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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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)

A Couple of Ways to Support NHACC Before the New Year

Emerging Snapper.jpgThe New Hampshire Association of Conservation Commissions is the only organization dedicated to providing education, technical support and legislative assistance to municipal conservation commissions. NHACC is primarily funded by member conservation commissions

To keep costs manageable for our membrers and to meet the ever-increasing demand for our services, NHACC is asking for your support before the end of the year. There are a couple ways you can support us and local conservation:

** Make a tax-deductable donation through our secure website or by sending a check to NHACC, 54 Portsmouth St., Concord, NH 03301. Please make your checks payable to NHACC.

** Shop at AmazonSmile and Amazon will make a donation to NHACC. 

NHACC is proud to help support the work of the 216 conservation commissions in New Hampshire. These commissions provide our state with more than 1,500 committed conservation volunteers.

* Conservation Commissions have protected over 180,000 acres of important farmland and forestland.

* Conservation Commissions manage community lands for wildlife, forestry, community farming and gardening, and recreation.

* Conservation commissions provide fun and interest educational program for adults and children.

When you make a donation to NHACC you will also help give a voice for environmentally responsible legislative action and rule-making in NH as well as the work of NH’s conservation commissions.

Thank you!

Annual Survey Reminder - Commission responses needed!

Jim Kennedy, wetland scientist, at a 2014 Field Training Series on Wetland IdentificationThis fall, NHACC sent out its first-ever Annual Survey. This survey will help us better understand what's working and what isn't in your town and how we can serve you better. We want to year from you about projects and success stories that could be shared across the state. We also want to know if there's additional services that you think we should be offering. We're really excited about some of the responses we've gotten so far. If you haven't discussed the survey with your conservation commission yet, go ahead and download a copy of the survey and bring it to your next meeting. Once you have it completed, have your commission mail your responses to us at 54 Portsmouth Street, Concord, NH 03301 or email us at info@nhacc.org. 

Community Training in Ecological Design - Begin Jan. 14

UNH Cooperative Extension is offering a four-part training on ecological design from January 14, through February 4, 2015. Utilizing Permaculture Design Principles, the training is geared towards community leaders, conservation commissions, planning board members, landscape designers and architects, agricultural commissions, and energy committees. Participants will be led through a series of conversations, collaborative activities, case study field trips, and a design charrette, introducing the ecological design process that can be applied to communities in the planning and development process or for their own individual properties. Topics will include appropriate technologies, scale, biodiversity, integrated design, and stacking functions. “This training brings together permaculture concepts and design principles for New Hampshire. Participants will get tools to plan, design, and develop a more resilient and sustainable future for a town’s infrastructure and economy, while working in harmony with the natural world,” says UNH Cooperative Extension Natural Resources Field Specialist Mary Tebo Davis. Cost for the training is $395. Space is limited. Download the flyer to find out more or click here to register online. For more information, contact Mary Tebo Davis at mary.tebo@unh.edu or (603) 641-6060.

Adapting to a Changing Climate: NHACD Annual Meeting December 1st

NH’s Conservation Districts are uniquely poised to assist working landowners with mitigating the impacts of climate change through proactive voluntary conservation efforts. Join the NH Association of Conservation Districts Dec. 1st to hear from national and regionally recognized experts on an issue that will define conservation for the next generation: Adapting to a Changing Climate.

Monday, December 1 - Tuesday, December 2
Hanover Inn, Hanover, NH

 
Are you interested in leading walks in your community?

As part of the Speaking for Wildlife program, UNH Cooperative Extension & The Forest Society are teaming up for a Field Trip 101 Volunteer Training –December 5, 1:00-4:30pm in Concord. This fun and interactive volunteer training will provide you with the basics of planning and executing a guided walk. Participants in this free training should be willing to commit to leading at least one outdoor event in the subsequent 12 months. You can do it! It’s easy, it’s fun, and we promise you’ll feel prepared after this workshop. Sign up here.

Forest Laws for Municipal Officials workshops this November

Town staff and volunteers are encouraged to attend a Forest Laws for Municipal Officials workshop this November. This will be a valuable workshop for new town officials and employees, as well as a refresher course for those that have been around for a while. Topics covered include timber tax, intent to cut forms, wetlands regulations, forest harvest laws, and roads. Find more details, including a registration form, in the workshop brochure.

Registration is requested; see the workshop brochure. For questions about the program, contact Karen Bennett at (603) 862-4861 or karen.bennett@unh.edu.

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Every dollar invested in conservation yields $11 of economic benefit in NH

The Trust for Public Land released their much-anticipated report on NH's Return on Investment in Land Conservation. This study provides a fantastic resource for conservation commissions looking to promote and support land conservation efforts in their towns.

NHDES Source Water Protection Grants

The 2015 Local Source Water Protection grant application is now available from the Department of Environmental Services here. Funding is available to develop and implement projects to protect existing sources of public drinking water. 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. Descriptions of projects previously funded by this grant program are available on the program’s webpage. Please contact Kelsey Vaughn at 271-2950 or kelsey.vaughn@des.nh.gov or 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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NHACC is the only organization specifically serving the needs of conservation commissions in New Hampshire.

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