Environment

Anderson/SPNHF

We don't often think of trees when we speak of "harvest." Corn is harvested; apples, tomatoes, squash are the fruits of the annual autumnal rite which is the province of our farmers. Maybe it's because those plants are harvested at the end of their lifespan that we don't lament the moment they are cut down. We're much more precious with our trees.

Via Youtube (Link to video in the story)

About 30 people gathered at the Urban Forestry Center in Portsmouth on Thursday to learn more an invasive species known as jumping, or snake, worms. 

Many of the gardeners wanted to know: how do we get rid of them?

Robert Garrova for NHPR

More than 100 people packed the lodge at Mount Sunapee Resort Wednesday night to hear from state officials about a proposed lease transfer of Sunapee State Park land.

YVONNE DE JONG & THOMAS BUTYNSKI

 

In the book The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss, a furry creature named the Lorax speaks up for the Truffula trees as they are being cut down. The character of the Lorax is generally seen as an outraged, even bossy spokesperson for the environment. But new research at Dartmouth suggests a different interpretation, in which the Lorax is actually part of the environment. Researchers believe the Lorax was inspired by real monkeys the author saw on a trip to Kenya in 1970.

Army Corps of Engineers, New England District

Researchers at UNH say they used computer modeling to study the impact of road salts on New Hampshire streams.

 

The team found that, on average, some 11 percent of streams in the Merrimack River watershed are affected by elevated salinity.

 

"And that is starting to -- we suspect -- impact aquatic habitats,” said Associate Professor Wilfred Wollheim, one of the study's authors.

 

Savannah Maher/NHPR

Hundreds gathered in Washington, D.C. on Saturday for the National Youth Climate March. A group of teenagers in Keene wanted to take a more local stand.

"When you see the climate marches in New York and D.C., you definitely feel sometimes as if you have to live in a larger city in order to be involved," said 17-year-old Eleanor Hayward, a rising senior at Keene High School and one of the organizers of the Keene Youth Climate Rally.

Courtesy Katja Schulz via Flickr/Creative Commons.

New Hampshire benefits from the presence of seven different turtle species. This week on Something Wild we’re taking a closer look at two of the most common species you can find all over the state: painted turtles and snapping turtles.

James Napoli

Dennis Follensbee took a hike in the White Mountains about a month ago. He wanted to get away, to find some peace and quiet. Or, as he puts it, “nature sounds and not people sounds.”

As he climbed out of the valley, the trickling of water from the brook below slowly faded away. The leaves rustled in the trees. But then, all of a sudden, he hit a ridge and everything changed.

“You feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere, pushing through the forest,” he said. “And then you hear the brrrrrruhhhh coming through, all the way from Lincoln, and you’re like, man!”

It turned out it was motorcycle week.  The noise was echoing across his path.

Flickr Creative Commons | Steven Guzzardi

This is the inaugural edition of a new segment we’ll be doing every other Friday on Morning Edition: “Ask Sam” in which NHPR’s Sam Evans-Brown tracks down answers to questions about the outdoors for our listeners.

Do Drought Conditions Affect Fall foliage?

Oh my gosh, Stephanie, Isn’t it a bit early to already be having fall foliage anxiety‽

SANBORN HEAD

An environmental group is challenging state approval of an expansion plan at the region’s largest landfill – Turnkey in Rochester.

The Conservation Law Foundation filed the appeal with New Hampshire’s Department of Environmental Services Wednesday.

It reiterates earlier arguments that expanding Turnkey Landfill goes against a state policy of trying to reduce waste. And it says the landfill’s owner, Waste Management, should address potential water contamination around the landfill before getting to expand it.

New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services

A team of researchers is sampling lakes across the Northeast this week as part of efforts to better understand what’s causing cyanobacteria blooms.

The blooms have become common in other parts of the country, including the Midwest, and are starting to pop up locally in New Hampshire and surrounding states. Scientists are unsure what’s driving the change.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu was on the Seacoast today, signing two bills dealing with chemical contamination and health risks. 

One bill could lead to stricter limits on PFAS chemicals in drinking water.  

Sununu spoke at Jenness Beach in Rye, near the Coakley Landfill Superfund site and Pease Tradeport.

Both are PFAS hotspots that have raised health concerns for neighbors.  

Evans-Brown/NHPR.

Outside/In host Sam Evans-Brown, joined us in the field this week at Something Wild. We were in Sutton, NH tracking some turkey vulture chicks, because Dave discovered some vultures living among the rocks in a nearby cliff-face.

Cities and towns across the state are struggling to keep their recycling programs afloat with rising costs of disposing material. 

But there is one exception, and that's the town of Derry. 

Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with Mike Fowler, the director of the Public Works Department for the town.


Courtesy of Colleen P of Newington via Flickr/Creative Commons.

In this part of the country the Corvid family includes blue jays, gray jays, crows, and ravens. And ravens – Corvus corax – are the smartest of this intelligent family, actually their brain to body ratio is on par with whales and the great apes. 

Annie Ropeik for NHPR

A long-running debate is heating up on top of New Hampshire's highest peak. It’s attracting more visitors every year, but some fear its delicate ecosystems are at risk from proposed development and overuse. 

