Field trip will explore Wendell Marsh area in Sunapee

Sunapee, N.H. – A 1000-acre unfragmented block of forest land, wetland, streams and fields lie between NH Route 11 and Ryder Corner Road in Sunapee. Join the Sunapee Conservation Commission and Ausbon Sargent on Saturday, January 26 from 1 to 3:30 p.m. as they explore 136 acres of this area along Wendell Marsh, which is the first conserved land in this unfragmented block.

The field trip will follow along a recreational trail and bush whack off trail to Wendell Marsh. Participants will learn about the area’s natural environment, its trees, forest and wildlife habitat.

Efforts are underway to conserve this property.  Participants will also learn about what remains to be done to complete the project.

Bring snowshoes if conditions call for it and dress warmly in layers with good boots. Refreshments will be served. Participants should be in good physical condition, able to walk up and down hills in potentially slippery conditions and be willing to walk off-trail.

Participants are asked to contact Ausbon Sargent with your name, the names of all in your party, and your phone number. For more information phone 603-526-6555 or e-mail: nsmith@ausbonsargent.org.

Transition Town training to be held in New London, N.H.

New London, N.H. – Students in the Third Year environmental science/studies major at Colby-Sawyer College are helping to build the infrastructure for a Transition Town initiative in the Kearsarge Valley Region as a part of their Community-Based Research Project.

They are hosting a training event for the Kearsarge Valley area on the weekend of November 9th-11th, 2012. Any and all interested community members are welcome to attend the training that will be held on campus in the Curtis L. Ivey Science Center.

“If you love expanding your knowledge while connecting with other enthusiastic community members, then please join us for a weekend full of discovery, excitement, and strategizing,” the release says.

“Transition Initiatives” or “Transition Towns” bring together local networks of individuals, businesses and organizations that are committed to improving the well-being and resilience of their communities.  Drawing upon the ideas, skills and experiences of residents they develop positive localized solutions to discuss the regional impacts of larger global issues such as economic insecurity, environmental instabilities, and dependence on non-renewable energy.

To learn more about this event or to register,  visit www.kearsargetransition.wordpress.com or call Jillian Dervishian, 617-791-7910.

Tina Clarke and Simon Dennis, both Certified Transition Trainers, will facilitate this weekend event. Clarke has been an educator, advocate, director and consultant for nonprofit programs since 1985.  She has consulted with over 400 NGO’s and she has trained and advised over three dozen other Transition Initiatives.

Simon Dennis is one of the founders of Transition Town White River Junction, as well as the Center for Sustainable Practice, and has played key roles in organizing two successful community gardens.  He was also the co-founder and co-director of COVER Home Repair and the ReCover Store, a non-profit that works with volunteers to complete the community’s most urgently needed home repairs and sell donated building materials and household goods to support this mission.

This three-day course is an in-depth experiential introduction to the Transition Movement. Packed with imaginative and successful ways to engage your community, the course describes how to catalyze, build, and facilitate a successful Transition Initiative. It delves into the theory and practice of Transition that has worked well in hundreds of communities around the world.

Training Schedule:

  • Friday, Nov. 9th 5:30-9 p.m. Potluck Dinner & Discussion. Free and open to the public.
  • Saturday, Nov.10th 9:30-5:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, Dec.11th 12-5:30 p.m.

Number of participants is limited. Cost for the weekend: $90 – a few scholarships are available. For more info and to register, e-mail: transition.town@colby-sawyer.edu.

To Sunapee Green-Up volunteers: Thank you!

The 2012 Sunapee Green-Up Day zone captains and registration crew: Front row from left, Judy Balyeat, Charlotte Brown, Ruanne Miller, Loretta Dewey, Barbara Chalmers. Back row from left, Rose Batts, Nancy Clark, Betty Reid, Diana Wyman, Valerie Davey, Muriel Bergeron, Meagan Reed, Rhonda Gurney and her daughter Lilianna. Green-Up Day was Saturday, May 5.

By Rose Batts

Another Sunapee Green-Up Day Success!

A special thank you goes out to the 120 volunteers who pitched in on the fourth annual community roadside clean-up on May 5th.

120 volunteers including local school students (some shown here) participated in Sunapee’s town-wide clean-up.

Participants collected 130 bags of trash, 95 bags of recyclables, a dozen tires and many miscellaneous large odds and ends.

We also want to express our appreciation to all who donated supplies and handouts for the event as well as food and beverages for the celebration picnic in the Harbor after the event.

