Arts & Entertainment

Are New Hampshire’s bobcats well-connected?

UNH researchers assess methods measuring how well wildcats are moving within the state

New Hampshire is a pretty good place to live if you are a bobcat. And understanding how well bobcats move around the state within different habitats – called landscape connectivity – is critical to managing the state’s wildlife resources over the long term.

University of New Hampshire researchers recently compared two different methods to assess how well connected the landscape is for bobcats across the state. The research was supported by the N.H. Agricultural Experiment Station, N.H. Department of Fish and Game, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program.

“Think back to the electricity chapter in your high school physics book. Imagine New Hampshire as a giant circuit board and a bobcat as a tiny electrical charge. When moving from point A to point B, that bobcat is most likely going to follow the path of least resistance – that is, through the best available habitat. By examining all possible travel paths, we can get an idea of where each method predicts critical travel corridors or barriers might be,” said Rory Carroll, UNH doctoral student in wildlife and conservation biology.

“This information about bobcats is important since bobcats are what we call an umbrella species. Generally, if there is good enough habitat for them to live and move, many other species will be able to do so as well,” he said. “In order to effectively manage the breadth of our wildlife resources, we must be able to efficiently and accurately measure landscape connectivity.”

The research findings are presented in “Modeling landscape connectivity for bobcats using expert opinion and empirically derived models: How well do they work?” in the journal Animal Conservation. In addition to Carroll, the research team includes UNH researchers Greg Reed, master’s graduate in wildlife ecology, John Litvaitis, professor emeritus of wildlife ecology, Marian Litvaitis, professor of conservation biology, and Derek Broman, master’s graduate in wildlife ecology, and Catherine Callahan, N.H. Department of Fish and Game.

Researchers looked at two methods to assess landscape connectivity: expert opinion and resource selection. The expert opinion approach relies on biologists knowledgeable of bobcats to determine how likely bobcats are to move through landscape features such as forests, wetlands, agricultural fields, roads, or urban development. The resource selection model uses exact GPS locations from a previous study of radio-collared bobcats to determine in what kind of landscapes bobcats are most likely to spend time.

To test which approach produced a more accurate assessment of connectivity, researchers used genetic information from bobcats across the state. Bobcats from populations with high connectivity between them should be more closely related than those with potential barriers between them. Scientists examined connectivity results from both methods to see which one better aligns with genetic relatedness.

“It turns out that the resource selection method was better in most circumstances. However, the expert opinion method provided some very valuable insights the other method could not,” he said.

Specifically, the expert opinion method seemed to fit better than the resource selection method in Northern New Hampshire. Carroll explained that radio-collared bobcats tend to avoid areas with deep snow so the resource selection method predicted low connectivity throughout Coos County. Expert opinion predicted much higher connectivity there, which was supported by genetic data.

“This highlighted one limitation of the resource selection method, which is that it is difficult to get such detailed data over the entire state. It also emphasized the importance of incorporating all possible sources of information to come up with the best connectivity assessments,” he said.

The UNH study provides a framework for conservation organizations to conduct landscape connectivity studies using an umbrella species such as bobcats. For example, these results could be helpful to the Quabin-to-Cardigan partnership focused on conserving connected forests across western New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and the Staying Connected Initiative that aims to restore and enhance connectivity across northern New York, New England, and southeast Canada.

To learn more about UNH’s bobcat research, visit Understanding Bobcats in the Granite State: A Cooperative Project Led by the University of New Hampshire and the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department at tinyurl.com/NHbobcats.

This material is based upon work supported by the N.H. Agricultural Experiment Station, through joint funding of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under award number 1009906, and the state of New Hampshire. It is also supported by an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship to Rory Carroll. This project builds on data collected during two previous studies on New Hampshire bobcats funded by N.H. Fish and Game and the N.H. Agricultural Experiment Station.

bobcatstretchingBobcat. (COURTESY PHOTO)

Local retail sales professional writes book about how to properly take care of customers

BERLIN — With his unique perspective of what it is like to be in retail sales, Rick Currier shares the secrets of the trade in his newly released book, “Can I help You?”

Currier a long-time Berlin resident and North Country native has been in the retail sales business for more than thirty years. He has seen, through his experience, the good, the bad, and the downright ugly sales tactics from a wide variety of “salespeople.”

Growing up in Groveton, Currier developed a liking of anything electronic. If it had knobs, switches, or electronic controls, he enjoyed tinkering with it. This led him to his first job in retail sales, Radio Shack in Gorham.

Currier was promoted to manager in the early 1980s and left in 1997 to become the appliance and electronics buyer-manager at Top Furniture in Gorham.

In 2011, Currier was hired for a sales management position at Staples in North Conway to help a sales slumping store get back on its feet. After a successful two-year stay, the long hours and traveling were getting tiresome and he returned to Top Furniture as their sales and appliance manager.

“It was like I went away to school for two years and now I am better at sales and customer service than before,” said Currier.

