Saturday, January 14, 2012 : Man surrenders 94 hamsters to MSPCA : Man surrenders 94 hamsters to MSPCA
LAWRENCE —More than 90 hamsters were found in one man's apartment, well-cared for and kept in aquariums, buckets and Tupperware containers.
The Boehm Street man had 94 hamsters in total and decided on his own it was just too many. He went to the MSPCA's Small Animal Shelter at Nevins Farm in Methuen last week to let officials there know he had a large number of hamsters he wanted to surrender.......

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30 dolphins strand themselves in 5 Cape towns

30 dolphins strand in 5 Cape towns | Mobile -

Animal welfare officials spent hours attempting to rescue about 30 dolphins today in what one official called “one of the largest dolphin strandings in this area ever.”

Officials from the International Fund for Animal Welfare, the New England Aquarium and volunteers responded to strandings from Dennis to Wellfleet, said Kerry Branon, an IFAW spokeswoman.

Officials found stranded dolphins in Dennis, Brewster, Orleans, Eastham and Wellfleet.

Rescuers released 11 dolphins into waters off Scusset Beach in Sagamore Beach, Branon said. Between 10 and 12 of them were dead when found, and eight were inaccessible to rescue teams because of the tide.

The strandings came the day after several others on Cape Cod, Branon said.

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White Mountain National Forest Waives Day Fees This Weekend

In celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, New Hampshire's White Mountain National Forest is joining with national forests nationwide to waive fees at all day-use areas this holiday weekend.
Fees for overnight camping, cabin rentals, permits, and reservations are still in effect for Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Read more:


Dog Dies In NH After Eating Food Laced With Hooks - New Hampshire News Story - WMUR New Hampshire

Dog Dies In NH After Eating Food Laced With Hooks - New Hampshire News Story - WMUR New Hampshire

Poor dog, I hope they get who did it and prosecute them to the fullest!


Statewide count of eagles moves to region today

January 13, 2012

NEWBURYPORT — Officials from the state Department of Fish and Game's Division of Fisheries and Wildlife will have their eyes turned to the sky today for the annual bald eagle survey of the coast and major rivers, lakes and reservoirs.
MassWildlife staff and a team of volunteers will be along the Merrimack River at Cashman Park boat ramp on Merrimac Street and at Deer Island adjacent to the Chain Bridge in an effort to get a count of the local eagle population.
The Massachusetts survey, which goes from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., is part of an annual nationwide Midwinter Bald Eagle Survey that began Jan. 4 and runs through Jan. 18.
The results are used to track eagle population trends.
While bald eagle sightings have been fairly sparse along the Merrimack River this winter, a large number of the great birds have been delighting residents on Lake Attitash, which straddles Amesbury and Merrimac and is situated about 11/2 miles north of the Merrimack. Up to three eagles have been spotted at one time on the 360-acre lake.
The raptors have also been spotted on Cape Ann in the last few years.
Eagles have become more common in this region, in part due to the increase in nests. There are four documented eagle nests in the region — one in West Newbury and three in Haverhill. A new nest on the Powow River in Amesbury was reported earlier this month. That nest is being investigated and will be documented by state wildlife officials, who placed baffles around the lower parts of the tree to prevent predators from climbing up to the nests.
Local wildlife experts say sightings of bald eagles should rise along the Merrimack River as temperatures get colder in the north, where most eagles are right now. Colder temperatures will freeze up rivers and force eagles to migrate south to find prey in open water.
The Merrimack — a fast-running river with substantial tidal activity — tends to have large patches of open water from the Chain Bridge seaward to Plum Island. Eagles come to this area to perch in trees and hunt for fish.

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Friday, January 13, 2012

NHF&G News: Enjoy the Winter Outdoors, but “hikeSafe”


CONCORD, N.H. -- With snow and ice finally arriving in New Hampshire and a holiday weekend ahead, outdoor authorities are advising the Granite State's backcountry visitors to "hikeSafe."

"New Hampshire is a great place for winter recreation, whether you're hiking, snowshoeing, backcountry skiing or ice-climbing," said New Hampshire Fish and Game Conservation Officer Lieutenant James Goss. "But the winter environment can be a dangerous place. Cold temperatures, deep snow cover and fierce winds -- especially above treeline -- mean that hikers and others need to take special precautions."

Recent incidents have included the death of a hiker who fell 800 feet while descending Mount Washington after dark, and several skiers who had to be rescued by Forest Service Snow Rangers after triggering avalanches in unstable snow on the mountain.

