Since 2009, NHFG's Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program has been working to create a network of restored shrublands and young forest for the benefit of wildlife that need this habitat to thrive. Much of this habitat has disappeared in the last half-century, as farms that were abandoned have either transitioned to a more mature forest structure, or have been converted to development. There has also been a long-term decline in shrub wetland habitat, often created by beaver activity throughout the New Hampshire landscape. This large-scale landscape transition has led to a serious decline in species such as, among others, the New England cottontail, Ruffed grouse, and American woodcock; various songbirds such as the Whippoorwill, Chestnut-sided warbler and Eastern towhee; and reptiles such as the Black racer and Smooth green snakes.
NH Fish and Game is recruiting landowners who may be interested in helping us create more shrubland and young forest, with New England cottontail work being focused in the Seacoast and Merrimack Valley areas, and additional habitat projects desired throughout southern New Hampshire. We are looking for landowners with forested tracts, especially those over 20 acres in size, or fields they would like to transition into shrublands, who may be interested in implementing habitat restoration work. We are especially interested in landowners that already have a forest management plan in place, although we can also provide contacts for foresters that can help guide this initial step in the process. Funding is often available for this habitat restoration work.
For more information, please contact Tom Brightman, Wildlife Habitat Biologist, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 603-271-5860.