Clean Water/Healthy Trout: Join Us June 13

Eastern brook trout, our native fish, and are an iconic symbol of New England. What’s good for brook trout is also good for people and for all sorts of wildlife. We all need clean water, and that means healthy streams. 

Volunteers help capture fish for quick study.

Volunteers help capture fish for quick study.

Bring the whole family to kick off a creative new approach to conserving and restoring brook trout habitat.this Friday, June 13, at the Dow Field in Franconia. NH Fish & Game bologists, volunteers from Trout Unlimited, ACT, and Plymouth State University are offering all sorts of activites for centered on trout, fishing, and streams. Plus, great food, and the Wicked Smart Horn Band. And it’s free admission!

3 p.m. – 6 p.m. workshops, demonstrations, crafts. Fly and spin casting workshops, capture fish and insects in the Gale River, aquatic insect identification, learn to tie a fly that looks like the real insect; crafts for kids: make your own trout, create your own acquatic creatures, and more! 

4 p.m. Spawning Run! Obstacle course. 

5 p.m. Food catered by Wendel’s (for purchase), baked goods by trout volunteers support the project. 

7:30 – 9:30 Wicked Smart Horn Band

It’s all part of the celebration of 55 years of tri-town recreation. 

Read more about our new initiative, Clean Water Healthy Trout. Better yet, contact us (office@aconservationtrust.org) to help out this summer as we take the project into the field. Volunteers are needed and welcome!

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Bugs, Birds, and Butterflies Discovery Walk Saturday

Calling Kids of Any Age! 

What crawls, creeps, and flies through our fields? Come find out by exploring with the Ammonoosuc Conservation Trust this Saturday, June 7 at 2 p.m. at the Whipple Field Conservation Area on Route 117 in Sugar Hill, next to Polly’s Pancakes.

This event with ACT naturalist Steve Sabre will be especially fun for kids and (grand)parents, but anyone of every age is invited. We will be looking closely at insects and watching for resident birds on this historic farm field and its adjacent marsh.

If you have binoculars, a magnifying glass, or a butterfly net, please bring them. Remember your bug dope, too!

As a special incentive, kids participating in this Bug, Birds, and Butterflies Discovery Walk will receive a discount coupon for their family to Polly’s!

Parking is in the Polly’s lot. For more information, stop by the ACT table Saturday at the Lupine Festival on the lawn of the Sugar Hill town offices, or call Steve Sabre at 823-5942.

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Lisbon students help restore Ammonoosuc River

Students from Lisbon Regional School helped us tremendously by planting 1500 (!) willow, dogwood, and elderberry stakes along the banks of the Ammonoosuc River. Our goal is to stabilize the riverbank and decrease erosion by revegetating the bank and the floodplain.

This work is on a new property we’ve just acquired between Route 302 and the river. We are calling it the Ammonoosuc River Wildlife Management Area.

 

 

Hard work!

Hard work!

 

We hope the willows will grow this tall.

We hope the willows will grow this tall.

 

Members of Lisbon's National Honor Society, leadership program, and PAWS (Panther Adventure Wilderness Society) all helped out.

Members of Lisbon’s National Honor Society, leadership program, and PAWS (Panther Adventure Wilderness Society) all helped out.

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Birds, Breakfast, and Hike Sunday

Birds and Breakfast at Adair Country InnAdair Logo_smaller

Please join us this Sunday (May 25) of Memorial Day weekend for an early morning bird walk and special breakfast, or after lunch for our monthly Last Sunday hike.

ACT and the Adair Country Inn just off  Route 302 in Bethlehem on Guider Laneare offering a great event for birders of all ages and experience. Everyone is invited to do a bird walk with expert birders through the grounds of the inn, and then enjoy Adair’s sumptuous breakfast, including their famous popovers.

Chestnut-sided warbler lives in young forest and meadow edges.

Chestnut-sided warbler lives in young forest and meadow edges.

The bird walk will start at 8 a.m. and the breakfast at 9:30. RSVPs are appreciated for planning! The all inclusive cost of breakfast is $15. The bird walk is free.

ACT has held a Memorial Day weekend bird walk for a number of years. It’s a great time to hear and see breeding birds including warblers, tanagers, vireos, and thrushes. The Adair property is over 200 acres of fields, wetlands, and forest, and it promises to be a lovely walk.

Bring your binoculars, bug dope, and bird book if you have one. We will introduce birding by ear, so bring your ears, too. This walk is suitable for walkers of all ages, and will go on paths and trails. Kids of all ages are encouraged!

To make a reservation so there will be enough popovers, by Friday please call ACT volunteer coordinator Angela Broscoe at (978) 828-5903 or e-mail her at ambroscoe@yahoo.com.

Last Sunday Walk at 1 p.m.

Our Last Sunday of the month walks are a great way to meet new friends and enjoy the land. At 1 p.m., we will start at the log landing at the Foss Forest on Pearl Lake Road,  located 1.3 miles west of the intersection of Route 117 and Pearl Lake Road in Sugar Hill. Going from Sugar Hill toward Lisbon, the access is on the left, and will be identified by the hike leader’s red Toyota Prius. Coming from Lisbon, the access is on the right.

Bring your bug dope, binoculars, children, dogs, and camera, and be prepared to be out for about 90 minutes. This will be an easy hike through moderate terrain with great views.

For more information, call Rosalind Page at 838-6520.

