Chesterfield Conservation Commission is a town commission as authorized under RSA 36-A for the Town of Chesterfield, New Hampshire. It is an advisory and educational body.
The Chesterfield Conservation Commission focuses on environment protection, educational activities, hiking trails, enhancing visual and wildlife characteristics in town, collaborating with the zoning/planning board and assisting the State of New Hampshire through the wetland and shoreland permit process.
Chesterfield Conservation Commission meetings are held on the fourth Monday of each month at 7:30 pm at the Chesterfield Town Office (unless otherwise posted).
Our mission has been to preserve and enjoy the town’s incredible natural resource, its land. The Commission feels strongly that access to our public lands is essential to the appreciation of their value, and has helped establish and maintain trail networks throughout town. Maps are provided on this site.
Updates & Announcements
Next Commission Meeting
The next Conservation Commission meeting will be on Monday, April 24 at 7:30 pm. Please contact Amy LaFontaine if you would like to attend and be added to the agenda.
New Natural Resources Inventory!
The Chesterfield Conservation Commission is pleased to announce the completion of the updated Natural Resources Inventory (NRI) and invites all town citizens to explore the natural treasures of Chesterfield. In addition to the CCC website, printed copies are available for public view at the Town Offices and the Public Library. An excellent introduction to the NRI is through the interactive Story Map, which will guide and take you quickly into the maps and data of the more detailed report.
Hemlock Woolly Adelgid in Friedsam Forest
On March 6th and 7th members of the CCC joined the Chesterfield School's fifth grade in the Friedsam Forest to participate in the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Project run by the Gulf of Maine Institute. This project will help predict future spread of the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA). We surveyed 20 trees checking 10 branches on each tree. Unfortunately HWA was found on the majority of the trees surveyed. The trees were also checked for Elongate Hemlock Scale. Scale was found, but not as widespread as the HWA. The final results will be shared when available.
Chesterfield Town-wide Biodiversity Project
Have you ever wondered what that strange bug crawling on the rock wall is called, or what the name of a plant is that you often see while hiking? What about that fluffy-looking moss on the side of that maple, or the energetic songbird singing away in the canopy? You can answer all these questions and more through a new, community-driven field guide of Chesterfield’s flora, fauna, and fungi. The project, called Town of Chesterfield: A Living Field Guide, collects observations of living organisms that people submit to the community-science database iNaturalist.
iNaturalist is an easy-to-use, free app that can help identify what you are seeing and hearing. When a photo or sound recording is shared to iNaturalist, expert naturalists help identify what was observed. As of April 2021, beginner and master naturalists alike have used iNaturalist to document over 300 wild species in Chesterfield. Among these, are one of New Hampshire’s only records of Wulf’s peatmoss and North America’s largest native moth, the Cecropia Moth, which has a colorful wingspan measuring seven inches.
The town-wide living field guide project arose out of a natural resource inventory conducted by Moosewood Ecological, a regional consulting group based in Chesterfield. This project, supported by the Chesterfield Conservation Commission and the Chesterfield School Outdoor Education Committee, not only contributes directly to the town-wide inventory, but participants will gain a stronger connection to nature and new discoveries await.
iNaturalist continues to deepen our understanding of nature, and many of Chesterfield’s public lands remain to be documented. Places like Friedsam Town Forest, Pisgah State Forest, and Chesterfield Gorge Natural Area eagerly await your exploration. Similarly, nature knows no bounds, and observations of wild, uncultivated plants and animals from your own yards are welcomed by the living field guide.
To learn more about this exciting project, get involved, or see a list of all 320 species, visit the project website. (Under community: projects: Town of Chesterfield)
Big Shout Out!!
Some amazing volunteers doing great things in Friedsam Forest. Jeff Scott, Jon Thatcher, Paul Link and Darlene and Ray Dunn worked for a few hours in the rain hauling in materials for a new bridge and bridge extension that Cory Shepard and Jeff Scott then built on the Sargent and Ancient Oaks trails. Thanks to Kathy Thatcher for organizing this effort.
Ray Dunn is able to excavate and build some new, safer steps for the route 63 entrance to Friedsam. The new steps are 20 feet or so to the right of the old ones. The old ones will be removed soon.