Friday, April 6, 2012

Discover WILD New Hampshire Day on Saturday, April 21

Celebrate Earth Day by bringing the family to Discover WILD New Hampshire Day on Saturday, April 21, from 10 to 3 at the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department in Concord. See live animals, big trout, trained falcons. Enjoy archery, casting and wildlife crafts! More than 35 exhibitors from environmental, outdoor and conservation groups. Fun for all ages! And it's free! Find out more at Wild NH dot com.


CONCORD, N.H. -- Bring the whole family to Discover WILD New Hampshire Day on Saturday, April 21, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the grounds of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, N.H.

This free outdoor festival is fun for all ages – kids can try archery, cast with the “Let’s Go Fishing” program, and create wildlife arts and crafts. Sample a crispy fish fillet or build a bird house. See retriever dogs in action, live animals, big trout, trained falcons and the life-sized "Battling Bull Moose of Fowlertown." Pick up the latest ideas for conserving energy and protecting our environment, including gas-saving hybrid vehicles and more.

Under the big tent, talk to exhibitors from more than 35 outdoor, conservation and environmental groups from throughout New Hampshire. It's a great way to find out how you and your family can have fun and get connected to life outdoors.

“People in New Hampshire care deeply about wildlife and conserving their environment," said Judy Silverberg, the wildlife education supervisor at Fish and Game. "Discover WILD New Hampshire Day is a fun chance to explore the many ways you can get involved in outdoor recreation, conserving wildlife and natural places and protecting the environment.”

Discover WILD New Hampshire Day is co-sponsored by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department and the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES), with support from the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire and Southeastern Container, Inc.

Exhibitors at Discover WILD New Hampshire Day range from N.H. Audubon and Trout Unlimited to the Loon Preservation Center, Safari Club International's New Hampshire Chapter, the White Mountain National Forest and many more. Meet Smokey Bear and learn about New Hampshire forests and lands. Visit a mobile DES air quality monitoring station and find out how our air and water are being protected. Get an up-close look at alternative-fuel vehicles and bring your questions about these gas-saving cars and trucks.

“We hope you'll join us to help the N.H. Department of Environmental Services celebrate its 25th anniversary – Earth Day is the perfect time to observe that milestone, at the same time that you play and learn about New Hampshire’s environment, fish and wildlife,” said DES Commissioner Tom Burack.

Special presentations and demonstrations will go on throughout the day, including:

10:30 a.m.: What’s Your Water Footprint? – N.H. Department of Environmental Services
11:45 a.m.: Living Wild – Squam Lakes Natural Science Center
12:45 p.m.: Owls of New Hampshire – New Hampshire Audubon
1:45 p.m.: Let's Paws and Consider..." – W.I.L.D. Center/Zoological Park of New England

Tour Fish and Game's Wildlife Habitat Garden with Wildlife Educator Marilyn Wyzga and learn about Landscaping for Wildlife. Her talk will be offered at 11:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 2:00 p.m.

Participate in on-going activities during the event:

Visit a mobile DES Air Quality Monitoring Station
See retrieval dogs in action
Learn to find your way with basic map and compass
Practice casting with “Let’s Go Fishing” instructors
Become a Junior Conservation Officer
Explore the Discovery Room
See the Junior Duck Stamp Art Exhibit (winning artwork by young NH artists)

Now in its 23rd year, Discover WILD New Hampshire Day began in New Hampshire in 1989 as an observance of Earth Day and a celebration of the state's wealth of natural resources and outdoor recreational opportunities.

The Fish and Game License Office will be open during the event, so stop by and purchase your fishing or hunting license while you’re at Discover WILD New Hampshire Day. Check out special deals on Fish and Game logo merchandise, including T-shirts and camo hats.

The event is held rain or shine. A food concession is available from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Please note that no dogs are allowed; service animals only.

