Friday, March 16, 2012

NH Snowmobile Trail Report 3-16-2012

*NOTE*  This will be the last Snowmobile Trail update for the winter season, due to the unseasonably warm winter, spring has decided to arrive early as well.  I will be starting trail and hiking reports shortly.  Have a great day outdoors!
- Dave

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March 16, 2012 Update

Last Report for the season

Unseasonably warm temps have put the breaks on the snowmobile riding season for most of the state. You can still find some riding in the northern region. Expect spring conditions with water bars. Check clubs web sites for more detailed information.

Thanks to everyone for your continued support to this recreation. It’s your paid registrations that keep the trails open. See you next winter!

Pittsburg- No new snow to report. Trailer north and you will find some good riding. Grooming may commence in the north, if the temps allow. Lower elevations are in poor shape. Last Vintage race this weekend Saturday March 17th For more details go

Colebrook- Closed

Stratford- No grooming Spring Conditions

Groveton/Nash Stream- No grooming Spring Conditions. 5 South Closed

Diamond Pond/Coleman State Park- No grooming Spring Conditions. Go

Errol- No grooming Spring Conditions.

Cambridge- Closed

Milan- Closed.

Dalton- Closed

Berlin- Closed

Berlin/Success- Closed

Gorham- Closed

Jefferson- Closed

Franconia Notch- Closed

Campton/Thornton- Closed

Bear Notch- No grooming Spring Conditions

Pisgah State Park- Closed.

Pillsbury State Park- Closed

Rail Lines:

  • Northern: Gates closed
  • Ashuelot: Gates closed
  • Fort Hill:  Gates closed
  • Sugar River: Gates closed
  • Concord to Lincoln:  Gates closed

Additional Resources and Information

Please be safe and ride with caution.
Respect our landowners.
Watch speeds and stay to the right.

For more information contact
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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Back Bay Restaurant's Loss Is Zoo's Gain

Lions To Feast On Capitol Grille Steaks

On a busy weekend night, a table at Boston's Capitol Grille might be reserved for a party of fat cats. On Thursday, the restaurant hand-delivered steak dinners to them, at the zoo.
Lions at the Southwick Zoo in Mendon are the benefactors of the Back Bay power outage as the Capitol Grille Restaurant is donating 2,500 pounds of grade A steaks to the zoo.
A transformer fire caused a Boston power outage on Tuesday night. The restaurant has since had it's power restored and is fully operational. according to Capital Grille spokesman Hunter Robinson.
"It's great to be able to put this meat to good use knowing that we can't use it in the restaurant, so it's good to turn a negative to a positive," Hunter said.
"It costs thousands of dollars for us to feed the cats," zoo owner Betsy Brewer told the Milford Daily News.
The zoo's lions, tigers and leopards eat about 15 pounds of meat at each feeding. Brewer said zookeepers feed them every three days or so.

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Missing Dresden, Maine boy found alive

(Dresden, Maine) - Maine game wardens teamed up with volunteers to do a grid search of woods near the area where 12-year-old Michah Thomas was last seen.

Search and rescue teams brought in dogs to try and pick up Micah's scent on the ground while airplanes and helicopters searched from above and boats looked along the shores of the eastern river.

Then, during an afternoon media briefing, Maine game wardens stopped in the middle of a press conference. A moment later, an ambulance raced away from the fire station and game wardens announced Thomas had been found alive and was being treated by EMS.

Game wardens say a civilian searcher found Micah along the river, his voice hoarse from yelling all night long, barely being heard.

A marine patrol boat brought him to the shore to the waiting ambulance. Micah told game wardens he got lost in the woods and spent the night along the shore of the river.

For Micah's family, it was the outcome they had hoped for after 22 hours of worry and fear.

Micah was taken to a nearby hospital for evaluation, but game wardens say he's lucky - Micah spent a very cold and wet night all alone in the dark and survived - and now he gets to go home with his family.

UPDATE: Mini horses rehab in Methuen after rescue

Food and shelter were hard to come by just last week for the 32 miniature horses rescued from a small farm in West Boylston. Now, 19 of the horses are being treated at Nevins Farm in Methuen for malnourishment and other ailments after their owner voluntarily surrendered them.

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These were some of the before photos of the Miniature horses when they arrived at Nevins Farm in Methuen:

Rails-to-trails video: Is it Safe?

