Public meetings set for NH Fish & Game 10-year Game Management Plan

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Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 7.28.20 AMCONCORD, NH – Work is underway to craft New Hampshire’s next 10-year Game Management Plan, which will set regional population goals for moose, deer, bear and wild turkey from 2016 through 2025. The state’s current game management plan expires this December.

The public will have several opportunities in March to hear about the plan and give their input. Input from five meetings to be held around the state will be considered during revision of the initial draft plan. The meetings begin at 6 p.m. Dates and locations are as follows:

March 17, 2015 – Nashua Community College – Room 105

March 19, 2015 – Claremont Community Center – Room B

March 24, 2015 – Greenland – Hugh Gregg Conservation Center

March 26, 2015 – Conway Middle School

March 31, 2015 – Fish and Game Region One Office, 629B Main Street, Lancaster

A final open house will be held at Fish and Game Headquarters in Concord on April 22, 2015. This event will encourage dialogue between species biologists and the public on revised draft game species plans.

Those who cannot attend one of the meetings, or who would like to submit written comments, may email their input to (put “Game Plan Comment” in the subject line) or mail to: Wildlife Division, N.H. Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301. All input must be received by April 6, 2015. Comments should be specific to the initial draft species plans referenced below.

The focus of the plan revision is on establishing regional game population goals. Hunting seasons and method and manner of take are not under consideration in this planning process and will continue to be determined through the normal rulemaking process.

Fish and Game’s game planning efforts are expected to result in the adoption of the new ten-year plan by the Executive Director and the Fish and Game Commission by early this summer.

Information and resources about the game plan revision can be explored on Fish and Game’s website where you can also browse:

– Species assessment reports: These comprehensive reports serve as technical information sources for biologists and constituents interested in the information and data that serves as the focus for game management decision-making. Biologists have been working on their reports since last fall.

– Results from a phone survey of New Hampshire residents: A telephone survey was conducted in November of 2014, reaching a total of 625 New Hampshire residents. Survey results give us a sense of the experiences, opinions and interests of hunting and non-hunting citizenry in New Hampshire.

– Results from a web-based questionnaire for Fish and Game constituents: A summary of results is available on the Fish and Game website; this input will be considered along with other data.

– Initial draft species plans by staff biologists: These documents have been formulated by game project leaders at Fish and Game, based on the technical findings and management results achieved over the past decade, along with public input from the recent phone survey and web-based questionnaire. These drafts, which are subject to change by project leaders through March 10, are intended to serve as a catalyst for additional dialogue and input from constituents. The March meetings will give the public a chance to weigh in.

Fish and Game’s Wildlife Division aims to present a Draft Game Plan proposal to the Fish and Game Commission during its May 13, 2015, Commission meeting. No action by the Commission will be asked for at that meeting. The Commission will have one month to consider the Draft Plan Proposal and discuss it with their constituents before they are asked to vote on a Final Plan.

The Wildlife Division expects to request final input and adoption of the Final Plan by the Executive Director and the Fish and Game Commission during the June 10, 2015, Commission meeting. The Final Plan will guide game rule-making recommendations during biennial rule-making that starts in January of 2016 and in the years that follow through 2025.

“I hope that you will try to make it to one of the March meetings and our open house in April,” said Fish and Game Wildlife Division Chief Mark Ellingwood. “If you are unable to do so, then I hope you’ll find the time to submit email or written input. We very much want to hear from the public about how many deer, moose, bear and wild turkey we want to have in the state. Take some time to browse the information our biologists have gathered on the Fish and Game website. You may also want to share your views and opinions with your Fish and Game Commissioner. Doing so will help ensure that your interests are heard and considered in the Final 2016-2025 Game Management Plan.”

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About this Author

Carol Robidoux

PublisherManchester Ink Link

Longtime NH journalist and publisher of Loves R&B, German beer, and the Queen City!