 

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Bird Hike and Trout Conservation Saturday

Spring seems late this year, but by this weekend there should be many new migratory songbirds in the woods. Everyone is invited to explore a stretch of the Ham Branch in Franconia this Saturday, May 10 to look for birds and other wildlife.

Canada warbler

Canada warbler

After the bird walk, a presentation will be offered on a new project to protect and restore habitat for eastern brook trout, New Hampshire’s native trout. The project is focused on the Ham Branch in Easton and Franconia, and the Salmon Hole Brook in Sugar Hill and Lisbon.

Both events are sponsored by the Ammonoosuc Conservation Trust, and are graciously hosted by ACT members Jane and Ned Brewer. The walk will start at the Brewer’s home at 71 Ridge Road in Franconia. From Bickford Hill Road, turn onto Ridge Road and the house is the first on the left. The bird walk is from 7:30  – 9 a.m. Bagels and coffee will be served. The trout presentation will be at 9 a.m.

Collaborating with ACT on the brook trout project are NH Fish & Game, the Ammonoosuc chapter of Trout Unlimited, and Plymouth State University. On Saturday, students from PSU will describe work they plan to do this summer as interns for the project.

brook trout

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Last Sunday Hike Today

Meet at 1 pm. at the Foss Forest log landing on Pearl Lake Road, 1.25 miles from the Pearl Lake/Route 117 intersection, in Sugar Hill. Rain or shine. ACT holds a walk every last Sunday of the month. Friends, kids, dogs all welcome!

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American marten & Canada lynx: lecture April 24

Two rare species, American marten and Canada lynx, are expanding their range in New Hampshire and it’s possible that both may be found on the Cooley-Jericho Community Forest in Easton.

ACT invites you to come hear about marten and lynx at a presentation by a NH Fish & Game wildlife biologist who has researched both animals. Jillian Kilborn will speak at the Franconia Town Hall on Thursday, April 24 from 6:30 – 8 p.m.

American marten

American marten

Everyone is invited to start the evening with light refreshments, and BYOB, at Wendel’s café in Franconia at 5 p.m. In addition to seeing friends old and new, come see maps of potential new trails on the Cooley-Jericho Community Forest and see the results of our winter wildlife tracking. Members of the CJCF management committee, ACT, and the ecologist who’s been working the with the CJCF committee will be there.

Kilborn has worked for the NH Fish & Game Department since 1998 in a variety of positions including fisheries technician, bear project intern, non-game and endangered species technician, and now as the assistant regional biologist in the Lancaster office.  Her current job responsibilities include managing the 25,000-acre Connecticut Lakes Natural Area for the state as well as coordinating American marten research and management statewide.

American marten and Canada lynx appear to be expanding their distribution in New Hampshire and in nearby Vermont, and Kiilborn will talk about the recent work that has been done to document this expansion.

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In Memory of Robert Starr

Our sympathies to the family of Robert Starr, a life long lover of the White Mountains and Cannon Mountain, who passed away at the age of 86. Our gratitude to his family, who  request that donations in his memory be made to ACT. You may do so by clicking here.

You may also send a check to ACT, 107 Glessner Road, Bethlehem, NH 03574. Donations are tax deductible.

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“Green” Timber Tour Sunday!

Everyone interested in using horses for logging, in how timber harvesting can be done to increase the long-term value of woodlands and enhance wildlife habitat and recreational uses, and in the latest “green” standards for forest management, is invited to tour our active timber harvest this Sunday, Feb. 23, at 1 p.m.

Our Foss Forest is being harvested right now. Horses and conventional skidders are being used to drag trees out of the forest. This forest tour will start at the Foss Forest log landing on Pearl Lake Road, 1.3 miles west of the intersection of Route 117 and Pearl Lake Road in Sugar Hill.

The Foss Forest at the height of summer, 2011, when foresters and wildlife biologists recommended we plan a timber harvest.

The Foss Forest at the height of summer, 2011, when foresters and wildlife biologists recommended we plan a timber harvest.

The harvest is being managed by consulting ecologist Jesse Mohr of Native Geographic, LLC, and forester Jeff Smith of Butternut Hollow Forestry. Smith, along with logger Bruce Streeter of Orford, will on hand to discuss the goals of the timber harvest and how horses and machinery are used to the benefit of the forest.

The management plan and timber harvest are following best practices as described in “Good Forestry in the Granite State.”  The Foss Forest is a certified New Hampshire Tree Farm. It is also certified as sustainably managed by the international Forest Stewardship Council, meaning that timber from the forest may be sold into “green” markets, potentially at premium prices. The timber has also been marked to meet “Foresters for the Birds” guidelines. On the Foss property, we are trying to encourage understory and mid-story habitat for songbirds, while also promoting regeneration of valuable saw timber species.

ACT, Mohr, and Smith are all members of the Forest Guild, a national organization that promotes the “practice of responsible forestry as a means of sustaining the integrity of forest ecosystems and the human communities dependent upon them.”

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Last Sunday Hikes – next one Feb. 23

Every last Sunday of the month we will host a hike on our conservation land. Details will be here, on Facebook, and in The Courier and Littleton Record. The inaugural hike of this series was from the Foss Forest parking area on Pearl Lake Road in Sugar Hill, up through the Bronson Hill Conservation Area and to the cabin (not on ACT land, but a favorite place to visit. About a dozen people and lots of dogs participated on a splendid sunny day. Thanks to Lynn Bart for sharing her photos!Image 13

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