Back To Blog

Wildlife Habitat Improvements Slated for Kearsarge Wildlife Management Area NH

ANDOVER, N.H. -- The  New Hampshire Fish and Game Department and the New Hampshire Division of  Forests and Lands (NHDFL) report that a timber sale aimed at improving wildlife  habitat is slated for the Kearsarge Wildlife Management Area (WMA).  The operation, which could start as early as  this month, will occur on 157 acres of the 1,000-acre WMA and will be  supervised by NHDFL foresters. The harvest will help to partially open the forest floor  to more sunlight, allowing a new generation of trees to grow into a future  forest, while significantly enhancing wildlife food and cover at the same  time.  It will also provide more room for  the remaining trees to grow, not only adding to their future economic value,  but also improving their capacity to produce acorns and other types of hard  mast that are an important food source for many species. This project will also create six 1-8 acre patches of  young forest habitat - a habitat type that is declining, but provides life  sustaining homes for at least 70 different kinds of birds, mammals, reptiles  and insects throughout the Northeast. "When you remove all of the trees in an area, lots of  sunlight hits the ground, which causes stumps to sprout vigorously," says Jim  Oehler, State Lands Habitat Biologist for Fish and Game.  "The dense growth that results is very  important for a lot of wildlife." Some other expected wildlife benefits of the planned  harvest include: > Prey opportunities for bobcat, goshawk and other  raptors. > Improved nesting and foraging for eastern towhee,  wild turkey, Canada warbler, wood thrush, American woodcock and ruffed grouse. > Enhanced soft mast production (e.g., raspberries and  blackberries) that will help prepare Canada warblers, wood thrush, veery, and  other songbirds for fall migration, and provide an important food source for  bears pre-hibernation. > Improved woody browse and cover for white-tailed  deer and moose to help them through the winter. "We used to rely on Mother Nature to create patches of  young forest through flooding and beaver damming," says Oehler.  "Today forest management is used to mimic  these natural processes, which are largely curtailed to protect our roads,  homes, and businesses." "This project is a culmination of a lengthy state lands  planning process that ensures that we are providing a net benefit to wildlife  and the public without causing harm to other important public resources such as  rare plants and historic features," says Tom Natale, the NHDFL forester  overseeing this project.  This process  includes collecting data on the type, condition, and number of trees in the  project area; identifying and mapping streams and wetlands and cultural  features such as stone walls; developing a prescription; drawing up a formal  project plan; obtaining plan review from sister agencies in charge of  conserving rare species, cultural features, and wetlands; and public  notification. The habitat enhancements that will result from this  project will also improve both wildlife viewing and hunting opportunities.  In addition to these benefits, this harvest  is projected to generate $1.1 million in economic activity based on estimates  provided by the University of New Hampshire - Cooperative Extension.  This economic activity comes in the way of  employment (loggers, mill workers, carpenters, retail sales, etc.), product  sales, and re-manufacturing value added products (homes, furniture, etc.). For more information on the Kearsarge WMA visit: Information taken from the NH Fish and Game website

Add Comment

Comments are moderated. Please be patient if your comment does not appear immediately. Thank you.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


  1. No comments. Be the first to comment.