Is It Safe? from Rails-to-Trails Conservancy on Vimeo.

Grassroots Go-Ahead: Massachusetts Communities Take On Their Rail-Trail Ambitions

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Undeterred by all the debate about trail funding at the federal level, local communities continue to let their trail-building actions do the talking.
Flicking through local newspapers out of Massachusetts during the past week, it is great to see local agencies and community groups rolling the sleeves up to advance their rail-trail ambitions. This grassroots energy speaks volumes about the demand across America for trail networks and bike and pedestrian infrastructure that better serve residents and local businesses.
In the state's northeast, the Danvers Rail Trail Advisory Committee has launched a mile-marker sponsorship program to fund the maintenance and improvement of the Danvers Rail Trail. The advisory committee is a town-appointed group that has directed development of the 4.3-mile rail-trail since the town of Danvers leased the corridor from the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority in 2008.
Aware of the trail's tremendous recreational importance to the town, the citizens of Danvers have responded enthusiastically. A wide variety of locally owned businesses--everything from a hardware store and a beer company to a fish market, a photography business, even a dental-care practice--have paid $150 for a 4-inch by 4-inch marker along the trail, or $500 for a 4-inch by 8-inch marker in prime locations. Each blue-and-white decal (above) bears the sponsor's name, logo and dedication message. Local families have made generous contributions, too.
The homegrown energy behind the trail extends even further; the markers were prepared and installed by volunteers, and the initial cost of the posts and mileage decals was paid for by a local advocacy group, the Danvers Bi-Peds. 
The new fundraising effort has so far generated about $4,100 to help realize the town's immediate plans for the trail, which include improving the trail surface in some sections with a compacted top coat of crushed-stone dust, and improving a boggy section north of Wenham Street.
About 30 miles to the west, in the town of Concord, town officials are discussing how to bring the growing Bruce Freeman Rail Trail into their community.
Following the 25-mile route of the former New Haven Railroad's Framingham and Lowell line, the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail currently encompasses Lowell, Chelmsford and Westford. Having observed the popularity of the trail in those communities, the residents of Concord, and nearby Acton, voted to approve plans to extend the trail. Sudbury and Framingham, farther to the southwest, are also eager to develop the rail corridor into a connecting trail in their townships.
And today, the city of Newburyport is celebrating the beginning of a much sought-after project to connect the Old Eastern Marsh Trail and the Clipper City Rail Trail (above).
For proof that this project that will greatly please local residents and businesses, look no further than the list of guests of honor at the launch-- Secretary of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation Richard A. Davey, state Rep. Michael Costello, and state Sen. Steven Baddour.
With Newburyport's and Salisbury's rail-trails booming in popularity, a safety issue emerged for those wanting to cross Route 1 at the northern end of the Gillis Bridge, to pass from one rail-trail to the other. Work on the connection, which will unlock a great expansion in the region's trail network, is expected to start in mid-March.

Photo of the Danvers Rail Trail sponsored mile-marker courtesy of the Danvers Rail Trail Advisory Committee.
Photo of the Clipper City Rail Trail courtesy of Geordie Vining/
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Belfast, Maine, Pushes Ahead With Rail-Trail Along Key Corridor

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Congratulations to the community of Belfast along Maine's central coast for its determined strides recently toward developing a new rail-trail.

Town officials said last month they are ready to go ahead and build a walking and recreation trail along a 3.5-mile, 100-foot-wide rail right-of-way between the Armistice footbridge in downtown Belfast and the Waldo town line to the northeast.

According to a story in Waldo Village Soup, Belfast council voted in 2010 to purchase the right-of-way along approximately three miles of the old Belfast and Moosehead Lake rail corridor for $200,000, with the intention of creating a multi-purpose trail.

Despite widespread demand for the transportation and recreation benefits that rail-trails invariably bring, there has been some opposition to the city's proposal from a handful of residents who own land along the corridor. Landowners have expressed unfounded fears that a trail close to their property would increase vandalism, crime and dumping.

To its credit, the city has not let threats of legal action by landowners dissuade it from building the community resource, inspired by the tremendous success of rail-trails in similar-sized communities across the region.