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services works for the protection and wise management of New Hampshire's environment. Its responsibilities include ensuring high water quality for water supplies, ecological balance and recreational benefits; regulating the emissions of air pollutants; fostering the proper management of municipal and industrial waste; and managing water resources for future generations. Visit

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department works in partnership with the public to conserve, manage and protect the state’s fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats. Visit

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Derry NH Rail Trail Map
This is an interactive map - Zoom in & out - Click on trail sections and icons for more info.

Map also shows future trail sections in Londonderry and Salem that are not yet complete. Also shown are Manchester and Goffstown trails. Derry Rail Trail is part of the proposed Salem to Concord Bikeway Project that w. Go to for more info.

View Derry Rail Trail Map in a larger map

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Mass. hiker falls into Tuckerman Ravine crevasse; rescuers get no response (update 2)

Alex, Norman, Brad and Seth April 10, 2011
PINKHAM NOTCH - A Massachusetts man fell into a deep crevasse on Sunday on the northern flanks of Tuckerman Ravine, and after his hiking party heard no response from him, rescue workers who were lowered 50 feet into the crevasse were unable to reach him.

Norman Priebatsch of Boston was hiking with three others on Sunday on Mount Washington. While above treeline. Priebatsch fell, sliding over a rock band and falling into the deep crevasses around 3:30 p.m.

This is a wonderful photo of Norman
doing what he loved.
How tragic that he died doing this.
 My prayers to the family.
The search for Priebatsch was suspended at 11 p.m. Sunday evening, after a snow ranger from the U.S. Forest Service was lowered about 50 feet into the crevasse and had no contact with him. At that point, visibility was restricted to about 80 feet, and the crevasse was filled with ice, running water, and undermined snow.

Authorities say the recovery effort will be resumed when a safe entry situation exists.


Priebatsch was an executive at Ambergen in the early 2000s, working at the Waltham biotech as CEO and chief operations officer while it incubated at Boston University's Photonics Center. He left to pursue a career as a serial startup founder, which has included at least two companies. Priebatsch's LinkedIn profile lists him as co-founder of Adeptrix Corp., a genomics mass-spectrometry startup, and Tinnix Inc., a medical smart phone app developer focused on tinnitus.

Located in the White Mountains National Forest, 6,288-foot Mount Washington is known for unpredictable weather.

Update: A White Mountains National Forest Snow Ranger Jeff Lane on Tuesday confirmed an earlier report that responders are now presuming Norman Priebatsch dead, and have shifted their operation to a recovery mode.

video platform video management video solutions video player

UPDATE 04/03/2012 (16:50)
Hub entrepreneur Norman Priebatsch — who fell into a deep snow crevasse atop New Hampshire’s Tuckerman Ravine on Sunday — is presumed dead, authorities said this afternoon.

“We’re looking at it as a recovery effort,” said White Mountain National Forest snow ranger Jeff Lane.

Priebatsch’s 23-year-old son Seth, the Hub tech wunderkind who runs Cambridge startup Scvngr, witnessed his father’s tragic fall, authorities said.

The search for Norman Priebatsch, 67, of Back Bay was suspended late Sunday “due to unsafe snow conditions” and “has not resumed,” said Tiffany Benna, public affairs officer for the White Mountains National Forest. Benna said the elder Priebatsch was with his son and two others at the time.

Snow rangers continue to monitor the conditions in the Tuckerman Ravine basin where Priebatsch went missing.

Lane said he was lowered about 50 feet into the crevasse and he could see about 30 feet below, where a stream cut under the snow.

Lane said Priebatsch must have fallen into the stream, otherwise he would have been visible at the bottom of the crevasse.

The conditions are trending about a month ahead of schedule.

“Things are melting and there’s running water coming down and undermining the snow,” Benna said. “Ice is coming off in big chunks. It’s in an avalanche kind of field site.”

The elder Priebatsch is a seasoned skier who frequented the White Mountains with loved ones, said his childhood friend, Peter Suzman of Newton, who grew up with Priebatsch in Johannesburg, South Africa.

“He is a very energetic man, both in work and play,” Suzman said.

