Management and Conservation

The Connecticut River is treasured by all for its majesty and significance in supporting diverse aquatic and terrestrial plant and animal life along its winding 410- mile passage through urban and rural communities in New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and Connecticut. Working with our partners, we are inspired to protect and enhance the natural and cultural richness throughout the watershed, especially on lands and waters entrusted to our agency as the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge. 

Together with our partners, we design, support, and implement strategic conservation actions across the watershed, and communicate conservation needs and successes through extensive outreach and education programs. On refuge lands, and in our conservation partnership areas we offer visitor programs and activities that promote an appreciation for the Connecticut River Watershed as an intact, interconnected, and healthy ecosystem. Visitors respond to this greater awareness by becoming active stewards of the watershed's natural and cultural resources. Through our Urban Partnership Program, we are promoting the relevancy of conservation to healthy communities. Our management actions exemplify the Service's vital role in conserving the Connecticut River watershed and the refuge's important contribution to the mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System. 

Comprehensive Conservation Plan

The Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) can be viewed on the webpage.

Our Projects and Research

Working with a variety of partners, Conte staff are involved with several different research and conservation projects:

DivisionHabitatSurvey NameSurvey Purpose
NulheganForestPredicting Density and Occurrence of Keystone (Snowshoe Hare) and Umbrella (American Marten) Species using LiDARTo identify and predict structural conditions that are critical for both Snowshoe Hare (early successional) and American Marten (late successional) at landscape scales that will directly inform forest management in the region.
NulheganForestEastern Woodcock Migration Research Cooperative  ProjectTo evaluate the use of habitats and movements of American Woodcock during migration.
NulheganForestNorthern Institue of Applied Climate Science Forest Management ProjectTo evaluate the efficacy of adaptive silviculture climate change climate change
Climate change includes both global warming driven by human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases and the resulting large-scale shifts in weather patterns. Though there have been previous periods of climatic change, since the mid-20th century humans have had an unprecedented impact on Earth's climate system and caused change on a global scale.

Learn more about climate change
management techniques within the Nulhegan Basin Division spruce-fir forests. 
NulheganForestFunctional Diversity, Rehabilitation, and Ecosystem Service Resiliance  ProjectTo develop, evaluate and describe new and alternative management approaches that can significantly increase ecosystem health and resilience, while enhancing timber productivity, biodiversity and greenhouse gas sequestration in degraded stands in the Northern Forest Region.
NulheganForestEvaluate Winter Tick Population and Impacts on MooseEvaluation of the winter tick population and impacts on Moose.