Environment

Sara Plourde | NHPR

If you’re interested in more information about how to get outside during the COVID-19 Pandemic, check out the latest episode of Outside/In, or the episode of the Exchange from earlier this week.

New Hampshire residents could be forgiven for being slightly confused about whether they’re allowed to go for a hike or not. 

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

The state is trying to reassure environmental advocates in the wake of a controversial federal decision to ease pollution enforcement during the pandemic.

Flickr Creative Commons | C Watts

Every other Friday on Morning Edition, Outside/In host Sam Evans-Brown tackles a question from a listener. 

Sara in New Orleans asks: “I’m calling because every time I think I’m very good at recognizing shore birds, I get mixed up by the fact that some of their bills change color during the different seasons, and I’m just so confused by how this happens and how long it takes for it to happen.”

Chuck Taylor / Flickr Creative Commons

The state is setting new limits on eating fish from Squam Lake after some species were found to contain high levels of a likely carcinogen.

The Department of Environmental Services says it found PCBs in small-mouth bass and yellow perch from the lake.

Past research had shown high levels of the toxic industrial chemicals in loon eggs and sediment from the lake. 

Now, DES says people should limit consumption of these fish -- even further than they would under normal state guidelines.

Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests

Despite Gov. Chris Sununu’s stay-at-home order, which takes effect at midnight Friday night, New Hampshire residents are still allowed -- and encouraged -- to go outside to exercise.

But not every hiking and walking spot is available or safe to use during the coronavirus pandemic, according to conservation groups

Flickr Creative Commons | Rod Haley

Every other Friday on Morning Edition, Outside/In host Sam Evans-Brown tackles a question from a listener. 

Right now, many New Hampshirites are home, giving us a unique opportunity to question the nature invading our personal spaces.

Click here for all of NHPR's coronavirus coverage, including the latest news, FAQs, and more.

John K via Flickr CC

A new bill in Congress would give states $20 billion over the next 10 years to test and treat their water supplies for toxic PFAS chemicals.

New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is a lead sponsor of the Democratic legislation, along with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and Delaware Sen. Tom Carper.

Weirs Cam / Winnipesaukee.com

New Hampshire's frozen lakes and ponds are starting to thaw as winter winds down, and state officials want citizens to send in their observations of local "ice out" dates.

Joe Klementovich / Hubbard Brook

New Hampshire scientists unveiled a landmark study Friday of how ice storms affect northern forests.

The first-of-its-kind research, from the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in North Woodstock, could help landowners and emergency managers plan for future disasters.

Flickr Creative Commons | William A. LaCrosse III

Every other Friday on Morning Edition, Outside/In host Sam Evans-Brown tackles a question from a listener. 

Gary from Randolph asks: "I was curious as to whether Lyme disease affects wildlife. Do fox, moose, bear and other critters suffer from Lyme disease?"

You may have heard that dogs can get Lyme disease. You may have also heard that cats don’t. What gives? 

Courtesy WMNF

The White Mountain National Forest is expanding with the addition of a popular rock climbing destination in Rumney.

The federal forest will now include 85 acres in the Rumney Rocks area. It includes trails and a parking lot built recently by the Rumney Climbers’ Association.

Nonprofits have raised money and gotten federal funding in recent years to build out the trail and climbing route system and prevent erosion on the cliffs.

NH Preservation Alliance

Senate lawmakers on Thursday advanced a plan to expand state conservation funding, while voting down an alternative supported by Gov. Chris Sununu.

LCHIP

Gov. Chris Sununu says he'd support a budget increase for a popular state conservation fund. It’s the latest turn in a running debate on the issue with state lawmakers.

Sargent Corporation

House lawmakers heard sharply divided testimony Thursday on plans to limit the development of private landfills in the state.

State regulators are monitoring how this winter’s low snowpack could affect water supplies in the dry summer months.

The state has between 60 and 75 percent less snow on the ground than average right now. State water division director Tom O’Donovan says that's just one source of the state’s drinking water and other water supplies – in reservoirs, lakes and wells.

Stuart Meek; Wikimedia Commons

House lawmakers worked on a bill Monday that would require more insurance coverage for tick-borne disease testing – focusing on more than just Lyme disease.

The bill comes from Rep. Megan Murray, a first-term Democrat from Amherst. 

Wikimedia Commons

Every other Friday on Morning Edition, Outside/In host Sam Evans-Brown tackles a question from a listener. 