To help stay safe, winter outdoor enthusiasts should visit and review the principles of "hikeSafe," a joint initiative of N.H. Fish and Game and the White Mountain National Forest to promote safe and responsible hiking.

There are six basic tenets of the code. You are responsible for yourself, so be prepared:

  1) With the appropriate knowledge and gear;
  2) Leave your plans with someone else;
  3) Hiking groups should stick together, and not let themselves become separated;
  4) Hikers should always be ready to turn back if circumstances, such as changing weather, dictate;
  5) Hikers should be ready for emergencies, and, ideally, be set to effect "self rescue"; and
  6) Those who know the code should share its lessons with others.

Goss notes that the Hiker Responsibility Code applies year-round, but there are special considerations for winter hiking. "Winter weather can be extreme, especially on the highest summits of the White Mountains, so anyone venturing to those areas absolutely must be prepared for bitter cold, strong winds and poor visibility – and must be ready to turn back if conditions become too difficult."

All backcountry visitors should be aware of avalanches and the special training and equipment needed for anyone who is traveling in potential avalanche terrain. For safety alerts and more information on the White Mountain National Forest, visit

The New Hampshire Outdoor Council is a major supporter of hikeSafe and search and rescue efforts throughout the state.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department works to conserve the state's fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats. Visit

- ### -

Copyright 2012 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive,
Concord, NH 03301.  Comments or questions concerning this list should
be directed to

Sent from Yahoo! Mail on Android

Subject: NHF&G News: Enjoy the Winter Outdoors, but "hikeSafe"
Sent: Fri, Jan 13, 2012 5:19:14 PM 

News from the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department
Phone: (603) 271-3211
For information and online licenses, visit

* * * * * * *

Lt. James Goss, NHFG, 603-744-5470 or 271-3127; or
Marianne Leberman, WMNF, 603-536-6100
January 13, 2012

NHF&G News: Three-state Reciprocal Snowmobile Weekend January 27-29, 2012

Subject: NHF&G News: Three-state Reciprocal Snowmobile Weekend January 27-29, 2012
Sent: Fri, Jan 13, 2012 7:38:45 PM

For information and online licenses, visit

* * * * * * *

Capt. John Wimsatt: 603-271-3129
Jane Vachon: 603-271-3211
January 13, 2012


CONCORD, N.H. -- Snowmobile enthusiasts will have a chance to explore some new territory the weekend of January 27-29, 2012 (Friday through Sunday), during the first-ever annual New Hampshire-Vermont-Maine reciprocal snowmobile weekend.

Following are the ground rules for the weekend:

    * All snowmobiles legally registered in Vermont and Maine will be able to operate on New Hampshire trails during the three-day open weekend. All other New Hampshire laws and rules regarding the operation of snowmobiles must be adhered to, such as speed limits, youth operation standards, etc.

    * All snowmobiles legally registered in New Hampshire will be able to operate in Vermont and Maine during the reciprocal weekend. All other Vermont and Maine snowmobile laws and rules must be complied with, including Vermont mandatory liability insurance and youth requirements.

In addition to a law that passed in 2010 for the Vermont/New Hampshire reciprocity weekend, a new law passed in 2011 includes Maine in the three-day weekend, which will occur annually on the fourth weekend in January (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) provided that our neighboring states continue to participate.

For information on snowmobiling in New Hampshire, visit:

    * N.H. Fish and Game Department at
    * N.H. Bureau of Trails at
    * N.H. Snowmobile Association at

For information on snowmobiling rules in Vermont, visit

For information on snowmobiling rules in Maine, visit


Copyright 2012 New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive,
Concord, NH 03301.  Comments or questions concerning this list should
be directed to - The adirondack chair experts.

Mass. conducts bald eagle count in annual survey

January 13, 2012

WESTBOROUGH, Mass.—Massachusetts wildlife officials are preparing to count bald eagles during the annual midwinter survey of the coast and major rivers, lakes and reservoirs.

The 33rd annual count is scheduled to go ahead Friday even though bad weather has forced a helicopter to cancel flights at the Quabbin Reservoir andConnecticut River, which together account for about two-thirds of the eagle population in Massachusetts.

The count is part of efforts to monitor the recovery of bald eagles after poisoning by pesticide DDT decimated their population.

Massachusetts's first count in 1979 revealed 8 bald eagles. Last year, the state logged a record 107 bald eagles.

