Applicants sought for coverts volunteer training

DURHAM – New Hampshire Coverts Project volunteers are one of the most widespread, dedicated groups working for the state’s wildlife and forests.

Applications are being accepted for the volunteer training workshop from May 4-7 at the Barbara C. Harris Conference Center in Greenfield.

Started in 1995, the N.H. Coverts Project has trained more than 500 volunteers to promote wildlife conservation and forest stewardship throughout New Hampshire. Each year, 25 conservation-minded New Hampshire residents gather with a team of natural resource professionals for a workshop, where they learn about wildlife and forest ecology, habitat management, land conservation and effective outreach.

Although there is a $50 registration fee, all lodging, food and other expenses are funded by program sponsors. In exchange for the training, participants commit to at least 40 hours of volunteer work in the coming year and to motivate others to become stewards of the state’s wildlife and forest resources.

David White, a landowner from Sandwich, recently reflected on his experience as a Coverts Project volunteer.

"I feel my Coverts training broadened my understanding of ways of managing forest and farmlands that are beneficial to multiple wildlife species, to existing ecosystems and to the community of which I am a part," he said.

A covert (pronounced "cover" with a "t") is a thicket that provides shelter for wildlife. The term symbolizes the project’s goal of enhancing, restoring and conserving habitat of native wildlife in New Hampshire.

Once trained through the Coverts Program, participants become members of a knowledgeable statewide network connected through newsletters, field trips, reunions and workshops.

Coverts volunteers choose to give their time in a variety of ways. Some lead field walks or organize volunteer work days, while others serve on a town board or manage their own property for wildlife habitat.

The project is sponsored by the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension and New Hampshire Fish & Game. The program also receives support from the New Hampshire Division of Forests and Lands, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the N.H. Charitable Foundation, the Davis Environmental Foundation and the Quality Deer Management Association.

To apply for the training workshop, download an application at nhcoverts.org. The deadline is Tuesday, March 1. For more information, visit the website or contact project coordinator Haley Andreozzi at haley.andreozzi@unh.edu or 862-5327.