Clair from Plymouth asks: “Why do cows have four teats and just about every other animal that doesn’t have litter has two?

This has been a topic of scientific inquiry going back all the way to Aristotle who first posited the idea that in mammals, the number of teats is — as a rule — double the number of offspring in the average litter.

Paul LaRochelle (screenshot)

Alton Bay's famous ice runway will stay closed this winter due to unsafe ice conditions.

Paul LaRochelle is the state official in charge of the seasonal runway on Lake Winnipesaukee – the only one in the Lower 48 states.

He says the ice around the runway needs to be 12 inches thick to support maintenance vehicles and hundreds of aircraft.

This year, LaRochelle says warm weather has made the ice inconsistent – so he's keeping the runway closed.

NH Fish & Game

Environmental groups say a new state rule, which has support from the construction industry and could become permanent, puts endangered species at greater risk from development.

For years, state regulation has mandated that development projects “not result in adverse impacts” to a list of more than 50 critters that the state considers threatened or endangered.

Andreas Levers via Flickr CC

The state Senate passed two key bills on PFAS chemical contamination Thursday.

One bill, which passed unanimously, would re-establish new state rules that set limits on PFAS in drinking water. These limits were the strictest of their kind in the country at the time.

Rye Police

Rescuers in Rye safely moved a young seal that made its way onto Route 1A during a high tide Friday morning.

Marine mammal rescuers at the Seacoast Science Center helped get the gray seal pup out of harm’s way near Rye Harbor while local police directed traffic around him.

Rescuers say they've seen this weanling a couple times in the past few days, at beaches in Hampton. He's thought to be about six weeks old and still figuring out life away from his mother.

  Every other Friday on Morning Edition, Outside/In host Sam Evans-Brown tackles a question from a listener. 

Sarah from South Carolina Asks: “My husband and I were discussing the very interesting topic of dog toots. So we were curious as to whether or not all animals can pass gas?”

This is how it ends. We all start out doing important journalism — holding the powerful to account — but you keep at it long enough and it all devolves into flatulence. 

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

A plan to offer loans for New Hampshire towns to cover the cost of new limits on PFAS chemicals in drinking water got bipartisan support from state lawmakers Tuesday.

The state's strict PFAS limits were supposed to take effect last fall, but are on hold under a court injunction.

Forest Service

The Forest Service welcomes public input at a meeting tonight on some upcoming logging and trail work near Waterville Valley.

Federal officials are planning a round of activities for the southeastern edge of the White Mountain National Forest.

Saco District Ranger Jim Innes says the parcel hasn't seen this kind of attention since the 1990s.

File photo

New Hampshire environmentalists and lawmakers say a new Trump administration rule could lead to more drinking water pollution.

The rule is a replacement for the Obama-era regulation known as Waters of the U.S., or WOTUS. Trump has long argued it was too burdensome to farmers and developers.

Trump’s now-final WOTUS replacement will remove federal oversight from millions of miles of wetlands and streams that don't feed directly into navigable waterways.

Every other Friday on Morning Edition, Outside/In host Sam Evans-Brown tackles a question from a listener. 

Bob From Deerfield Asks: This might be a dead end, silly question, but: are there any animals besides humans that enjoy music, and if so what genre do they prefer?

*Gasp* There are no dead end silly questions on Ask Sam! Perish the thought!

NOAA Fisheries

New Hampshire is drafting plans for how its lobster fishery will help meet new federal goals for protecting endangered North Atlantic right whales.

Seacoast lobstermen weighed in on the proposal at a meeting Thursday night in Portsmouth with the state Department of Fish and Game.

Governor Chris Sununu has joined bipartisan calls for Congress to permanently fund a key federal land and water conservation program.

The decades-old Land and Water Conservation Fund, or LWCF, has provided nearly $40 million in grants for hundreds of New Hampshire's state parks, heritage sites and other outdoor preservation projects.

Alix Contosta / UNH

Scientists say winter warm spells – like the one the Northeast saw this past weekend – are in line with predictions for climate change.

Nearly every New Hampshire city and many in surrounding states set daily high temperature records on Saturday and Sunday, with peak warmth in the high 60s.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

The Air Force says it will study whether people stationed at Pease Air Base in recent decades got cancer at unusually high rates.

Former service members have been calling for a study like this for more than a year.

Pages