Every day is Earth Day at NRCS. This Conservation Showcase highlights stories of farmers, forest land owners, and partners working together with NRCS to protect New Hampshire's soil, water, animals, plants and air. We hope that through these stories, you'll understand how NRCS is helping people help the land every day. Many of these documents require Acrobat Reader.
In a state that's 85% forested, managing this important resource is essential for long-term sustainable use and enjoyment. Forest management is important for private landowners, wildlife habitat, forest products industry as well as recreation and tourism. There's tremendous interest in forest management plans and implementing those plans. NH NRCS is collaborating with UNH Cooperative Extension to work with private foresters through the USDA's Technical Service Provider (TSP) Program.
Learn more here (28 KB, pdf)
Dick Wollmar of Moor Farm is a seasoned farmer and a veteran to high tunnels. Through New Hampshire's Pilot Program, he installed a high tunnel on his Northampton-based farm in 2010. He shares his satisfaction with the technology over the 2010-2011 winter season and how he is also using it as a classroom for a new farmer.
Learn more here (86 KB, pdf)
Meg Bickford of Diamond B Farm in New Durham, New Hampshire, shares how her interest in farming and livestock developed and what she is planning for the future of this family farm. TheEnvironmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) has assisted the Bickfords in several ways, including establishing a rotational grazing plan and waste storage plan.
Learn more here (98 KB, pdf)
Meet Jackie and Chris Caserta, co-owners of the Inn at Valley Farms and Walpole Valley Farms. Relatively new to the profession of farming, they and their family are committed to sustainable agricultural practices. Motivation came from seeing the potential to have a profound impact in feeding our local friends and neighbors with wholesome food and knowledge, says Chris Caserta. Through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), they have incorporated practices including rotational grazing, vegetable growing season extension, and a forest management plan. Now, they are educating their customers and guests.
Learn more here (354 KB pdf)
Working with New Hampshire Fish and Game (NHFG), NH NRCS helped remove a washed out culvert and restore an obstructed channel in Second College Grant. The property, located in the northeastern part of the state, contains waterways that are considered some of the best Native Brook Trout habitat in NH. Through the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP), the fish can now move up and downstream and NHFG can access different parts of the property. Learn more (20 KB pdf)
This project repaired a dirt road for better forest and hay land access. When the landowner's hay truck could no longer access the field due to degradation of the roadway after a few years of high rainfall events, she applied for a contract under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program to help with technical and financial assistance to repair her access road. The damaged road breeched the lower berm of a vernal pool, inhabited with breeding wood frogs and spotted salamanders, allowing water to escape and depositing sediment in the pool. In order to protect the vernal pool and upgrade the road, the berm was reinforced between the road and the pool. The road bed was smoothed into a broad-based dip in the wet areas and geotextile fabric, with stone, was added to provide a firm roadbed and drain water from the road. On either side of the wet areas, gravel was added to raise the roadbed. The landowner can now easily access the hayfield and forestland, and the wetland is intact for its inhabitants and no longer has sediment from the eroding roadbed.
The New Hampshire Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is a leader in promoting the use and benefits of high tunnels. NRCS offered seasonal high tunnels as a conservation practice for the first time in fiscal year 2010 as part of a three-year trial to determine their effectiveness in conserving water, improving soil health, increasing yields, and reducing transport of agricultural pesticides. With $705,469, New Hampshire obligated the fifth largest amount of money for high tunnels, behind Alaska, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Missouri. NH funded 79 high tunnels, the tenth most among the states, and helped build four additional demonstration sites. NRCS continues to provide outreach, technical, and financial assistance for high tunnels.
Learn more about the Seasonal High Tunnel Pilot Program (2 MB pdf)
The Maple Guys of Lyndeborough, New Hampshire, recognized for the best maple syrup in the state enhanced their production of the regional product with the Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) program. They introduced a clean-burning gasification wood burning evaporator, the first of its kind in New Hampshire. CIG promotes innovative conservation approaches and technologies that support environmental enhancement, such as the evaporator.
Learn more about The Maple Guys (426 KB pdf)
Over forty acres of active, prime farmland were permanently protected from development through partnership with the Trust for Public Land, the Town of Hampton Falls, the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance, and the Rockingham County Conservation District and through the Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP).
Learn more about the Raspberry Farm Conservation Easement (445 KB pdf)
An open space jewel of southeastern New Hampshire, Stonehouse Pond was valued for its wildlife habitat, recreation opportunities, and beauty. Working through the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP), the strong partnership of the Trust for Public Land, Strafford Rivers Conservancy (SRC), New Hampshire Fish and Game, and the Town of Barrington successfully protected over 240 acres of land surrounding and including Stonehouse Pond.
Learn more about Stonehouse Pond Conservation Easement and Restoration (570 KB pdf)
This on-going project involves technical and ecological expertise to protect and restore native Eastern Brook Trout in the tributaries of Nash Stream in the Nash Stream forest, the state's largest forest. This site hosts bridge construction technology that is newly used by NRCS in the Northeast. Partners include Trout Unlimited, New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development, and the New Hampshire Department of Fish and Game.
Learn more about Slide Brook Crossing (740 KB pdf)