Division of Fisheries and Wildlife Assistant Director Thomas French says authorities changed the bird's legal status in Massachusetts this year from endangered to threatened.  SOURCE


U.S. Forest Service Counts On Volunteers

.test4Bald eagle

Bald eagles love to spend their winter holidays in Big Bear. The U.S. Forest Service conducts eagle counts around lakes in the San Bernardino and San Jacinto mountains to see just how many make the trip. The next count is Saturday, Jan. 14.
The San Bernardino mountains support the largest wintering bald eagle population in Southern California. Eagles typically begin arriving in late November and stay until early April. Numbers using the Big Bear Basin have fluctuated, from lows of six and seven birds to highs of 35 to 40.
Volunteers are needed for the eagle census Jan. 14. Volunteers are stationed at various vantage points around Valley lakes where they map and note any eagle observations during a one-hour period. Bald eagle counts are held at Big Bear Lake and Baldwin Lake. Eagle counts are also scheduled for Feb. 11 and March 10.
Volunteers for the Big Bear Lake area should go to the San Bernardino National Forest’s Big Bear Discovery Center, 40971 North Shore Drive at 8 a.m. on the day of the census to receive instructions. 
A combined total of nine eagles —five adults and four juveniles— were observed during the season’s first count Dec. 17. Big Bear saw the most, with three adults and one juvenile seen in the Big Bear/Baldwin Lake area. Two juveniles were seen in the Lake Arrowhead area, and one adult and one juvenile at Silverwood Lake.
Juvenile eagles are distinguished by a brown head and tail. Adults are known for their white head and tail. It takes four to five years to reach full adult coloration.  SOURCE

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January 5, 2012

Where have the eagles gone?

Warm weather keeps majestic birds at bay

NEWBURYPORT — It seems this winter's lack of snow and ice has also affected another local winter staple — bald eagles.
The majestic birds, which can occasionally be seen sitting in waterfront trees or soaring above the Merrimack River, have become a popular bird-watching attraction in recent years. Last January, a record-setting number of eagles was spotted in Massachusetts and along the Merrimack River, but this year's relatively warm weather has reduced their numbers.
There's no official count yet — that will be done statewide on Jan. 13 — but anecdotal observations indicate there are few right now along the Merrimack River.
"It's been so mild that the eagles up north haven't been around in search of food. The rivers up north haven't frozen," said Steve Grinley, owner of the Bird Watchers Supply and Gift in Newburyport. "As things get colder, more eagles should be coming here."
Bill Gette, director of the Joppa Flats Audubon Center in Newburyport, said the lack of eagles "is not terribly unusual" for this time of year, particularly given the weather patterns. Unseasonably warm weather has kept waterways unfrozen in the eagles' summer and fall hunting grounds to the north.
"For a lot of these animals, the migration itself is expensive in terms of energy expenditure," he said, adding that the birds will remain in their northern grounds "for as long as the weather permits."
Gette predicts that by mid-February, when Newburyport hosts its annual Eagle Fest, the number of bald eagles will substantially increase. The event, planned for Feb. 11, typically draws more than 1,000 visitors.
Tom French, assistant director for the state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, said eagle sightings are down across the state compared to last year. But that's not necessarily a bad sign. The population appears to be healthy and growing, and the temporary decrease caused by mild weather is mitigated by the growth in the number of eagle nests in the state.
The Merrimack River now has four nests — three in Haverhill and one in West Newbury, French said. A few years ago, there were none. The West Newbury nest has been the most productive.
Last year's eagle count produced 107 birds statewide, with 11 spotted on the Merrimack. The prior year yielded 7 along the river.
Eagles feed on fish, and the open waters of the Merrimack River — particularly around Deer Island in Amesbury and Carr and Ram islands in Newburyport — are known to be some of the best places to watch for eagles. Cashman Park in Newburyport offers a panoramic view of the river and is used annually as one of the half-dozen spots around Massachusetts for the statewide eagle count.
Bald eagles were entirely wiped out in Massachusetts by 1905. They were reintroduced in the 1980s, and their numbers have steadily climbed since then.
In recent years, the eagle nest in West Newbury has drawn significant attention from biologists. The precise location of the nest has been kept secret in order to protect the birds.
West Newbury and Haverhill share the distinction of being the only communities north of Boston where eagle nesting is currently occurring, according to the state. The most prolific nesting areas are in the western part of the state, along the Connecticut River and the Quabbin Reservoir. SOURCE

Thursday, January 12, 2012

rails-to-trails eNews Pennsylvania Power, Texas Two-Step

January 2012
RTC eNews

trailblog Pennsylvania Community Explores Connection to Appalachian Trail
trailblog In New York, Support Builds for Elevated Greenway Through Queens
trailblog Demolition of Historic Bridge Would be Huge Setback for Pennsylvania Trail Project
Featured in this issue
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Trail Tidbits

January 22 is "Answer Your Cat's Questions Day." If you've reached this point, you might be way overdue for some outside time on a rail-trail!

