Environment

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.

EPA Twitter

The Environmental Protection Agency says it will treat wood fuels from managed forests as carbon-neutral. It could give New Hampshire's timber industry some long-term certainty.

Charlie Niebling has worked around the Granite State's forest products industry for decades. He says scientists have never agreed on if biomass fuels, like wood chips, offset more carbon than they produce. 

 

Niebling thinks biomass can have a net carbon benefit if it's harvested from a well-managed forest and burned efficiently. 

 

Tom Murray via BugGuide.net

We often think of the “food chain” in the natural world in linear terms: this eats that, which in turn, is eaten by the other. But today’s subject proves that chain is a little more like a web. The species we’re talking about today feeds on the most dangerous game, the apex of apex predators…us. And the speicies that prey on us? Mosquitos, of course! We recently spoke with Sarah MacGregor, an entomologist and founder of Dragon Mosquito Control, help us learn more about them.

Municipalities across New Hampshire are struggling to keep up with the rising costs of recycling programs.

Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with Laconia Public Works director Wes Anderson about how he’s working to reduce those costs in his city.


A common theme on Something Wild is breeding. (Which is why we always sip our tea with our pinkies extended.) Seriously, though, we talk about the how, when and where because there are a lot of different reproductive strategies that have evolved in nature. Today we take a closer look at two such strategies through the lens of "how often": semelparity and iteroparity.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

 

Renewable energy advocates say they want to see more communities cutting emissions and pushing for offshore wind development in New Hampshire.

 

The League of Conservation Voters launched a new campaign in Portsmouth on Wednesday to push for those reforms at the state and local levels. 

 

Courtesy batwrangler via Flickr/Creative Commons.

It’s an unmistakable sound. One that elicits memories, sights and scents of events long ago. It recalls the joy of youth, the possibility of a spring evening. But it can also incite insomnia and the blind rage that accompanies it.

Jason Moon for NHPR

New research from UNH says nuisance flooding of roads on the East coast has increased by 90 percent over the last two decades.

Nuisance flooding occurs as a result of normal tidal activity. It's the kind of flooding that can happen on sunny day with calm weather.

The new report estimates that nuisance flooding is already causing over 100 million hours of delays for drivers each year. As oceans rise, the report says, so could that number.

Maine In, N.H. Out for Energy Contract with Massachusetts

Mar 28, 2018
Sam Evans-Brown /NHPR

Massachusetts energy officials have announced they're going with Plan B to bring Canadian hydroelectric power to the Bay State.

They've selected a back-up project that runs transmission lines through Maine, after New Hampshire state regulators refused to allow Plan A – the controversial Northern Pass project.

But the Maine project, known as New England Clean Energy Connect, also faces an uncertain future.

In Massachusetts, the announcement got kudos and criticism from those closely watching the state's selection of a massive clean energy project:

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

More than 100 responders from dozens of state, federal and local agencies were busy in Portsmouth Thursday, practicing their response to a hypothetical oil spill.

These exercises happen every year on the Piscataqua River between New Hampshire and Maine – but the made-up crisis they game out is always changing.

Carroll Brown is New Hampshire’s oil spill contingency planner. He says this year’s scenario imagined flying debris from a winter storm, rupturing an Irving Oil diesel tank on the riverbank in downtown Portsmouth.

Jason Moon for NHPR

The state Fish & Game Department is warning anglers not to eat the fish from a river on the Seacoast. As NHPR's Jason Moon reports, they're citing concerns about chemical contamination.

Each year, Fish & Game stocks Berry's Brook in Rye with several thousand brown trout.

The river begins in Greenland near the Coakley Landfill. That's a superfund site known to have high levels of perfluorochemicals, or PFCs, which are suspected carcinogens.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

The state’s deal with the Saint Gobain plastics company to fix water pollution in southern New Hampshire is unprecedented in size – but officials say it doesn’t cover everything.

