Maple Potluck, March 22, 2009
Peck Farm on Blakes Hill Road
To celebrate the Vernal Equinox and the beginning of Spring, NALMC sponsored a neighborhood potluck on Sunday March 22, 2009. The event was hosted by Kathryn and Byron Peck at their farm on Blakes Hill Road. With sap flowing strong and fast, and snowflakes swirling in the air, nearly 30 people came by to visit, connect with neighbors, and see how maple syrup is made.
The group collected sap from tapped trees on the property, added it to the boiling pan, and shared the task of skimming off foam and impurities as the sap boiled on the wood-fired stove. It was mesmerizing to watch the sap bubble in the pan as heat and steam did their work, slowly evaporating most of the liquid to create sweet, dark maple syrup.
NALMC Neighbors enjoyed a variety of potluck goodies including this unusual treat – hot dogs boiling in maple sap. Everyone also received a sample jar of Peck’s delicious syrup. Many thanks to the Pecks for their hospitality and their education in making maple syrup.
A letter from Dan Sperduto:
“It was fun to take part in the NALMC sugaring event at the Peck’s, see some old friends, and new faces from our old neighborhood. Your efforts with NALMC have given me a new source of hope for conservation. What I like about it is that it is more of a neighborhood/bottom-up than a top-down kind of approach. It is so common these days for people to be disconnected with one another despite proximity. I think a lot of good can come from an approach that starts with people, helps to connect them, and builds community and trust. The common land around them pulls it all together. From there, hopefully it will open the doors for people to listen to one another, share information, understand the land around them, and hopefully be better stewards in the end.
I think part of the trick is to not force anyone to manage their land in any particular way, but to educate and inspire them to be good stewards. I think this is possible, even in the context of widely different individual objectives and perspectives. Some of the landowners in the NALMC area, as elsewhere in NH, have an innate distrust of government and for people telling him what to do. At many levels I respect that perspective, although there is also an appropriate place for regulation. The biggest challenges in conservation are probably not matters of regulations and violations, but the need to build understanding and appreciation and respect for the land, and that can not come from laws. I think the partial antidote for distrust of “Big Brother with all the answers” is building community and trust, and focusing on education, persuasion, and listening. People are more likely to be responsive if they are confident that, in the end, how they manage their land is their choice.
Dan Sperduto, Ecologist
March 23, 2009
Controlled Burns & Fire Management Workshop, April 13, 2009
Harmony Hill Farm, Northwood
On April 13, 2009, the Northwood Area Land Management Collaborative (NALMC) hosted a workshop on controlled burning of farm fields at Harmony Hill Farm in Northwood. This annual field burning is done in conjunction with the Northwood and Epsom fire departments. Near 40 firefighters and other interested fire professionals from around the state attended. This burn event is the largest grassland fire training event held in NH.
The workshop gives local fire departments an opportunity to train fire fighters in open field fires, at the same time as it serves as a land conservation and open space management practice for Harmony Hill Farm.
Stewart Yeaton, Epsom Fire Chief and training event organizer said “the training is invaluable practice that you can’t get in a classroom; and it helps the landowner to keep his fields open. It is a win-win situation.”
Information on fire ecology in New England can be found at news.nationalgeographic.com.
Opening of 5-mile Hiking Trail, June 26, 2009
NALMC Neighborhood and Northwood Meadows State Park
The trail begins at Northwood Meadows State Park and continues in a westerly direction across the privately owned Harmony Hill Farm, before returning to the State Park. The trail meanders through a variety of fields, hills and woods that have been managed to encourage habitat for wildlife.
Harmony Hill Farm gladly welcomes hikers, but please no motorized or other types of wheeled vehicles on the portion of the trail that runs through Harmony Hill Farm.
The idea for the trail emerged from a unique partnership of public and private landowners in Northwood that is working on ways to collaborate on habitat management, recreational trials, and other management goals. NALMC includes the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development (DRED), the Town of Northwood, Coe Brown Northwood Academy and the University of New Hampshire, as well as several private landowners.
“NALMC was created so that abutting landowners can work together on common objectives, achieving results none of us could achieve alone,” said Carl Wallman, private landowner and the current chairman of the group. “We want to build a model for this type of land management that can be adopted by landowners in other parts of the state. This 5-mile trail is an example of neighbors working together on a recreational project.” NALMC is also turning its energies to forestry, wildlife and natural resource management.
“Rarely can a single property provide all the habitat components required by wildlife. That’s why it’s so important that we look beyond our stone walls when making management decisions about our forests and wildlife habitats,” commented Jim Oehler, State Lands Habitat Biologist for the New Hampshire Fish & Game Department and vice chairman of NALMC. “NALMC provides an incredible opportunity to collaborate on a grand scale, working with our neighbors to have a truly meaningful impact on wildlife in the Northwood area.”
Discovery Day, July 11, 2009
Northwood Meadows State Park
By all accounts, the first ever Northwood Meadows Discovery Day was a big success. It was the first beautiful day in several weeks with a light breeze, full sun and no mosquitoes. Throughout the day nearly 300 visitors strolled the park trails stopping by the different exhibits and demonstration booths to try fishing, learn about lumber jack operations, identify water bugs and wildlife specimens, find out more about land protection efforts in the local area, take walks to view wildlife and their habitats, and watch the sawmill operation and fire management demonstrations.
Sign Spectrum’s Discovery Day sign at the park entrance provided an eyecatching invitation to the event, while further down in the park the NH Locked Moose Antler Project’s display created a dramatic and up-close wildlife greeting for visitors.