Scroll to the bottom of this story to see a timeline of the history of development on Mount Washington.

Courtesy Heidi Asbjornsen

The specter of drought is often raised in these early days of summer. And for good reason, though water levels have returned to normal around the New Hampshire, state officials are still warning residents to remain cautious after last summer drought. And while we often fret about the health of our lawns and our gardens, Dave (from the Forest Society) wanted to address drought resistance among his favorite species, trees.

 

Courtesy Louise LeCLerc via Flickr/Creative Common

First Bitten is our periodic series at Something Wild where we study the people who study nature, and what set them on the path to do that. And this time around our two subjects under the microscope trace their love of nature back to their parents's nurture, specifically their fathers. 

Ron Davis grew up in Brooklyn, New York. Not a place known for for its lakes or streams or for vast expanses of wilderness; not a place you'd expect to find a future biologist. But that's where he started, "and because of the Second World War my love of nature became greatly enhanced."

 

Smithsonian's National Zoo via Flickr

The porcupine’s only real predator is the fisher. It takes a tough critter to eat a porcupine. Even coyotes, one of the state's apex predators, instinctually knows to leave porcupines alone – a trait that is sadly not shared by their domestic cousin, who rack up vet bills to have quills removed from their snouts.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Neighbors of the Coakley Landfill Superfund site in Greenland are optimistic the site may see further cleanup.

They met privately with top Environmental Protection Agency officials Monday.

The group held a press conference at the edge of a brook that runs alongside the landfill and contains high levels of potentially toxic PFAS chemicals.

“While this may have been called an emerging issue some time ago, it is now a top priority issue for the U.S. EPA,” said New England EPA Administrator Alexandra Dunn.

Qualsiasi/flickr

Today’s topic is thunderstorms. Summer in NH brings those triple H days – hazy, hot, and humid! On days like those there’s nothing more welcome than the arrival of a late-afternoon thunderstorm, leaving in its wake cool, refreshing air, scrubbed clean of haze and pollution.

People who live and work on New Hampshire's lakes will gather this week for their annual conference.

Andrea LaMoreaux vice president of New Hampshire Lakes. She says their annual Lakes Congress lets lakeside residents connect with scientists and regulators.

"We're all coming together to talk about not only how great our lakes are and celebrate them, but say hey, if in 25 years we want our lakes to be healthy, we really need to address some major threats," she says.

Courtesy Tony Alter via Flickr/Creative Commons.

We know…we’ve been remiss, and it’s time to talk about the elephant in the room. Something Wild, as you know, is a chance to take a closer look at the wildlife, ecosystems and marvelous phenomena you can find in and around New Hampshire. But over the years there is one species in New Hampshire that we haven’t spent much time examining. A species, I think that has been conspicuous in its absence. Humans.

  

Annie Ropiek for NHPR

Crews in the White Mountains will spend the summer repairing the oldest hiking trail in continuous use in America. Crawford Path has carried countless hikers to the summit of Mount Washington for nearly 200 years, and endured a lot of wear and tear along the way.

Now it’s getting a badly needed facelift, to mark the White Mountain National Forest’s hundredth birthday

Via apartments.com

New Hampshire-based developer Brady Sullivan is facing calls for more investigations at a building it owns in Rhode Island.

The Environmental Protection Agency has confirmed a report that it's investigating potential lead contamination at the Harris Mill Lofts in Coventry, Rhode Island.

Saratoga Associates

The state Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a much-debated wind farm in the town of Antrim.

Plans for the project began nearly ten years ago, but have been tangled in regulatory and legal battles. Nearby residents argue the proposed turbines threaten the natural landscape and wildlife, as well as human health.

Courtesy stillwellmike via Flickr/Creative Commons.

The battlefield is ancient. Strewn with the debris of generations. Trees splintered, rocks shattered. Neither side will yield this talus slope in the pursuit of that which is most coveted. This is Game of Stones.  

Actually, this is just another installment of New Hampshire’s Wild Neighborhoods, and this time we’re scaling the battle ground known as Talus. And there was some disagreement at Something Wild about whether we should call it “talus” or “talus woodland.”

Courtesy WikiMedia

Imagine yourself on a walk in the woods. It’s early spring; tiny tree flowers are clinging to branches. A nearby stream quietly gurgles and peepers pepper the air. Idyllic, right? Then, all of a sudden….a brobdingnagian buzz from a lilliputian louse! Paradise lost! (Sorry, mixing Miltonian metaphors.)

Well…maybe not. 

Jim Richmond via Flickr Creative Commons

Critics of the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant voiced concerns about the facility’s bid for a new license at an annual federal meeting in Hampton Wednesday night.

Officials with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission say the Seacoast plant is currently operating safely, despite cracks spreading through some of its concrete.

A Parrella/NHPR Staff

So, this partnership among NHPR, New Hampshire Audubon and the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests is one in which bird and tree knowledge is well represented. But much of the state’s wildlife, as you’ve no doubt noticed, can be classified as “other.” Today we tackle some of that other, in the form of the garter snake with Mike Marchand, Wildlife Biologist with N.H. Fish and Game.

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