Also, January 31 is "Inspire Your Heart with Art Day." Luckily, you can combine exercise with art appreciation on a number of rail-trails, including the Morgana Run Trail in Cleveland.

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In this issue of
Rails to Trails:

  • Winter's Glow
  • Canadian Spirit
  • A View From Both Sides
  • and much more...
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2012 Greenway Sojourn: Register Now!

Greenway Sojourn
Registration is now open for this summer's Sojourn, which will take place a month earlier than usual, June 17-24! Join us for this memorable adventure as we pedal 335 miles from Washington, D.C., to Pittsburgh, Pa. There were some kinks with the online registration last week, but the system is back up and running. Reserve your spot today!

Trail Use

Trail of the Month
Columbia Tap Rail-Trail, Texas
Columbia Tap Rail-Trail Opened in 1856, the Houston Tap and Brazoria Railway delivered crops into Houston from ports and plantations to the south. Today, you can retrace four miles of those historical tracks on the Columbia Tap Rail-Trail.
Winter Blues Got You Down?
map January seems like the perfect time to daydream about one of the happiest cities in the United States: Honolulu (according to a Gallup poll). Why are we not surprised? The capital of the Aloha State was also recently listed as the highest-ranking U.S. city on a survey of the best places to live in the world. Could these accolades be due in part to the fabulous trails that Hawaii has to offer? We'd like to think so; check them out on
Tell Us...
What Are Your Favorite Winter Excursions?
Tell Us... It hasn't been the snowiest winter yet, but we'd still love to hear about your favorite winter excursions on a rail-trail, whether this year or from a previous season. Romping in the snow, slicing along on cross-country skis—whatever your passion, tell us how you enjoy rail-trails in the coldest months. Share your stories and photos with Karl at

In December, we asked you to tell us about your rail-trail resolutions and goals for 2012. Check out your submissions!
Downloadable Calendar for Your Desktop!
January 2012 desktop calendar Enliven your screen with rail-trails all year long! Download the February wallpaper now—and look for a new one each month.
Regional Rundown from the RTC TrailBlog!
Pass it on Check out some of the top headlines from around the country!
Trail Advocacy

Advocacy Corner
A Tough Year for the Wobler Family
capital dome After losing his wife to breast cancer, Gary Wobler fights back by organizing Pedal 4 Pink, a one-day event to raise money and awareness for early cancer testing and research.
Gear Up for Climate Ride!
Climate Ride If you're into big, rewarding challenges, then sign up to ride with Team RTC on Climate Ride, May 19-23! Join us on this five-day, 300-mile ride from New York City to Washington, D.C., and help raise money for our trail-building work across the country. It's advocacy at its most active!
thank you To all our members and supporters, thank you for your countless contributions to a wonderful 2011! Support comes in all sizes, and we are enormously grateful for each donation of time, energy and money on behalf of rail-trails and our work across the country. Thank you for making this cause so special!
Trail Building

Rail-Trail Sparks Bike Boom in Texas Town
Howard Draper
One very farsighted investment 18 years ago is paying off, big time, for the city of Denton, where a rail-trail is helping energize the local bicycle culture.
Expansion of "Trail Towns" Program Great News for Rural Communities
Brea rail-trail project Formed in 1997 to provide loans and support to small towns connected to trails in Pennsylvania, the Trail Towns program helps communities capitalize on trail tourism and recreation industries.
Early Warning System
Early Warning System Sign up to receive railroad corridor abandonment notices for your area via RTC's Early Warning System.

See a list of the latest abandonments.
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Houston, Texas © Mark Cheater/Rails-to-Trails Conservancy; 2012 Greenway Sojourn © Rails-to-Trails Conservancy; Trail of the Month: Columbia Tap Rail-Trail, Texas © Mark Cheater/Rails-to-Trails Conservancy; Ke Ala Hele Makalae , Hawaii © Constance McCabe; Tell Us: Cal Watford © Courtesy of Cal Watford; Downloadable Calendar © Rails-to-Trails Conservancy; RTC TrailBlog © Rails-to-Trails Conservancy; Advocacy Corner: Gary and Arlene Wobler © Courtesy of Gary Wobler; Climate Ride © Rails-to-Trails Conservancy; Howard Draper, Texas © Courtesy of Howard Draper; "Trail Towns" © Rails-to-Trails Conservancy; Early Warning System © Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.

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