River Restoration Specialist
12/14/2004 -- Concord, N.H. -- The national conservation organization Trout Unlimited (TU) recently received an $18,000 grant from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation’s Winona & Austin Hubbard Environmental Fund to begin the restoration of Nash Stream, a degraded river with great potential that runs through New Hampshire’s largest state forest.
“This grant is key,” said Jim MacCartney, TU River Restoration Specialist, “because it’s a momentum-builder. Not only will we hit the ground running at the start of the summer field season, it will enable us to demonstrate immediate results to other potential funders.”
Nash Stream presents a unique conservation opportunity because almost its entire watershed is surrounded by undeveloped public land. Using funds from its Land Conservation Investment Program, the state in 1988 bought the 40,000-acre Nash Stream Forest and provided for its permanent preservation, offering hope to those interested in the re-establishment of wild populations of brook trout and Atlantic salmon, two imperiled native species. Nash Stream historically supported populations of these fish, but after a catastrophic flood following a dam burst in 1969, the stream’s banks and channel were scoured of the woody debris that supports healthy fish stocks, and shallow riffles replaced deep pools, eliminating much of the habitat that fish need. The combined effects of the flood, downstream dams, and earlier logging and gravel mining caused wild trout and salmon populations to crash.
After lengthy deliberations that involved considerable public input, the state decided to make the re-establishment of wild brook trout and salmon the management goal for Nash Stream. A team of partners, including the N.H. Division of Forests and Lands, N.H. Fish and Game, U.S.D.A. Forest Service and other organizations, has formed a multi-year restoration plan and will be engaged in the long-term effort.
“In this coming year we will be doing an assessment of the stream in an attempt to gauge what stretches face the biggest problems,” MacCartney said. “Then we will turn our attention to designing tailored solutions to those problems. The entire project will take several years and several hundred thousand dollars to complete, but without the recent show of support from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, we’d still be discussing a hypothetical plan, rather than the clear course of action now before us.”
For more information on Nash Stream and the plight of New England’s wild brook trout, please visit www.tu.org  and download our new report, “The New England Brook Trout: Protecting a Fish, Restoring a Region.”
Mission: The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation is a statewide community foundation, established in 1962. This permanent endowment comes from the gifts from many individuals, families, corporations and organizations. Earnings from the endowment are used to make grants and loans to nonprofit organizations serving the state and for scholarship awards to New Hampshire residents.