Conservation Commissioners and other town volunteers are invited to join Taking Action for Wildlife for a webinar series focused on wildlife and habitat conservation. This four-part series will provide participants with information and resources related to conservation actions they can take for wildlife in New Hampshire, including identifying conservation priorities for wildlife, land-use planning as a tool for wildlife conservation, actions you can take on town lands to benefit wildlife, and considerations for wetland habitats. Presenters will include wildlife professionals from UNH Cooperative Extension, NH Fish & Game Department, NH Association of Conservation Commissions, and Moosewood Ecological.
To put this knowledge to use, the Taking Action for Wildlife team will be providing direct assistance developing and implementing a project to benefit wildlife and habitats in your community. Taking Action for Wildlife team members will provide support to identify goals, develop a project plan and timeline, connect you to resources, and assist with project implementation. Applications will be available in March 2024 following completion of the webinar series. Communities with commissioners/volunteers that participate in the webinar series will be given priority for this hands-on assistance.
Webinar Series Details
Community Conservation for Wildlife
Wednesday, February 7, 2024 @ 4:00-5:15 PM
Communities play an important role for wildlife and habitats in New Hampshire. As Conservation Commissioners, you are stewards, educators, protectors, and planners. This workshop will discuss how you can identify your community’s values and goals around wildlife and how to prioritize actions to meet those goals. We will introduce tools and resources available to help you learn about the wildlife and habitats in your town, including the NH Wildlife Action Plan, and provide real-world examples of actions your Conservation Commission can take.
About the Presenters:
Wildlife Conservation State Specialist, UNH Cooperative Extension
In her role as the Wildlife Conservation State Specialist with UNH Cooperative Extension, Haley works with volunteers, landowners, natural resources professionals, and communities to enhance, restore, and conserve wildlife habitat throughout New Hampshire. She manages outreach, citizen science, and stewardship projects related to New Hampshire’s wildlife species and their habitats, including for species of greatest conservation need. Haley coordinates the NH Coverts Project, Taking Action for Wildlife, and the Women in the Woods program. She received her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science & Natural Resources Management from the University of Rhode Island and earned a Master’s of Science in Wildlife & Conservation Biology from the University of New Hampshire.
Community Conservation State Specialist, UNH Cooperative Extension
Emma has worked at UNH Extension for nearly 15 years in a variety of roles. In her current role as Community Conservation State Specialist, Emma works with conservation professionals and volunteers to support their work in protecting New Hampshire’s natural resources. She coordinates educational and professional development opportunities for land trust staff, conservation commissioners, landowners, and others with interests in land conservation and land stewardship. She has been a member of the Taking Action for Wildlife team since she started working at UNH Cooperative Extension.
Land-Use Planning for Wildlife
Wednesday, February 21, 2024 @ 4:00-5:15 PM
Municipal and regional conservation planning requires multiple tools for protection of natural resources. Land acquisition and conservation easements are typical methods. But, has your community explored zoning and other planning-related actions to protect your important natural resources? This workshop will provide an overview of land-use planning options, including examples of how various ordinances help protect wildlife habitats. We will discuss how a natural resources and habitat protection audit of municipal planning documents (eg, Master Plan, zoning ordinances, and other regulations) can identify opportunities for wildlife-related protection. Case studies of zoning that protects wildlife and habitats will be included, illustrating how land-use planning can be used in your community. You'll want to add this technique to your conservation planning toolbox!
About the Presenter:
Principal Ecologist, Moosewood Ecological LLC
Jeffry Littleton is very enthusiastic about exploring our natural world. He is the principal ecologist at Moosewood Ecological LLC, having more than 30 years of experience in ecological studies and environmental education. He specializes in conservation planning, land management and stewardship, habitat restoration/enhancement, and native plantings to promote biodiversity and ecological resilience on multiple scales. Moosewood Ecological provides assistance to a wide range of entities, including private landowners, federal and state agencies, and municipalities, as well as land trusts and other non-profit organizations. Jeffry employs a systems approach to understand the spatial dynamics of the environment, blending conservation biology with the ecology of landscapes. Jeffry serves as an adjunct faculty at Antioch University where he provides course instruction on forest community ecology and interpreting past land use histories from clues remaining in our forested landscape. In addition, he is a member of the Cheshire County Cooperative Extension Advisory Board.
Wetlands for Wildlife
Wednesday, March 6, 2024 @ 4:00-5:15 PM
Fens, bogs, vernal pools, scrub/shrub swamps, emergent and forested wetlands, and beaver impoundments. Wetland diversity is key to wildlife biodiversity and conservation in NH. This workshop will help you distinguish between wetland types and discuss the wildlife species associated with each. A special focus on at-risk turtle species will be covered and the conservation actions and management practices being conducted in the state. Other topics will include beaver management, buffers, Best Management Practices, land protection, environmental review, and funding.
About the Presenter:
Wildlife Biologist, NH Fish and Game
Josh Megyesy is a wildlife biologist with NH Fish & Game's Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program. He specializes in at-risk turtle population monitoring and conservation. working with state, federal, municipal partners, and NGOs closely to manage, create, and enhance wildlife habitat in NH. Josh also works on NHs Reptile and Amphibian Reporting Program and regional planning for herpetofauna research.
Wildlife Biologist, NH Fish and Game
Melissa Winters is a Certified Wildlife Biologist for the Nongame & Endangered Wildlife Program at the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department where she manages the Environmental Review Unit and the conservation efforts for several species of wildlife including reptiles, amphibians, freshwater mussels and tiger beetles. Melissa also manages the NH Reptile and Amphibian Reporting Program/Wildlife Sightings and works closely with the Natural Heritage Bureau in the management of the state’s wildlife records. Melissa received her MS from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and has extensive experience in both the public and private sector working with a variety of wildlife taxa, including state and federally listed species.
Town Lands for Wildlife
Wednesday, March 20, 2024 @ 4:00-5:15 PM
Local municipal conservation properties are often at the heart of beloved natural areas in their communities. We are fortunate to have abundant and diverse wildlife populations across our state. Stressors such as fragmentation of larger habitat blocks, proliferation of invasive species, and climate changes are impacting the ability of some of our wildlife species to survive and thrive in our state. Town-owned lands offer great opportunities to benefit a diversity of wildlife species. Town lands can also serve as a model for environmental stewardship and provide educational opportunities by showcasing wildlife habitat enhancement opportunities. In this session, we will discuss some of the actions communities can take to create, manage, and restore important habitats to support wildlife.
About the Presenters:
Executive Director, NH Association of Conservation Commissions
Barbara Richter has served as the Executive Director for the New Hampshire Association of Conservation Commissions since 2016. She has more than 20 years of experience in communications, administration and land conservation in NH. Her extensive experience in land protection includes working at the Center for Land Conservation Assistance at the Society for the Protection of NH Forest, where she supported local and regional land trusts in their land protection initiatives. Barbara also worked at the Monadnock Conservancy in the role of Stewardship Coordinator and Membership Coordinator. She has first-hand experience with conservation commissions as a previous chair of the Surry Conservation Commission and an appointed member of the City of Keene Conservation Commission. She understands the required duties of conservation commissions and is familiar 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 Frank and a small dog named Winni.
Natural Resources Field Specialist, UNH Cooperative Extension
Wendy Scribner serves as a field specialist in forestry and natural resources in Carroll County, and she is also known as the Carroll County Forester. Wendy provides landowners, communities, and others with assistance on managing their woodlots. Topics include enhancing wildlife habitat, improving forest and tree health, developing management plans, selling timber, and controlling invasive plants. Wendy is a licensed forester in both NH and Maine and holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Forestry from UNH.