They include: All Terrain Company, Hannaford’s Market, Lake Sunapee Bank, Pizza Chef, Pizza Market, Sanctuary Dairy Farm, Sugar River Bank, Sunapee Police Department, and Sunapee Seniors.

Thank you for the wonderful show of community spirit!

Next year, Sunapee’s Green-Up Day will be May 4, 2013. Please save the date.

Photos by Rose Batts, Sunapee

Sustainable Living Series: Planting for Pollinators

While planning and planting your garden this spring, think of our pollinators — those hard-working animals that help pollinate over 75% our flowering plants and nearly 75% of our crops.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service reports: “Pollinators need your help! There is increasing evidence that many pollinators are in decline.  However, there are some simple things you can do at home to encourage pollinator diversity and abundance.”

In the Lake Sunapee region, a free workshop about Appreciating Honey Bees in the Garden and Planting for Pollinators, will be held at Colby Sawyer College in New London, New Hampshire, on Saturday, May 19, from 1-3:30 p.m., at the Ivey Science Center. The workshop is open to the public and is part of the college’s Sustainable Living Series.

The workshop instructor is bee keeper Amy Antonucci, who has worked in organic agriculture for over ten years and served as vice president of the Seacoast Beekeepers Association of N.H., and organizes their annual Bee School. Amy is certified permaculture designer, goat-herder, chicken-keeper, and student of herbal medicine.

>> For more information, view the flyer below or contact Jennifer White, the college’s sustainability coordinator, at jhwhite@colby-sawyer.edu.

>> To download and share the flyer, click here. (PDF Beekeeping Flyer for 5-19-2012 1.2MB)

>> To learn more about the college’s sustainability initiatives, visit www.colby-sawyer.edu/greenroutes

Sunapee Green-Up plans townwide clean up

Green up. Clean up.

Saturday, May 5, 2012, is the fourth annual Sunapee Green-Up Day. Volunteers will turn out across town to pick up road-side litter from 9 to noon.

Sign up now!

You’ll find registration forms, street maps and safety tips posted at www.sunapeegreenupday.com. Forms are also at the town office building and library.

This is how it works: You gather your friends and family, and organizers give out street assignments, bags and gloves. (Suggestion: Bring sturdy work gloves.)

You can sign up early for a specific street assignment by calling Rose Batts at 603-763-4920.

Sections of Routes 103, 103B and 11 offer a vigorous work-out! Call Rose if you can help. She can also explain how to take part if you are not available on the 5th.

  • Check-in is at 8:30 a.m. at the Safety Services building, Sargent Road.
  • An appreciation picnic for volunteers starts at noon at Ben Mere Park, Sunapee Harbor. Event sponsors provide food and beverages.
  • The rain date is May 6.

Last year, 165 volunteers gathered over 500 bags of trash, which was later sorted for recyclable materials. Organizers look forward to even more participation this year!

View/download the event poster: 2012 Green-Up Day flyer (PDF 373KB)

Ausbon Sargent celebrates 25 years of land protection

Photo: Clark Lookout affords a magnificent view of Lake Sunapee with Mt. Sunapee in the distance.  A trail map of this easy .5 mile hike can be viewed at www.ausbonsargent.org/trails.

Today’s Earth Day week focus is on land conservation in the Mt. Kearsarge-Lake Sunapee region — the work of the Ausbon Sargent Land Preservation Trust.

Since 1987 Ausbon Sargent has been protecting our special, open spaces: farms, forested lands, streams and wetlands. These areas contribute mightily to the regional landscape.

Their protected properties now number 120 and total 9,742 acres with over 7 miles of shore frontage including 4,700 feet of frontage on Lake Sunapee. This work involves stewardship and education and lots of support from volunteers and community partners.

To learn more: View the map of properties. Read about the organization’s history and namesake. View a gallery of protected lands.

And here’s what’s coming up — special events and volunteer opportunities — as Ausbon Sargent celebrates its 25th birthday!

>> “Landscapes for Landsake” art exhibit at New London Hospital from May 25 through mid-September.

>> Thursday’s Child Benefit Dinner on May 31, 2012

Rockwell’s at the Inn and the New London Inn presents Thursday’s Child dinners to benefit local nonprofit organizations. Dine at Rockwell’s at the Inn (in the main dining room or the tavern) and 50% of the profits from the evening will go to Ausbon Sargent. For reservations, phone 603-526-2791.

>> Training Workshop: Monitoring Protected Properties on June 6

Help protect land by training to be one of Ausbon Sargent’s 90 land steward monitors. Call the Ausbon Sargent office for more information and to register with Sue Andrews at 603-526-6555 or email sandrews@ausbonsargent.org.