Priebatsch’s son, Seth, is the CEO of Cambridge startup Scvngr, a multimillion-dollar gaming company that is in the midst of moving to new offices in Boston. Scvngr plans to hold a paintball game for charity at its Cambridge headquarters later this week before the company moves out and the building is redeveloped.

Reached this morning, Seth Priebatsch declined to comment.

Norman Priebatsch attended Harvard Business School and is the founder of audio technology company Tinnix as well as Adeptrix Corp., which has a novel method of decoding DNA, according to his LinkedIn profile.

On Sunday, the day the Priebatsch family traversed the mountain, the daily avalanche warning from the U.S. Forest Service was listed as “low.”

In a blog posting for the Mount Washington Avalanche Center, Lane noted the ever-present risks associated with the whims of the weather: “... there may be lingering pockets of unstable snow from the past week’s snowfalls. ... With the frozen surfaces comes the potential for very dangerous sliding falls.”

Obituary Link:

Latest story update April 10, 2012

For the latest updates on Mt. Washington State Park CLICK HERE

Monday, April 2, 2012

Forest service gets $4 million for Irene repairs to trails and roads

CAMPTON — The U.S. Forest Service has received more than $4 million in disaster relief funding to repair trails and roads on the White Mountain National Forest that were damaged by Tropical Storm Irene last August, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) announced recently.

“Hurricane Irene had a devastating impact on many areas in the state and these funds will ensure that repair work can be completed,” Shaheen said. “These roads and trails need to be repaired so residents and tourists can safely access the great resources offered by the White Mountain National Forest.”
Forest service supervisor Tom Wagner hailed the awarding of the funding.

“We welcome the news that funds have been made available to assist with the storm recovery efforts in the White Mountain National Forest,” said Wagner. “These funds will enable us to continue the work on damaged roads, bridges and trails from the August 2011 storm. We ask for the public’s understanding and patience as we restore public access over the next two to three years.”

Following Tropical Storm Irene, Shaheen joined Senate colleagues to support including $1.9 billion in disaster relief funding in the Federal Highway Administration’s 2012 budget.

Shaheen also encouraged federal officials to act quickly on the state’s application for federal disaster relief. She sent a letter to officials at the Federal Emergency Management Agency in support of Gov. John Lynch’s request to the agency for a Preliminary Damage Assessment.

Such an assessment is the first step in making New Hampshire projects eligible for financial assistance in cleanup and rebuilding after the storm. This emergency declaration was crucial to getting the funding, according to Shaheen.

The $4,046,814 comes through the Emergency Relief for Federally Owned Roads program, which helps agencies deal with the high cost of repairing federally-owned roads damaged by natural disasters. The money will be used to repair trails and roads including the Lincoln Woods Trail, Rocky Gorge Trail and Sabbaday Falls Trails as well the Kancamagus Highway, Mad River Road, Rocky Branch Road and Pinkham B Road.


Let’s G.O.! Get Outdoors New Hampshire in April:

Activities Planned Statewide

CONCORD, N.H. – Like blooming flowers and black flies, one of the sure signs of spring in New Hampshire is the sight of kids enjoying the outdoors.

Several New Hampshire organizations are helping kids discover nature during the month of April through a nationwide initiative called Let’s G.O.! (Get Outside!). The campaign urges a wide array of organizations to hold events that engage children, youth and families to discover the natural world.

The campaign is organized at the national level by the national Children and Nature Network and its sponsors, and here in the Granite State by the N.H. Children in Nature Coalition. Events are occurring from coast to coast in many different settings, from parks, schools and national wildlife refuges to city neighborhoods.

In New Hampshire, kids will have a chance to discover farm animals in Keene, prepare food bank gardens in Auburn, map play spaces in Nashua and star-gaze in Waterville Valley, among other activities.

“It’s inspiring to see New Hampshire organizations not only give children the opportunity to do what they love doing naturally – enjoy the outdoors – and also to see that this is part of a national awareness campaign,” said Marilyn Wyzga, coordinator of N.H. Children in Nature Coalition. “Kids thrive when their connection to nature becomes part of the routine, whether by participating in events like these or just by going outside to play.”

