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Conservation News and Events

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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.




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.   



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.

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.

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

Nominations Sought for Annual Awards

New Hampshire Audubon’s Board of Trustees seeks nominations for the following awards to be presented at the Annual Meeting of the membership.  Deadline for nominations is April 1, 2014.

The Tudor Richards Award is presented annually to the person who best exemplifies Tudor’s love and knowledge of the outdoors and who has worked tirelessly and effectively on behalf of conservation in New Hampshire. Past recipients include Francie Von Mertens (2013), Art Mudge (2012), and Geoff Jones (2011).

The Goodhue-Elkins Award is presented annually to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the study of New Hampshire birds. The award is named for Charles Goodhue, one of the state's great pioneer birders, and Kimball Elkins, the model of critical observation and insightful record-keeping. Past recipients include Susan Fogleman (2013), Roger Lawrence (2012), and Stephen R. Mirick (2011).

Both awards are merit-based and affiliation with New Hampshire Audubon is not a requirement. A list of past recipients and nomination forms are available from the N.H. Audubon website, www.nhaudubon.org/about/annual-awards  or from Rebecca Suomala (224-9909 x309), bsuomala@nhaudubon.org. Be sure to include your mailing address.

Lessons from the Field: Plaistow and Southeast Land Trust Town Forest Easement Project

Working together with the Southeast Land Trust, the Plaistow Conservation Commission was awarded a $100,000 Aquatic Resource Mitigation (ARM) Grant from the NH Department of Environmental Services (DES) to support the permanent protection and enlargement of the Plaistow Town Forest. The grant is being used to help place a conservation easement on the Plaistow Town Forest, acquire adjacent undeveloped land, and restore damaged trails on the property. 

Plaistow Conservation Commission member Tim Moore talks with SELT's Phil Auger about the project in this video on community television. NHACC flagged this video as a great example of how conservation commissions and land trusts can work together and how conservation commissions can tell the story of conservation to taxpayers. 

Additional information on the project can be found on the SELT website.

Registration Now Open for Saving Special Places Conference

Registration is now open for the Saving Spaces Conference to be held April 5, 2014, at Laconia Middle School. This year's event features 30 workshops and more than 40 presenters. 

Register by March 28 to take advantage of the lower $60 fee. After March 28, the fee is $75. Visit the conference website for all details.

2014 Legislative Session Considerations

NHACC is monitoring this year's legislative session at the State House. There are currently two bills that would impact conservation commissions and land trusts that we are concerned about. We will be paying particularly close attention to HB1271 and HB1100 and we plan to bring forward our concerns at the upcoming committee hearings. 

HB1271 (bill status / bill text) would establish a committee to study the powers and duties of conservation commissions. Sponsors include: Rep. Shawn Jasper of Hudson and Rep. Franklin Bishop of Raymond.

HB1100 (bill status / bill text) would establish a committee to study the ownership by public entities of land for conservation purposes. Sponsors include: Rep. Franklin Bishop of Raymond, Rep. Shawn Jasper of Hudson, Rep. Gene Chandler of Bartlett, Rep. Kathleen Hoelzel of Raymond, Rep. James Coffey of New Ipswich, and Sen. John Reagan of Deerfield (and whose district includes Raymond).

Details on the purpose and goals of the bills are limited, so we encourage you to call the sponsors if you have concerns or questions about the bills. Clicking on the links to the legislators names above will provide you their contact information. Please keep in contact with Executive Director Nik Coates if you have questions or find out additional information.

Both bills have been assigned to the Resources, Recreation and Development Committee. The bills have not yet been scheduled for hearings. We understand that the hearings are likely to be the week of January 27. When we have additional information on the hearing dates, we will provide it here. In the upcoming NHACC e-newsletter, we will be providing an analysis of the bills and information of how you can get involved. in the NHACC e-newsletter next week and information of how you can get involved. If you are not yet signed up for the e-newsletter, contact us and we will add you to the distribution list.

We are also tracking several other bills that could impact conservation commissions and their work. We will continue to update you in this News section it as the action at the legislature heats up.

Nicholas Coates named Executive Director of New Hampshire Association of Conservation Commissions

The Board of the New Hampshire Association of Conservation Commissions (NHACC) has named its fifth executive director in its 44-year history.

Nicholas "Nik" Coates comes to NHACC after six years as a planner with the Central New Hampshire Regional Planning Commission (CNHRPC). He moves into the position after Carol Andrews spent the past eight years as NHACC's executive director. Andews followed Marjorie Swope , the organization's longtime executive director. Read the full press release here.

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