The deal was announced this week, and environmental regulators answered residents’ questions about it at a public meeting in Litchfield Thursday night.

https://youtu.be/Aw7CgEYs7M8

With spring on the way, state conservation officials say it's time for residents to take in their bird feeders.

Even as winter weather continues, the Department of Fish and Game's bear project leader Andrew Timmins says bears are waking up – and they're hungry for rich, fatty foods like birdseed.

"Bears have excellent memories. They know where they've got 'em in the past, and they'll routinely check those areas to see if those feeders are still available,” he says. “And they'll just start searching backyards in general looking for that food.”

EPA

The state Senate wants to take a closer at asbestos-related lawsuits in New Hampshire.

They voted Thursday to form a study committee on issues of transparency and speed in asbestos litigation.

Twenty years ago this week, New Hampshire Audubon, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests and NHPR took our first tentative steps on a journey that would take listeners on weekly outdoor adventures all over the state.

Something Wild’s very first episode featured host, Rosemary Conroy, then with SPNHF, encouraging us to go outside and look and listen for the early signs of spring.

In the intervening decades, we’ve covered a lot of ground; whether it was Rosemary walking through the finer details of forest succession… 

NHPR File Photo

 

The New Hampshire House has passed a bill that would kick-start further cleanup of the Coakley Landfill Superfund site in North Hampton. 

 

Lawmakers on Wednesday voted against a committee’s recommendation that the idea be studied further. Then, they passed the bill, 207 to 118. 

 

The measure tells the state Department of Environmental Services to spur remediation at Coakley by getting money from the towns and other entities responsible for the pollution. 

 

Greta Tamošiunaite / Flickr

As the snow starts to melt you might notice a stark contrast in the landscape.  Maybe you were driving down the highway and noticed one shoulder was covered with snow while the other side was bare with a faint tinge of spring green shoots.  The cause?  Slope and aspect.  

Chris Shadler

Chris Schadler is a wild canid biologist, and for about 25 years, her specialty has been the coyote. The first confirmed case of coyotes in New Hampshire was an individual found in a trap in Holderness in the mid 1940s. But they have likely been here longer, because as Schadler points out, they didn’t parachute into Holderness, they will have migrated south from Canada.

BOEM

Seacoast residents can weigh in tonight on a federal proposal to drastically expand offshore drilling around the country.

The North Atlantic makes up about 3 percent of the oil and gas resources federal officials want to put up for lease. Governor Chris Sununu and many other Northeast lawmakers oppose the plan.

Courtesy of New Hampshire Audubon

Fisher populations are down, there’s consensus among wildlife biologists at least about that. But why that is happening is open to debate, as is what to do about it. 

Something Wild sat down with a couple of wildlife biologists recently who disagree; Meade Cadot, former Executive Director of the Harris Center for Conservation Education, and Patrick Tate, leader of the state’s fur-bearer project for NH Fish and Game.

Courtesy of Chad Witko

Rollinsford doesn’t attract many high profile visitors. It’s a rural community on the New Hampshire-Maine border, with a small downtown and modest houses along Main Street. Perhaps the quiet appeal of the place is to thank, in part, for why a rare bird has taken up residence there.

Annie Ropeik for NHPR

Patriots fans will be rooting against the Eagles in the big game this weekend. But they might have missed another Superbowl last weekend that was all about the birds.

In the Massachusetts Audubon Society’s annual Superbowl of Birding, dozens of birdwatchers flock to the Seacoast and the Bay State’s Essex County for a 12-hour birding blitz. 


Moose Hunt Lottery Opens in New Hampshire

Jan 29, 2018
USFWS David Govtaski

  The moose hunt lottery is now open in New Hampshire.

The 2018 applications must be postmarked or submitted online by midnight on May 25, or delivered to the licensing office at the Fish and Game Department headquarters in Concord before 4 p.m. that day.

Winners will be selected through a computerized random drawing on June 15.

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