“We have been so successful adding new protected properties that we need an additional 12 easement monitors. This is a wonderful opportunity to be in the woods making a concrete contribution to saving our rural landscape,” says land protection specialists Andy Deegan and Beth McGuinn.

>> Spring Ledge Farm Feature, Main Street, New London on June 10
Starting at 4:30 p.m., take a tour of the farm and enjoy listening to guest speaker, the former Commissioner of Agriculture, Steve Taylor.

>> “Happy Birthday, Ausbon!” on the New London Town Common on June 11

Come to the party on the green (from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.) for a tribute to Ausbon Sargent, on his birthday. There will be music and stories and entertainment reflecting on Ausbon and the New London Common, which he purchased in 1985 and gifted to the town for conservation and enjoyment by future generations.

New Hampshire’s loons need your help!

Advocacy alert: SB 224 is critically important legislation to New Hampshire’s loons. (Click on the links at the bottom of the article for more information and contacts.)

A fresh layer of snow blanketed New Hampshire this week, but rain arrived this weekend, and warmer days will follow.

In the spring, when the ice melts away from our lakes and ponds, the loons are among the first to return. Yet a persistent and preventable hazard awaits them.

Common Loon by John Rockwood. Courtesy of the Loon Preservation Committee.

Photo by John Rockwood. Courtesy of the Loon Preservation Committee.

Lead, a silent killer

The threat comes from lead fishing tackle, the largest contributor to documented adult loon mortality in the state, according to the Loon Preservation Committee.

New Hampshire lawmakers are looking at what to do about this silent killer.

The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources is considering SB 224 . If enacted, it would strengthen current law, which fails to include jigs weighing less than one ounce but measuring longer than one inch. Sponsors of the bill are Senators Odell, Lambert, Forrester, and Carson; and Representatives Newton and Belk.

The Department of Environmental Services says SB 224 “would cover tackle that is the size range known to be ingested by loons.”

Supporters say SB 224 is critically important in helping to protect N.H.’s loons.

Loon mortalities in New Hampshire - Loon Preservation CommitteeFrom 1989-2010, lead fishing tackle caused the death of 119 loons, which represents 50% of the total adult loon mortalities for this time. And lead jigs caused 50% of the poisonings, LPC reports. (Click on the chart for a larger view.)

LPC comprehensively studied the effect of lead on N.H.’s loon population for the years 1989 through 2010. Formed in 1975, LPC does state-wide monitoring, research, management and outreach to preserve loons and their habitats.

“Lead fishing tackle is having a population-level impact on New Hampshire’s loons,” says LPC Senior Biologist and Executive Director Harry Vogel.

Loons are often perceived as an icon of a healthy lake. Because they feed at the top of the aquatic food web, loons are a biological indicator specified for contaminants in our lakes… If enacted, SB 224 would help to eliminate a pollution source that threatens the health of our lakes”  – Commissioner Thomas S. Burack, NHDES

Opponents to SB 224, including bass fishing advocates and tackle industry representatives, claim the science does not support changing the law, and the other threats to waterfowl are more significant.

LPC’s data, however, shows: “Lead has by far the largest impact in limiting New Hampshire’s loon population growth and viability of any currently quantified stressors.”

Opponents also argue the cost of fishing will go up if the law passes.

Threatened species

N.H. Fish and Game lists the Common Loon as a “threatened species.”

Population estimate: 550 adult loons.

Loons face multiple growing challenges: from domestic and wild predators, from loss of breeding areas to development and recreation, and from environmental pollution.

Lead poisoning occurs when ingested lead is absorbed into the blood stream. A loon with lead poisoning will die within 2 to 4 weeks after ingesting the lead tackle.

Taking action

In addition to legislative efforts to keep lead out of N.H. waters, environmental groups are active.

Locally, Lake Sunapee Protective Association offers a one-for-one exchange, a non-lead sinker for each lead sinker returned. And a 30-member, LSPA committee monitors loon sightings around Lake Sunapee and local ponds. The reports then go to the LPC.

“Get the Lead Out” is a statewide, summer campaign. LSPA, the Pleasant Lake Protective Association and the New Hampshire Lakes Association will again promote the effort in 2012.

LPC manages a program that provides artificial nesting rafts to loon pairs.

Yet in 2010, “despite a record number of nesting rafts floated by LPC staff and volunteers, the benefit to our loon population of our intensive raft program was entirely negated by just 11 pieces of lead tackle,” Vogel says. LPC staff and volunteers collected 11 loons that died from ingested lead fishing tackle in 2010. This was the highest number LPC has recorded to date.

