“New Hampshire Mammals: Mounts, Scat, Skulls, and Pelts” Begins March 2

Studying skulls can tell us much about the lives and times of New Hampshire mammals. (photo: Eric Aldrich)

Join Susie Spikol Faber to learn about the lives and times of New Hampshire mammals. This indoor series will be very hands-on, working with the Harris Center’s natural history collection to identify and categorize skulls, scats, pelts, and forms. Through observation, sketching, and field guides, you’ll learn to differentiate the mink from the otter and the gray fox from the red.

This three-week Environmental Studies Institute (ESI) course begins on Wednesday, March 2. For more information, including complete dates, visit the ESI webpage.

Harris Center Opposes Bobcat Hunting & Trapping in New Hampshire

Baby bobcat photo: Tianne Strombeck (www.tianimal.com)

In 1989, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department (NHFG) wisely ended bobcat hunting and trapping in New Hampshire due to the decline of the state’s bobcat population. Now, the NHFG Commission has voted to move forward with a proposal for a bobcat hunting and trapping season in the Granite State. The complete proposal can be viewed here. The Harris Center does not believe that this proposal is ecologically or economically sound. Read our full, formal resolution opposing a bobcat hunting or trapping season in New Hampshire here.

We are particularly concerned about the bobcat population estimates upon which this proposal is based, which have high margins for error and which do not take into account severe winter conditions (cold with deep snow) known to be detrimental to bobcat survival. In addition, the proposal has generated strong public opposition. Therefore, for the well-being of the New Hampshire bobcat population and for the sake of the public’s support for NHFG, the Harris Center strongly opposes any effort to re-open a bobcat hunting or trapping season in New Hampshire.

NHFG is now soliciting public comment on the bobcat season proposal. Written comments must be received by February 10, 2016, and can be emailed to comments@wildlife.nh.gov (use “Bobcat Season Proposal” in your subject line) or mailed to Executive Director, N.H. Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301. In addition, a public hearing has been scheduled for Monday, February 1, at 6 p.m. at Representatives Hall in the N.H. State House in Concord.

Janet Altobello Receives Conservation Educator of the Year Award

Janet Altobello waxes poetic on nature in winter. (photo: Ruth Ward)

Congratulations to the Harris Center’s own Janet Altobello, who has received the Hillsborough County Conservation District Conservation Educator of the Year Award for 2016!

In her 25 years with the Harris Center, Janet has shared the wonder of the natural world with thousands of learners of all ages, and helped to pioneer place-based nature education in the Monadnock Region.

“When I think of what it means to be a teacher committed to natural resource stewardship and conservation education,” says Harris Center naturalist Susie Spikol Faber, “I can think of no one more deserving than Janet Altobello…Janet loves being outside with children, teaching them how to slow down and observe the quiet unfolding of our world. Time with Janet in the outdoors is always a treasured adventure.” We couldn’t agree more.