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.

580 Acres Protected in Nelson

A winter view from Osgood Hill, looking east to Nubanusit Lake and Crotched Mountain. (photo: Russ Cobb)

We are delighted to announce that the Harris Center and Nelson Conservation Commission have completed the first phase of the Osgood and Hurd Hill land protection project in Nelson. This 580-acre parcel includes the highest peaks in Nelson and the second-highest peak in all of Cheshire County, as well as headwaters for three separate regional watersheds: the Ashuelot River, Nubanusit Brook, and the North Branch of the Contoocook River. The conservation of this property also greatly enhances an existing 1,700-acre corridor of protected land, which provides an expansive, unfragmented block of critical wildlife habitat and offers tremendous recreational opportunities.

The Harris Center plans to sell the parcel to the Town of Nelson for use as a town forest −  open to the public for low-impact recreation − while retaining a conservation easement on the land. This important conservation project was made possible through support from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, the Quabbin to Cardigan Partnership, the NH State Conservation Committee (Moose Plate Program), and generous donations from many friends of the Supersanctuary. For more information or to make a tax-deductible contribution in support of this project, please contact Jeremy Wilson at wilson@harriscenter.org or (603) 525-3394.