As he progressed in his career, Currier began thinking about how he could share his experiences with others to help them become better at sales and properly caring for customers, and in 2016 Currier set to work writing his first book.

“Can I Help You?” is an entertaining and honest look at the world of retail sales through Currier’s own experiences. He provides insight, suggestions and motivation to encourage others to progress within their own career.

Published by New York City-based Page Publishing, Currier’s helpful book is the perfect read for anyone in the sales field.
Currier’s informative book can be found at Little Village Toy & Book Shop in Littleton, and White Birch Bookstore in North Conway. It can also be ordered at bookstores across the country or online at www.rickcurrier.com, the Apple iTunes store, Amazon, Google Play, or Barnes and Noble.

About Page Publishing:
Page Publishing is a traditional New York based full-service publishing house that handles all of the intricacies involved in publishing its authors’ books, including distribution in the world’s largest retail outlets and royalty generation. Learn more at www.pagepublishing.com.

Rick BWWith his unique perspective of what it is like to be in retail sales, Rick Currier shares the secrets of the trade in his newly released book, “Can I help You?” (COURTESY PHOTO)

'Robert Rogers of the Rangers – Tragic Hero' presented by George Morrison

GORHAM — George Morrison presents “Robert Rogers of the Rangers – Tragic Hero,” at the Gorham Public Library on Wednesday, March 1, at 7 p.m.

According to historic accounts, on a frontier where individualism flourished, New Hampshire’s consummate woodsman was just the leader to bring his men back safely from deep in dangerous country, even in stormy, freezing weather. The famous "Major Rogers’" renown was such that he became perhaps the single-best-known American on both sides of the Atlantic. In October 1765, a private audience with young King George III led, eleven months later, to the launching of an expedition to find the long-dreamed-of Northwest Passage to the Pacific – forty years before Lewis and Clark.

George Morrison earned a BA in History at the University of New Hampshire. He served for 27 years as a high school teacher. A long-time researcher of unpublished primary sources, Morrison has contributed to the work of numerous aviation historians and artists in several countries. He returns to the North Country with this new presentation, which is provided by a grant from New Hampshire Humanities. This event is co-sponsored by the Gorham Senior and Adult Program and is free and open to the public. For information, call (603) 466-2525.

GeorgeGeorge Morrison presents “Robert Rogers of the Rangers – Tragic Hero,” at the Gorham Public Library on Wednesday, March 1, at 7 p.m. (COURTESY PHOTO)

32nd Annual North Country Dairy Seminar and Trade Show to cover a variety of topics

WHITEFIELD — This years UNH Extension Seminar and Trade Show will feature topics covering many different aspects of farm operation from farmstead layout to antibiotics and regulations. 

The morning session is planned to address antibiotics and the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) which recently went into effect. Justin Bergeron, Assistant State Veterinarian for Maine, will speak on antibiotics and regulations and their use in the VFD and MSRA era. Most livestock and dairy farm operations will want to attend to learn about the realities of the current situation, antimicrobial resistance and regulation involved. Bergeron will use case studies to illustrate his points.

The afternoon session features John Tyson, Agricultural Engineer with Penn State Cooperative Extension. Tyson works with farm owners on a wide-array of topics from farmstead layout, cow comfort, ventilation to feed storage design. They have asked him to address the how to of designing a manure handling system. This will include such topics as types of housing, bedding and all critical components.

The Seminar and Trade Show will be held on Wednesday, March 15, at The Inn At Whitefield on Route 3. Pre-registration is encouraged and there is a discount for doing so by March 8. Dinner and access to the educational meetings and trade show of farm products/services is included.

For more information and to register, you can find the event flyer on their website, https://extension.unh.edu/Programs/Agriculture-Resourses-FieldForage-Crops or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call the Coos County UNH Extension office and they will mail one to you (603) 788-4961.

4th Annual Snow Volleyball Tournament in Lancaster to benefit Child Advocacy Center of Coos County

LANCASTER — Back for the fourth year, Cold Hands, Warm Heart Volleyball Tournament, annual benefit for the Child Advocacy Center of Coos County will be held on Saturday, March 11, at Colonel Town.

The double-elimination tournament starts at 9 a.m., on the Colonel Town tennis courts, where food and beverages will be available. Teams will leave it all on the court as they compete to take the championship away from last year’s victors, N.H. State Police Troop F.

Registration costs $50 per team with a minimum of five players and $10 per extra player, and the deadline to register is Wednesday, March 8. Registration is available online, by visiting the CAC’s Facebook page or by searching Eventbrite.com for “volleyball” in Lancaster. Additional information or registration assistance is available from Kimberly Preston at (603) 636-1999 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Child Advocacy Center of Coos County is a 501(c)3 non-profit and a member of the Granite State Children’s Alliance. Based on a national model, Child Advocacy Centers coordinate a team approach to investigating and prosecuting child abuse cases, and to providing services to child victims.

More information about child abuse and prevention and the CAC may be found at www.cac-nh.org/coos.