When complete, the rail-trail will add much more than its own three miles to the region's trail network. The corridor will link several preserves on the west side of the Passagassawakeag River, which are managed by the Camden-based Coastal Mountains Land Trust (CMLT). CMLT has pledged $100,000 toward the city's land purchase expenses related to building the trail.

The rail-trail will also connect to the planned Belfast Harbor Walk, which is slated to stretch from the Armistice footbridge south along the water to Steamboat Landing.

Carl Knoch, manager of trail development for Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's Northeast Regional Office, visited Belfast in the fall of 2010 and was struck by the great potential of the corridor.

"There really isn't anything like it in that region," he says. "It is fantastic to see the city acting so decisively to provide an amenity that will do so much for many residents and businesses."

Photos by Carl Knoch/RTC.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

HBO cancels 'Luck' after third horse death

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HBO has pulled the plug on its gambling drama "Luck"
HBO has pulled the plug on its gambling drama "Luck" after controversy erupted over the deaths of three horses during production.
“It is with heartbreak that executive producers David Milch and Michael Mann together with HBO have decided to cease all future production on the series 'Luck,' ” the network said in a statement.
The statement continues: “Safety is always of paramount concern.  We maintained the highest safety standards throughout production, higher in fact than any protocols existing in horseracing anywhere with many fewer incidents than occur in racing or than befall horses normally in barns at night or pastures.  While we maintained the highest safety standards possible, accidents unfortunately happen and it is impossible to guarantee they won’t in the future.  Accordingly, we have reached this difficult decision."
The network will air the rest of the first season’s episodes but will not continue with the second season, which had been ordered.
“Luck” was a high-profile bet for HBO. It starred Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte and was shot on location at the Santa Anita Park in Arcadia. HBO made the unusual move of renewing the show for a second season after the first episode of the series premiered earlier this year.

However, the ratings for “Luck” were low, and although critics praised the show's artistry, its slow story lines were a frustration to many viewers.
Mann and Milch offered the following statement: “The two of us loved this series, loved the cast, crew and writers.  This has been a tremendous collaboration and one that we plan to continue in the future.”

NH Fish & Game: Take Down Bird Feeders; Bears Are Out

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Bird Feeders Should Be Down By March 15, Officials Say

CONCORD, N.H. -- The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department recommends taking down bird feeders now as bears remained active during the winter and more will be emerging from their dens shortly.

Officials usually use April 1 as the recommended time for taking down bird feeders, but food is readily available for bears after a mild winter, so they'll be active earlier.
Officials said food such as beachnuts kept bears active in December and January, and limited snowpack makes it easy to find food now.

Fish and Game recommends keeping the bird feeders down until Dec. 1, and securing garbage is just as important.

Fish and Game said spring is a critical time for bears. They typically lose 25 percent of their body weight during the denning period.

Residential prevention

  • Take down, clean and put away bird feeders by April 1. Store the bird feeder until late fall. (Birds will do just fine with the natural foods available.) Bear damage to bird feeders is a common and growing spring complaint.
  • Clean up spilled seed below feeder stations.
  • Keep garbage in airtight containers inside your garage or storage area. Double bagging and the use of ammonia will reduce odors that attract bears.
  • Garbage for pickup should be put outside the morning of collection and not the night before.
  • Do not place meat or sweet food scraps in your compost pile.
  • Do not leave pet food or dishes outdoors at night.
  • Clean up and/or store outdoor grills after use.
  • Use a bear-proof dumpster.
  • Never intentionally feed bears to attract them to your yard for viewing. Since 2006, it is also illegal to intentionally feed bears.

What you should do if you encounter a black bear

  • Normal trail noise should alert bears to your presence and prompt them to move without being noticed. However, if you see a bear, keep your distance. Make it aware of your presence by clapping, talking or making other sounds.
  • If a bear does not immediately leave after seeing you, the presence or aroma of food may be encouraging it to stay. Remove any sight or smell of foods. Place food items inside a vehicle or building. Occupy a vehicle or building until the bear wanders away.
  • Black bears will sometimes "bluff charge" when cornered, threatened or attempting to steal food. Stand your ground and slowly back away.
  • Enjoy watching black bears and other wildlife from a distance. Respect them and their right to live in wild New Hampshire.
  • Black bears do not typically exhibit aggressive behavior, even when confronted. Their first response is to flee. Black bears rarely attack or defend themselves against humans.
  • More Bear tips: 

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