Nearly a year after installing game cameras on the Beede Site, we now have documented footage of a diverse wildlife population that not only passes through, but also appears to be making the Site and the land within and near it their home. This prompted the Beede Site Group to turn its attention to external resources to explain the number of animals spotted on a regular basis.
In our research, we discovered The Nature Conservancy’s Connect the Coast project, which used spatial models to identify connecting safe travel corridors for wildlife across the 10-mile buffered portion of the Piscataqua-Salmon Falls watershed that drains through southern New Hampshire. According to Connect the Coast, “wildlife corridors” are swaths of land that connect to “Prioritized Habitat Blocks.” In reviewing the Connect the Coast’s report, it was discovered that three wildlife corridors appear to share a key juncture at the Beede Site – one from the north, one from the northwest, and one to the south – constituting a little more than 13 acres of the 40-acre Site.
The Nature Conservancy’s project identifies swaths of land that are permanently protected and valuable to native wildlife. There are many other critical connection points between these segments of land – such as the Beede Site – that are vital to enabling increasingly at-risk wildlife to persist and thrive, and yet remain unprotected. The Connect the Coast report has shed light on why we are repeatedly spotting a diversity of wildlife on our game cameras and sometimes in person. Our efforts to obtain and maintain our Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) certification has been a step toward increasing the quality and amount of habitat available for these animals to prosper. Conservation measures have included the installation of duck, bird, and bat boxes, pollinator hives and wildlife enhancing brush piles, planting native wildflowers, and mitigating invasive flora species. Representatives of the Beede Site Group are regularly on site, maintaining these features, and checking for evidence of species using the brush piles or inhabiting shelter boxes.
Abundant wildlife and the location of the Site at the juncture of these important wildlife corridors reinforces the need to maintain the area for wildlife habitat.
All this work is happening concurrently with the overall cleanup remedy that includes groundwater extraction and treatment, onsite thermal treatment of deeper contaminated soils, and excavation of contaminated shallow soil and sediment as described in the recent post from February 22, 2021.