Mason Conservation Commission
16 Darling Hill Road
Mason, NH 03048

2010 Mason Conservation Commission Programs in Memory of Florence Roberts

These programs are in memory of Florence Roberts, conservationist, nature lover and member of the Mason Conservation Commission for 35 years. She donated the 39 acre forest on Valley Road so the southern entrance to town will remain wild forever. Mason Scouts recently completed a trail through the forest that is available for walking and hiking. Access points are across from the cemetery and just north of the Uncle Sam House.

These programs are funded by donations, not tax dollars. For more information, contact Barbara DeVore at 732-3761 or

Animal Tracking in Winter with Jon Sargent Thursday January 7th, 2010, 7:30PM at Mason Town Hall
Open to everyone, no registration required

Jon is an animal expert from Wilton who recently returned from a major scientific expedition in search of the ivory-billed woodpecker in swamps of the southeastern US.

Outdoor Tracking Session with Jon Sargent Saturday January 9th, 9:30AM - 11:30AM
Pre-registration required, limited to 10 people, minimum age 12, under 18 accompanied by adult, no dogs.
Pre-register at Thursday Jan 7 evening program

Coyotes and Wolves in the New England Landscape with Chris Schadler, wild canid ecologist Friday, January 22nd, 2010, 7:30PM at Mason Town Hall

After 28 years of research and many teaching awards, Chris is recognized across New England as a passionate and inspiring lecturer and a knowledgeable authority on wolf and coyote. Her presentation, punctuated with fascinating anecdotes and wonderful photos, has recently packed halls around NH.

Salamander Migration with Rick Glatz on Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Each year a majority of the mole salamanders (yellow spotted and more) migrate to their breeding vernal pools during the first few warm rains after the snow has melted. In the process of migrating, many are killed. Learn how to identify amphibians that migrate in Mason, when and where they will be moving and how you can save lives. Students in grades 4-12 are invited to attend; younger children need to be accompanied by an adult.

Rick Glatz shares his passion for nature while teaching in Merrimack, for NH Audubon and at summer camps. He'll provide information about how you and your family can become citizen scientists and participate in National Big Nights for Salamander Migrations.

This Yard is for the Birds - Landscaping for Wildlife by Margaret Hagen WMUR TV and UNH Extension Service, Wednesday, April 7, 2010, 7:30 pm in Mason Town Hall

Learn how to improve your yard and land to benefit birds and other wildlife. Lawn care has an immediate, long term impact on the critters which visit and those that live downstream. What are best practices? From years of experience with the UNH Extension Service and WMUR, Channel 9, Mrs. Hagen has a tremendous amount of information to share. Bring your questions about plants, too!

Ticks and Human Diseases They Spread in New Hampshire by Dr. Alan Eaton on Wednesday, May 5, 2010

According to the Centers for Disease Control, New Hampshire has the highest incidence of Lyme Disease in the country, and other tick-spread diseases are on the rise here. Now is the time to think about ticks and preventing Lyme and other diseases. Wouldn't you like to avoid being a victim?

Knowledge and preparedness are the keys to avoiding tick bites. Dr. Alan Eaton, a UNH Cooperative Extension expert on ticks and other pests, will provide information about ticks and important preventative measures we can take. Viewing live specimens through a microscope will be an option.

Dragonflies with Jeff Young on Thursday, June 17, 2010, at 7:30 pm and Saturday, June 19 for a morning field experience

Jeff Young is one of the state's authorities on dragonflies and damselflies and has done extensive work with NH Audubon. He will enthusiastically share his knowledge through a slide show on Thursday evening, June 17. With more than 100 species in NH, there is a great deal to be learned! The site for the field experience on Saturday morning will be announced at the evening program.

The NH Dragonfly Survey started in 2007 as a partnership of NH Audubon, NH Fish and Game, and UNH Cooperative Extension. Currently no data for Mason have been collected. After attending the programs, consider becoming a citizen scientist to assist with this project.

Hawk Migration with Francie Von Mertens Tuesday September 7, 2010, 7:30 pm at Mason Town Hall

Francie Von Mertens will provide an overview of this exciting fall event on Tuesday, September 7, at 7:30 pm at the Mason Town Hall. She will provide a lively introductory session on hawk migration as the following weekend will be the first "big" watches on Pack Monadnock, Crotched Mountain, Mt. Watatic and Mt. Wachusett.

Broad-winged hawks congregate in groups of dozens, hundreds or thousands while climbing in thermals of hot air. What a sight these "kettles" of birds are! Novice, intermediate and advanced watchers are welcome at all watches.

Pack Monadnock's observation deck is staffed by a naturalist from September 1 to October 31. On Saturday, September 11, rehabilitated hawks will be released at the observatory. More information is available at

Mrs. Von Mertens is a birding expert, columnist for the Ledger Transcript, and conservationist who is very active in Peterborough, with the Harris Foundation and NH Audubon. We are most fortunate to have one of the region's experts speak in Mason.

Mushroom Hunt with Reta Chaffee MacGregor Sunday September 19, 2010, 1:00 pm at Mason Town Hall

Reta Chaffee MacGregor has been mushroom hunting for over 30 years, not as a mycologist, but a myconut. She will share her passion on a foray through the woods on Sunday, September 19.

Meet at the Mason Town Hall at 1:00 pm with a basket or paper bag rolled down; do not bring plastic as it makes mushrooms sweat and die. Wear comfy shoes and bring your mushroom eyes.

Any age is welcome. Children are closer to the source and have sharp eyes, so well-behaved youngsters may join a parent, grandparent or guardian in the search for low growing fungi.

Reta will bring books and will help identify at the end of outing. Sometimes mushrooms just can't be identified, just enjoyed, drawn or photographed.

Currently Reta is involved in the BioBlitz with the Seacoast Science Center. She has given many mushroom forays for Osher Life Long Learning Institute (OLLI) in Manchester.

Alaska Wilderness: Canoe Journey into the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Saturday October 23, 2010, 7:30 pm at Mason Town Hall

Visit Alaska's wild and remote Arctic Refuge, land of no roads, 24-hour summer sun, roving musk ox, hunting wolverine, migrating caribou and nesting snowy owls. As you visit the refuge with two seasoned naturalists, Marcia and Mark Wilson of Dunstable, MA, you'll meet many of the plant and animal players of America's most remote wilderness. Sweep down the braided Canning River in a 17-foot folding canoe on a 19-day adventure.

With stunning photos and passionate commentary drawn from this trip and six other visits to the arctic, the Wilsons open a window on Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and its summer energy. A touch table and live birds round out this exciting program. Mark Wilson is a contributing author and photographer in the acclaimed book Arctic Wings: Birds of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.