Small Grants Program
Helping landowners improve wildlife habitat.
NH Fish and Game’s Small Grants Program help landowners who own a minimum of 25 contiguous acres restore or enhance habitat for wildlife. Funding of up to $4,000 per year (no more than $10,000 over a ten-year period) is available for the creation and/or maintenance of wildlife habitat within the property. Projects that may qualify for funding include: brush clearing or mowing to maintain grasslands and shrublands; release of old apple trees; and maintenance of woodland openings. In exchange for the grant, landowners agree that their land will remain open for non-motorized public access activities, including hunting. Download additional information below and contact your Fish and Game regional office to see if you have a project that qualifies.
Transcript of video:
like our homes the forests and lands around us also need to be maintained
and often misunderstood concept when we first looked at this property there there are about 50 acres that have been pretty much clear-cut and we came in we said oh this is the ugliest thing we've ever seen but the Mitchells soon realized their thoughts about clear cuts might be wrong when we moved in we were delighted to find that we had whippoorwills even at 4:30 in the morning we still enjoyed them and we also had tow he's the tow he's disappeared and the more we learned about early successional habitat the more we realized that we were losing the habitat that a lot of these birds that we were enjoying needed they realized something needed to be done our ideal used to be all old-growth forests that's that's all that anyone needs including me the wildlife and and we learned that that's really not the case and in different wildlife has different habitat requirements New Hampshire is lucky to have lots of mature forests but a habitat type that's dwindling from the landscape and is used by over 70 species is young forest it's an essential habitat needed by many songbirds like whippoorwills toki's and a whole host of other wildlife
it's really the structure of those forests that are important they're really dense and the young trees grow very close together and so they provide a lot of protection for a variety of birds especially but also mammals as well
but as New Hampshire's forests have matured that young forest habitat is harder to find and so are the many types of wildlife that needed different wildlife respond to different sizes of vegetation so if we want a diversity of wildlife species we need all those size classes on the landscape and the only way to get those is to either make it ourselves to plan for it and make it ourselves through cutting through commercial cutting or non commercial cutting or wait for mother nature to do it for us and often she doesn't do it in the right places on properties throughout the state the science of forestry and habitat management is being used to help create more habitat diversity through well-planned harvesting including clear cuts prescribed burning mowing and many other techniques the state's native wildlife will have an important ecosystem to help maintain healthy populations
we are on the Tucker property which is owned by southeast land trust it's about a 200 acre property and we are creating some openings for wildlife here this work is being done through a grant from the Natural Resources Conservation Service by creating a diversity of habitats on this property it will support a greater diversity of wildlife on this property most of the forest is the same age so the trees are all pretty small in this case we're gonna make about four openings this year and then hopefully in five to ten years we'd be able to come back and make some more openings in between those openings so that you end up with a diversity of habitat over time a mix of young and old forests coming in in the past naturally occurring floods and forest fires helped maintain the natural diversity flooding and fires are things that we tend to try to prevent from happening on the landscape with a good reason we want to protect our property but we've sort of slowed down the processes that naturally created those habitats so occasionally we have to step in and create those habitats where we can if we have a good opportunity to do so
the new openings over time will grow into mature forests this is why new openings are cut next to them to help maintain the young forest habitat that so many types of wildlife and once the work is done it doesn't take long for Mother Nature to respond we just cut this this winter and already you can see all of the ferns that have come back and the grasses and seedlings that are already coming in and we just pulled out of here in March and this is just July
as some landowners have learned first impressions of a clear-cut landscape can be deceiving now we're paying money to create the same same habitat and we walk in an area like this now and we say wow what a great early successional forest you know think of all the wildlife this is taking advantage of this and so our
young forests are nature's supermarkets and neighborhoods without this valuable habitat New Hampshire's woods would not be the same place