Volunteers and those needing assistance tooled around on golf carts donated by Northwood RV, and we celebrated the 20th birthday of Northwood Meadows State Park with two big birthday cakes donated by Hannaford Supermarket. Northwood Crank Pullers put on a big cookout for the crowd as well.
Ed Burtt and his family who originally owned the park land, were celebrated as well – with tokens of appreciation from NALMC and the Town of Northwood, and from the Northwood Crank Pullers Snowmobile Club. Ed and others who were instrumental in the formation and preservation of the park shared their insights and perspectives – on the importance of the park, land conservation and stewardship, and the public/private partnerships such as NALMC – that can bring diverse groups of people together to support common land-related goals. Johanna Lyons of NH Division of Parks and Recreation read and presented to the Town of Northwood, the Governor’s Proclamation of Northwood Meadows Discovery Day.
After the ceremony, Ed Burtt graciously autographed copies of his self-published book History and Remembrances of Northwood Meadows State Park. Just before July 11th, Ed had also created and starred in a video-taped tour of the park which supplements his book. The DVD tour, a DVD of the day, and limited copies of Ed’s autographed book are available for purchase with proceeds supporting Discovery Day and the park itself.
Thanks to all our partners and friends.
Discovery Day would not have happened at all, if not for the dedicated and hardworking team of local volunteers – most of whom didn’t know each other before – who came together over several months to plan and organize the event, and most importantly, to
help out on July 11th. Volunteers handled logistics, parking and visitor assistance; did event set-up and tear-down; created and placed signage; had trail clearing and improvement work days; and spruced up the park to welcome more visitors than ever before.
We are especially grateful to the NH Charitable Foundation – Otto Fund for providing grant funding to support NALMC education and outreach activities culminating in Discovery Day; and to Bear-Paw Regional Greenways for acting as NALMC’s fiscal agent.
We would also like to thank all those who helped make Discovery Day bigger and better than we could have expected – the volunteers, exhibitors, speakers, NALMC partners, and the individuals and businesses that provided in-kind and/or financial donations:
Northwood Conservation Commission
Northwood Fire Department
Northwood Historical Society
Town of Northwood, Board of Selectmen
Deerfield Fire Department
NH Fish and Game Department
NH Department of Resources and Economic
NH Department of Environmental Services
UNH Cooperative Extension
East Coast Container Services
DL Docko and Son
Barking Dog Sound
Waste Management Inc.
Heritage True Value Hardware
Solene Web Design
St. Joseph’s Church
Lamprey River Watershed Association
Matras Farm Equipment Repair
NH Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation
NH Coastal Watershed Invasive Plant Partnership
NH Council of Telecom Pioneers
NH Locked Moose Antler Project
Northwood Country Market
Northwood Crank Pullers Snowmobile Club
Saddleback Mountain Lions Club
Strafford Regional Planning Commission
UNH Woodsmen Team
Dennis and Dolly Theriault
Coe Brown Academy Track Team members
Jeff and Laurie Lalish
Tom and Johanna Chase
Dr. George Newman
John Wimsatt and family
Please contact NALMC to purchase a DVD of Discovery Day, a DVD of Ed’s video tour or an autographed copy of Ed’s History and Remembrances of Northwood Meadows State Park. These are all unique items – first-hand looks at how the park came to be and its special features.
“Dirt” Screening, September 24, 2009
Camp Yavneh, Northwood
Apple Cider Potluck, October 14, 2009
The Lalish’s – NALMC Neighbors
Patch Cutting – Forestry Management, October 21, 2009
Forest Peters Wildlife Management Area
NH Fish & Game Department in cooperation with NH Department of Resources and Economic Development (DRED) conducted a timber harvest at Forest Peters Wildlife Management Area in Northwood. The harvest area included thinning 24 acres in a hemlock stand and a series of clear cuts totaling 24 acres in a pine-oak-maple stand. The area was accessed from Winding Hill Road.
The hemlock thinning was part of a research project conducted by the USDA Forest Service to study the relationship of silvicultural strategies for hemlock management in eastern forests that may be threatened by the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (Adelges tsugae).
According to the USDA Forest Service, the hemlock woolly adelgid is native to Asia, and is a small, aphid-like insect that threatens the health and sustainability of eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) and Carolina hemlock (Tsuga caroliniana) in the Eastern United States. Hemlock woolly adelgid was first reported in the Eastern United States in 1951 near Richmond, Virginia. By 2005, it was established in portions of 16 States from Maine to Georgia, where infestations covered about half of the range of hemlock. Areas of extensive tree mortality and decline are found throughout the infested region. The woolly adelgid has already been found on Northwood Lake but has not yet made its way to the Forest Peters Wildlife Management Area.
The proposed clear cuts were designed to regenerate young forest habitats in pine-oak-maple stands to create valuable wildlife habitat, already in decline in this region of the state. The cuts ranged in size from 5-10 acres each. These openings enhanced habitat conditions for wildlife species listed in the NH Wildlife Action Plan that will be a primary target for management in the project area, including black racer snakes, smooth green snakes, whip-poor-wills, and ruffed grouse among other species.
A public tour was held in August, and actual harvest activities began in September, depending on availably of the contractor who was awarded the bid. The Forest Service will continue to monitor the site for 10 years to study the effects of timber management on forest health.
Click here for a map of the Patch Cut areas.