The evidence is clear. Our loons need help. Lawmakers should close the loop hole in the lead-fishing-tackle law and adopt SB 224.

Click on the links to:

Learn about dragonflies on this guided walk

Did you know there are more species of dragonfly found in New Hampshire than in the whole state of California?

Land Steward Specialist Carrie Deegan from the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests and Andy Deegan of the Ausbon Sargent Land Preservation Trust will lead an easy, short walk on Thursday, August 11 (rain date Friday, August 12) from 2 to 4 pm on the Forest Society’s Langenau Forest in Wilmot.

Participants will learn how to identify the major families of dragonflies and damselflies while capturing and releasing them in the field. Children are welcome!

Pre-registration is required. For more information or to register, email signup@forestsociety.org or call Tina at 603-224-9945 ext. 313.

Photos courtesy of the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. Boy with dragonfly by Carrie Deegan. Dragonfly by Andy Deegan.

Founded in 1901, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests is the state’s oldest and largest non-profit land conservation organization. Supported by 10,000 families and businesses, the Forest Society’s mission is to perpetuate the state’s forests by promoting land conservation and sustainable forestry. For more information, visit www.forestsociety.org.

The Ausbon Sargent Land Preservation Trust preserves the rural landscape of the Mt. Kearsarge/Lake Sunapee region. For more information, visit www.ausbonsargent.org.

Sunapee Green-Up Day is May 7th

  • Learn more about Sunapee Green-Up Day by clicking on the poster above…or go to: www.sunapeecleanupday.com/greenup/.
  • Download, print and share the 2011 Green-Up Day poster (PDF 262 KB) here: Green-Up Day 2011 Poster
  • Find what you need to know at the Green-Up website. It includes street maps, volunteer forms, and helpful tips for participants.
  • And if you need more information, contact Rhonda Gurney, Sunapee, or Sunapee Road Agent Tony Bergeron.

Black Mountain will be conserved

The Forest Society has confirmed that Black Mountain will be conserved. The organization has raised the $1.2 million needed to acquire the 1,025-acre property located next to Mount Kearsarge in Sutton and Warner.

“Black Mountain is part of one of the largest and most ecologically important forest blocks in New Hampshire south of the White Mountains,” said Forest Society President/Forester Jane Difley. “Only last week we were still $14,000 shy of our goal, but since then we have received a blizzard of donations. This outpouring of support shows that land conservation remains a high priority for people.”

“The support that we received from the Sutton and New London conservation commissions, the Ausbon-Sargent Land Preservation Trust, the Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway Coalition, and the local snowmobile community has been key to this project’s success,” said Difley. “We are so grateful to everyone who has helped us to conserve this important piece of the Mount Kearsarge landscape.” Continue reading

Forest Society Hosts Black Mountain Events

The mountain’s streams and cascades drain to the Blackwater and Warner Rivers. Photo by Jerry and Marcy Monkman, EcoPhotography.

This autumn, the legacy of conserved forest land surrounding the open summit of Mount Kearsarge could see a new chapter as the Forest Society works to purchase 1,025 acres on Black Mountain in Sutton and Warner adjacent to Mount Kearsarge.

Learn more about the conservation project at these upcoming events:

• A hike of Black Mountain on Saturday, Oct. 23 from 10 am to 4 pm. Preregistration is required. Call 603-224-9945 or email signup@forestsociety.org.

• Informational sessions—Wednesday, Oct. 27 at 7 pm at Tracy Memorial Library, New London, and on Thursday, Oct. 28 at 7 pm at the Sutton Town Hall. Continue reading

NH Forest Society Seeks to Protect Black Mountain

Earlier this month, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests announced it is working to purchase 1,025 acres on Black Mountain, a secondary peak of Mount Kearsarge in the towns of Sutton and Warner. If successful in raising $1.2 million by Dec. 15, the Forest Society will manage the property as one of its Forest Reservations.

 

Mount Kearsarge and Black Mountain together form a picturesque and historic backdrop to several communities. View from near NH 11 and NH 114 in Sutton. Photo by Jerry and Marcy Monkman, EcoPhotography.

 

Just two years ago, the land was advertised as a promising site for a residential subdivision. Today, the landowner has agreed to sell the parcel to the Forest Society, but the $1.2 million must be raised by Dec. 15. To date the Forest Society has identified funding sources for approximately $650,000 of the total.

