General Information

Prepared by the UNH Woodlands and Natural Area Committee and the UNH Office of Woodlands and Natural Areas. This document was created for general information purposes only.

Introduction

The Woodlands and Natural Areas Committee of the University of New Hampshire is charged with managing the University's woodlands and natural areas, in support of the University's mission: to provide areas for educational purposes, research opportunities, and public benefit for the students and citizens of New Hampshire and beyond. This interdisciplinary committee, including academic, administrative, and Cooperative Extension representatives sets management policies for the Woodlands and Natural Areas and directs the Office of Woodlands and Natural Areas.

Brief History

In October 1981 the President of the University of New Hampshire (then President Handler) authorized Kurt C. Feltner, the Dean of the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture to appoint a University Woodlands Committee. This committee merged with the Natural Areas Committee. The Natural Areas Committee was established to ensure usage of the Natural Areas was consistent with Natural Area status. These two committees combined are the predecessors to the Woodlands and Natural Areas Committee of today.

Mission

To manage the University of New Hampshire's Woodlands and Natural Areas in support of the university's mission; to provide areas for educational purposes, research opportunities, recreation and public benefit for the UNH community, citizens of New Hampshire and beyond.

Management Goals

In order to achieve their mission the Woodlands and Natural Areas Committee has established three management goals. To provide, protect, and produce.

To Provide

Areas are to be provided which afford opportunities for research, education, and recreation while also allowing for management activities to occur. Furthermore, it is important for the University to provide an example to the public of well managed Woodlands and Natural Areas that implement strategy of shared resource management.

To Protect

As with the Hippocratic oath, first do no harm. Such is the view of the Woodlands and Natural Areas Committee regarding the areas under their care. As a University entrusted and dedicated to providing well-rounded educated citizens with a sense of balance for the future, it is necessary that we promote areas that will provide a healthy environment for future generations.

To Produce

The Woodlands and Natural Areas Committee recognizes the needs for natural resources. As part of the educational and research opportunities that are supported, it is necessary to view many of the areas under their care as commodities that must be managed in order to ensure their continued supply. Therefore, it is imperative that the office strives to produce many resource elements in marketable quantities.

Guiding Management Principles

Recognizing their duty of stewardship and to set an example to others of properly managed woodlands and natural areas, the Office of Woodlands and Natural Areas achieves management objectives, while observing the following tenets:

  • Support ecosystem integrity
  • Support biological diversity
  • Support sustainable forest utilization
  • Protect the productivity of the resources in their care
  • Provide educational, research, and recreational opportunities

 

Objectives

The Woodlands and Natural Areas Committee has established the Office of Woodlands and Natural Areas to help fulfill its mission, meet its management goals, and operate under its guiding management principles. More specifically, the office will implement the following objectives to assist it in accomplishing the Woodlands and Natural Areas Committee's mission and management goals:

  • Provide a variety of stand vigor conditions
  • Provide a variety of vegetation types
  • Provide a variety of stand age classes
  • Maintain an adequate forest road access and maintenance program
  • Maintain a centralized research, recreational, and forest management record keeping system.
  • Improve and maintain a variety of wildlife habitat
  • Enhance compatible recreational opportunities
  • Prevent watershed degradation
  • Provide educational opportunities and assistance to students
  • Interact with other organizations and individuals that need access to areas administered by the Woodlands and Natural Areas Committee

 

Land Use Policy

University forestlands, grasslands, and waterways managed by the Office of Woodlands and Natural Areas are considered public land with open access to the general public. All legal recreational activities are generally allowed in such areas. Specific activities requiring written permits (e.g., trapping and hunting stands) are processed by a representative of the UNH Police department. Normal access, motorized and non-motorized vehicle access, parking, hunting, and animal damage are controlled on certain parcels. Hunting is not allowed in College Woods or in the wooded portion of the Woodman Horticulture Farm. Under State of NH Law, areas designated as Safety Zones on East and West Foss Farms are also closed to hunting. The Woodlands and Natural Areas Committee responds directly to specific concerns of land use policy including, but not limited to, trail expansion, group activities, specific permits, animal damage, and consumptive recreation including hunting, trapping and fishing.