

"The support NHACC provides to NH conservation commissions is critical to successful natural resource protection in the state. The strength of the conservation movement in NH comes from the unity of its many amazing citizen groups, government agencies and non-profit organizations," said Barbara. "I look forward to providing valuable technical support to NH cities and towns and advising their conservation commissions."

Barbara's background uniquely qualifies her to assume the role as the NHACC Executive Director. Her extensive experience in land conservation includes working at the Forest Society’s Center for Land Conservation Assistance where she supported local and regional land trusts with their land protection initiatives. Barbara also worked at the Monadnock Conservancy in the role of both Stewardship Coordinator and Membership Coordinator. She has first-hand experience with conservation commissions as a previous chair of the Surry Conservation Commission and a member of the City of Keene Conservation Commission. She understands the required duties of conservation commissions and is familiar with the challenges faced by both small towns and cities.

Barbara received her master’s degree in environmental studies from Antioch New England University and her bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Syracuse University. She lives in Keene with her husband and two children.

Governor Hassan Vetoed SB 324!

We've just received word from Governor Hassan's office. She's vetoed SB 324, and we couldn't be happier!

062116 SB 324 Veto Message.doc

 

Revised Manual for Erosion Control on Logging Operations Now Available

UNH Cooperative Extension and the N.H. Division of Forests and Lands along with many partners recently released a revised edition of “New Hampshire Best Management Practices for Erosion Control on Timber Harvesting Operations.” This manual describes best management practices, or BMPs, for protecting water quality during forest harvests. The BMPs include a wide range of recommended techniques that can be used before, during, and after logging operations. Loggers, foresters, and scientists from New Hampshire and other states have developed these techniques from their own practical experience and research. The handbook is available for download at bit.ly/2016BMPs, or hard copies can be ordered for $6 per copy by using our online order form at bit.ly/orders2016BMPs (limited to 25 copies per order).

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

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! 

Practicing for the Unexpected in Public Meetings

The Facilitation Laboratory, a training program with University of New Hampshire Theatre PowerPlay Interactive Development, UNH Cooperative Extension and NH Listens, is presenting two upcoming trainings on Public Meetings. "Practicing for the Unexpected in Public Meetings" will be held in February in Concord and Manchester. 

FlyerThe training is for those who have a role in public meetings such as board members, chairs, public officials, facilitators, planners, administrators, staff and community members. In the Facilitation Laboratory professional actors will present scenarios allowing workshop participants to work together to understand the challenges and to identify some best practices for all aspects of public meetings – including conflict - in a positive and professional manner. This workshop is highly regarded and would be great for conservation commissioners! Click to download the flyer.

Concord Training - Tuesday February 3, 2015 - 1:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. - Registration (Click here)

Manchester Training - Thursday February 12, 2015 - 4:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.  - Registration (Click here)

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

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