For more information about Black Mountain or to contribute to the project, visit www.forestsociety.org/blackmountain, email skh@forestsociety.org, call 603-224-9945, or look for “Black Mountain, NH” on Facebook.

The Black Mountain project continues our century-long commitment to protecting the area around Mount Kearsarge, one of New Hampshire’s iconic peaks. We know that it will be a challenge to raise the funds in the short time frame, but we need to take advantage of this opportunity. – Forest Society President/Forester Jane Difley Continue reading

No Impact Man Comes to Warner Friday Night

No Impact Man

Image via Wikipedia

Tonight, Friday, March 12, the Warner film series continues with the screening of “No Impact Man.” The Warner Energy Committee, Pillsbury Free Library, MainStreet Bookends, and Warner Connects are sponsoring the movie that will be shown at MainStreet Bookends at 7 p.m. Author Colin Beavan began the No Impact Project in November 2006.

Newly self-proclaimed environmentalist who could no longer avoid pointing the finger at himself, Colin leaves behind his liberal complacency with a vow to make as little environmental impact as possible for one year. No more automated transportation, no more electricity, no more non-local food, no more material consumption . . . no problem. That is, until his espresso-guzzling, retail-worshipping wife Michelle and their two-year-old daughter are dragged into the fray. – Warner library event announcement

Refreshments will be served and discussion will follow the screening.  For more information call MainStreet Bookends, 603-456-2700, or visit: curiouslylocal.com.

Sunapee hosts Sustainable Living Study Circle

There’s still time to join Choices for  Sustainable Living, a study circle meeting at Sunapee’s Abbott Library, says Library Director John Walden. The discussion course meets at the town library on Thursdays from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tonight’s October 8th session is the second of seven meetings and will delve into “ecological principles.”

In an age when the word sustainable means a lot of things and reflects many ideals, this series gives us an opportunity to dig deeper into our own lives and decide what the term means to us, our families, and our community. — Mario Capozzoli, Sunapee.

“The fashion in which the Vermont Earth Institute (VEI) suggests we run our sessions allows each participant time for reflection, serious thought, and casual chit chat that revolves around a rigorous roster of well researched readings,” added Capozzoli.” I find this a successful way to explore new ideas in a small group setting.”

The library has the coursebook available for loan; participants read a chapter each week prior to meeting. For more information, call Abbott Library at 603-763-5513 or email info@abbottlibrary.org.

Capozzoli is founder of greatgrandmother.org–”your portal to an edible world”– a website devoted to the local sourcing of food and sustainable practices.

Advisory Panel Works on Plan for NH State Parks

The AP reports: An advisory council continues to work on a master plan for New Hampshire’s state parks after an earlier draft raised concerns that the state was planning to get rid of a large chunk of property. Brought to you via Nashuatelegraph.com.

Lorie McClorey, the Sunacom.com columnist for Grantham, writes: “Make reservations to attend the symposium ‘Water… More important than oil?’ from 4 to 7 p.m. Oct. 11 at the South Cove Activity Center. Sponsored by the Eastman Charitable Foundation, the program will address conserving water and land resources in Grantham, Springfield and Enfield. Participants will come from the conservation commissions in all three towns, the Eastman Lakes & Streams and SustainAbility committees, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, the Ausbon-Sargent Land Preservation Trust, the Nature Conservancy and the Upper Valley Land Trust.” Read more via Sunacom.com

The New Hampshire Energy and Climate Collaborative will hold a meeting on Thursday, October 8 from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Local Government Center, 25 Triangle Park Drive, Concord. The public and media are welcome to attend the working meeting, which is a continuation of the Collaborative’s efforts to facilitate the implementation of the NH Climate Action Plan, which was released by Governor Lynch in March 2009.

The Collaborative is in the process of developing the support and resources necessary to carry out its long-term efforts, including the development of a speakers bureau organized in cooperation with Clean Air – Cool Planet, and an inventory of the efforts already underway to address energy and climate issues across the state.

Further information about the NH Climate Action Plan can be found at: www.des.nh.gov by clicking on Hot Topics. For more information about the Collaborative and the upcoming meeting, contact Chris Skoglund, Energy and Transportation Analyst for NH Dept. of Environmental Services, 603 271-7624 or Christopher.Skoglund@des.nh.gov.

While at the NH-DES website, one can see the 2009 Fall drawdown dates for lakes and ponds around the Granite State. For Lake Sunapee, a 3-foot drawdown “from full” is to start October 13. It takes place in Sunapee into the Sugar River.

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