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Loon preservation biologists busy rescuing monofilament-entangled birds

MOULTONBOROUGH — LPC biologists have been busy with three different late summer rescues. A loon was released last Monday after spending two weeks with wildlife rehabilitators in Maine. The loon was found near Governor's Island on Lake Winnipesaukee on September 2 after being badly tangled in fishing line. Once captured, the loon was taken to Interlakes Animal Hospital in Meredith to be examined. A radiograph showed a large hook, but no signs of lead fishing tackle. The fishing line was removed from the bird's bill and tongue and the loon was transferred to rehabilitators in Maine for follow-up care. The prompt care from Dr. Jacques at Interlakes Animal Hospital and rehabilitators at Avian Haven in Maine paid off, as another x-ray on September 15 showed that the hook had broken down and made its way to the loon's gizzard, so the loon was released in a protected cove in Penobscot Bay.

In another rescue on August 31, LPC & NH Fish & Game staff and volunteers captured and untangled a juvenile loon on Bow Lake. Unfortunately there was a less happy ending for a loon on Lake Sunapee a few days earlier. A New London tax assessor reported a beached loon in Herrick Cove on Lake Sunapee on August 27. Loon Preservation Committee (LPC) staff and volunteers in the area attempted to capture the loon within an hour, but the loon continued to dive and would not let them get close enough to catch it. The loon was monitored by volunteers and staff of the Lake Sunapee Protective Association (LSPA) during that afternoon. Residents in the cove had better luck capturing the loon later that day, and were able to untangle it and release it in the cove. Checks of the cove and nearby lake the following day did not find the loon, but one of the rescue volunteers relocated it the next evening in the back of the cove, and it died shortly after. Although post-mortem radiographs showed no sign of ingested sinkers or jigs, the loon was extremely emaciated, and did not have the strength to survive the ordeal.

Fishing line entanglement is unfortunately a common problem for loons and other wildlife, especially in late summer, as these three incidents show. Responsible fishing practices help: remember to reel in around loons, retrieve discarded fishing line, and always use non-lead tackle.

The Loon Preservation Committee (www.loon.org) monitors loons throughout the state as part of its mission to restore and maintain a healthy population of loons in New Hampshire; to monitor the health and productivity of loon populations as sentinels of environmental quality; and to promote a greater understanding of loons and the natural world.

Last Updated on Monday, 29 September 2014 10:53

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Guided hike of Red Hill on Oct. 4

MOULTONBOROUGH — On Saturday, October 4, the Lakes Region Conservation Trust (LRCT) is offering a guided hike at the Red Hill Conservation Area in Moultonborough and Sandwich. The hike will depart promptly at 9 a.m. and will return at approximately 3 p.m. Participants will need to arrive by 8:45 a.m. to have time to check in and prepare for the hike. 
Historical records show that the Cook family of Massachusetts first settled here in 1788. Under their stewardship, the land was farmed and pastured, and they welcomed visitors who climbed the summit to enjoy one of the most beautiful views in New England. Timothy Dwight, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Herman Melville, and Henry David Thoreau were among the many that visited the mountain and praised its view. Today Red Hill is one of the major conservation landmarks and most popular family hikes in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region. LRCT owns and stewards 2,650 acres of land on Red Hill, which has been noted since the 19th century for its panoramic views of Winnipesaukee, Squam, and the White Mountains.
The approximately 5-mile moderate to strenuous hike will follow the Fire Tower and Eagle Cliff trails. Participants will view historic sites of interest along the way, learn to identify signs of wildlife in this habitat-rich environment, and explore part of this conserved landscape with lead guide John Oliver, LRCT Property Adopter for the Red Hill Conservation Area.
The number of participants in this excursion will be limited, and pregistration is required. Those who preregister will be sent additional detailed information. To pre-register, contact the Lakes Region Conservation Trust at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 253-3301. 

Last Updated on Friday, 26 September 2014 09:44

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Lake Winni museum hosting presentation on Civil War general who never lost a battle

LACONIA — Lake Winnipesaukee Museum is hosting a presentation, "The Civil War and General Thomas", featuring Dave Decker on October 1st at 7 p.m.

Decker will deliver a presentation on the life and career of General George Thomas, with special emphasis on his unbroken string of victories throughout the Civil War.

Thomas is well known as the best commander on defense in the war. He twice saved the union army from destruction at Stone's River and at Chickamauga. After this second battle, the newspapers dubbed him "the Rock of Chickamauga," and President Lincoln called his effort the most heroic act in the history of the world.

Thomas was equally effective on offense, as was shown in the Tullahoma Campaign and then in the Atlanta Campaign. His crowning achievement occurred at the battle of Nashville, where he completely destroyed John Bell Hood's army, originally 57,000 men but reduced to 3,000 men at Tupelo, Mississippi, having been chased there by Thomas for 250 miles over three weeks. The result of this battle was the end of the war in the west in December, 1864, four months before Lee surrendered to Grant and five months before Johnston surrendered to Sherman. Now one third of the confederate states were at peace.

At the conclusion of the war and five years later at his death, at least ten of his closest colleagues, fellow generals, proclaimed Thomas to be the best general of the war, or of the 19th century, or since George Washington. Thomas was the only man who never lost a battle during the entire civil war.

Dave Decker was born in 1937 in Chicago, Illinois. He lived in Methuen, Massachusetts and Salem, New Hampshire, before moving to Laconia and Gilford, in 1963 and has continued to live there ever since. He graduated from the University of New Hampshire and majored in government and then graduated from Boston College law school.

He practiced law in New Hampshire for 28 years, retired, and then worked as a paralegal for the next 20 years—much easier on the heart and stomach.

Dave is married to his wife, Susan, has three adult children, six grandchildren, and twelve step-grandchildren. His only other resident in the house is the dog.

His interest in the Civil War began in high school and has continued uninterrupted ever since then. A member of the Civil War Round Table of New Hampshire since 1997, he has delivered presentations on the following topics: the Lincoln-Douglass debates of 1858, the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg, women soldiers in the Civil War, and General George Henry Thomas.

He has presented to civil war round tables and historical societies in Alexandria, Auburn, Epping, Farmington, Gilmanton, Hooksett, Keene, Laconia, Meredith, Milton, and Somersworth, N.H.; and seven more venues in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. Dave's strong interest in General Thomas has been caused by the fact that Thomas is virtually unknown and wrongfully so, and in Dave's small way, he's trying to make amends. He's sure to tell you that General Thomas is a great hero of the Civil War.

This event is free for Lake Winnipesaukee Historical Society members, for non members there is a $5 fee with all proceeds going to benefit the Historical Society's ongoing renovations. The museum located on Route 3 in Weirs Beach, next to Funspot. Please RSVP to 366-5950.

Last Updated on Friday, 26 September 2014 09:27

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Campton Church hosting Harvest Supper

CAMPTON — Campton Congregational Church is holding a Harvest Supper on Saturday from 5-6:30 p.m.

The meal includes ham, harvest veggies, homemade salads, homemade rolls, beverages and homemade pies for dessert. $7 for adults and $4 for children.  

For more information about the dinner or church related inquiries, contact Pastors Russ and Cindy Petrie at the Campton Congregational Church at 603-536-2536.

Last Updated on Friday, 26 September 2014 09:21

Hits: 109

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