Wyzga and the N.H. Children in Nature Coalition point out that there’s still time for more organizations to hold events as part of Let’s G.O.! And those can be as diverse as a conservation commission or land trust holding a roadside cleanup or hike in protected lands; a health service organization holding a bird walk; or a family service organization holding a picnic.

“There are many easy ways that New Hampshire groups can participate in whatever format feels right for them,” Wyzga said. “And we can provide suggestions for events.”

To have your event be part of Let’s G.O.!, or to find an event in your area, visit

New Hampshire Let’s G.O.! Events as of April 1, 2012.

Nashua - April 1-21:
Kaboom!, a project with service learners to map Nashua’s outdoor play space.

Hopkinton - April 3, 10 – 11 a.m.:
Nature Nuts - Nature Nuts is a family nature club that meets on the first Tuesday of every month in the Hopkinton/Concord area.

Auburn - April 14, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.:
Earth Day Festival and Service Learning Showcase, Massabesic Audubon Center, Auburn
Live animal programs, recycled crafts, guided nature walks, food, vendor booths and lots of fun.
The Student Conservation Association will showcase service learning projects of Manchester students and prepare community gardens for the N.H. Food Bank.

Keene - April 16 to 20, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.:
Farm Field Days, Stonewall Farm, Keene
Activities throughout the week including: hiking, cooking, games, sheep shearing, llama walks, and wetland exploration.

Concord - April 21, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Discover WILD NH Day, N.H.. Fish and Game Department, Concord
Exhibits by dozens of New Hampshire environmental, conservation and outdoor organizations. Live animals, big fish and trained falcons. Participate in archery, casting, and crafts projects for the kids.

Waterville Valley - April 21, 8 -10 p.m.
Dark Sky Stargazing, Curious George Cottage, Waterville Valley
Observe the night sky! Join the Margret and H.A. Rey Center during the new moon for stargazing at the H.A. Rey Observatory. Telescopes set up by volunteer and knowledgeable stargazers.

Newmarket - April 22, 1-3p.m.
Vernal Pool Exploration, Lubberland Creek Preserve, Newmarket
Frogs and salamanders are just a couple of the creatures that make their spring home in vernal pools. Join Gail Coffey for an afternoon of netting and exploring the pools on the preserve. This is a great outing for kids!

To find more events or add your own event to the Let’s G.O. schedule, visit

The New Hampshire Children in Nature Coalition is dedicated to fostering experiences in nature that improve physical and emotional health, increase understanding of the natural world, and promote stronger connections to community and landscape. The Coalition got its start in 2007, when people from health, education, community planning and environmental sectors came together at a series of events to launch a New Hampshire initiative to reconnect children with nature and encourage children and families to get outside and active in the natural world. Find out more about the Coalition at


Lots of Deals At the National Parks April 21 to 29


Rising gas prices may be making you leery of a road trip this spring. But you can take advantage of free or discounted entry to national parks and historic sites the week of April 21 to 29.

There are 397 national sites, including 58 national parks, such as the Grand Canyon, Blue Ridge Parkway and the Great Smoky Mountains; historic sites like Independence Hall in Philadelphia; monuments, and seashores.
And there are national parks and sites near urban areas. For instance, Saguaro National Park sits in the middle of Tucson, Ariz. St. Louis has the Gateway Arch site, where a tram ride costs $10 per adult. There's free admission to California's Muir Woods National Monument and San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, usually $7 and $5 per adult, respectively.

To find a national park near you, go to the website of the National Park Service.

Some parks also are offering special hikes or ranger's and children's programs. Go to for more information. Some concessions, gift shops and restaurants will offer discounts as well, says National Park Service spokeswoman Kathy Kupper.

Entrance fees typically range from $3 per person per day to $25 per car for one week. (Some smaller sites already are free.) Children 16 and under and disabled individuals (as well as those accompanying them) always get in free. U.S. citizens and permanent residents age 62 or older can buy a $10 lifetime Senior Pass, good for all national parks and sites.

Write to Emily Glazer at