Nongame program initiative to benefit Blanding’s Turtles and other endangered wildlife

CONCORD — You have an opportunity this fall to make a real difference in helping the state Hampshire Fish and Game Department's Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program put "boots on the ground" to protect wildlife and endangered species in the Granite State.

"We are beginning the second phase of our work to protect habitat for Blanding's and wood turtles," explained Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program Supervisor John Kanter. "The federal agency called the Natural Resources Conservation Service, or NRCS, is poised to invest in a big way to help these species by constructing nesting sites, conserving land and educating landowners. The limiting factor for getting this work done is wildlife expertise for developing new practices and monitoring key focus areas."

Show your support by donating online at, or by mail at

Please make your tax-deductible contribution by Dec. 31.

The Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program will advise NRCS district conservationists around New Hampshire on how they can work most effectively with private landowners to help turtles and other wildlife. Landowners can apply for federal funds to help them protect vulnerable species. The Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program knows the critical habitats and stands ready to help landowners make the best use of these resources.

"We have to work with many partners to help these rare turtles," said Kanter. "Coordination is essential because more than 70% of the land in New Hampshire is privately owned."

The Wildlife Action Plan calls for effective coordination between the Nongame Program and federal agencies that direct funding to projects focused on increasing the protection of wildlife that rely on habitat on working farms and forests. Funds raised through this fall appeal will help Fish and Game, in partnership with the NRCS and UNH Cooperative Extension, to:

• Provide the critical link to the most effective use of endangered species protection project funds — biological expertise and technical assistance.

• Teach landowners how to recognize turtle nesting sites, as well as field habitats for birds like the bobolink and eastern meadowlark.

• Advise farmers about mowing techniques that can significantly reduce mortality among already reduced populations of wood turtles.

The Fish and Game Department's Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program works to protect over 400 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians, as well as thousands of insects and other invertebrates. Learn more at


Ninth Purity Thanksgiving Day 5K was a hit

MADISON — The Purity Spring Thanksgiving Day 5k Trail Race took place last Thursday, and the race has become a popular way for folks to start their Thanksgiving. This year's event attracted runners from 14 states and raised over $2,700 for the Kennett Middle School 8th Grade Philadelphia Trip and the Kennett High School Project Graduation.

Taylor Days-Merrill, 23, of Fairhaven, Mass., took individual honors this year, covering the scenic 5K course in 18:57.

Leslie O'Dell, 40, of Madison, was the fastest female, finishing in 21:58.

Race director Catalina Kirsch, along with the generous support of sponsors, has raised over $15,000 for local non-profits over the 9-year history of the race.  

"Thank you for coming out and helping to make this year's race a big success," Kirsch wrote after the race. "With your help we were able to raise about $2,700, which will be shared between Kennett Middle School 8th Grade Class Trip to Philadelphia and also Kennett High School Project Graduation, both in spring, 2017.

"We had a final count of 184 finishers from across 14 U.S. states as far as Nevada, Florida, Wisconsin and Alaska. We had a finisher from Ireland, too!  I think that makes us an international event!"

While Days-Merrill won the race, he was followed by Andrew Drummond, 35, of Shackford's Notch, who was second in 19:51. Torin LaLiberte, 21, of Madison was third third in 20:00.

Center Conway's Andrew Doherty, 21, and Hayden Bove, 22, of Jericho, Vt., rounded out the top 5, finishing fourth and fifth, respectively.

For the women, Terry Ballou, 49, of Center Conway was second across the finish line in 23:27 (16th place overall), while Hilary McCloy, 34, of Shackford's Notch was third (18th overall) in 23:38.

Other local finishers included: Coby Jacobus, sixth, 21:18; Jim Huckman, eighth, 21:26; Dalton L'Heureux, ninth, 21:48; Chris Desmarais, 13th, 22:34; Paul Bazanchuk, 14th, 22:55; Mike St. Hillaire, 21st, 24:35; Dan Doherty, 22nd, 24:45; Cody Bryan, 24th, 24:53; Todd Desmarais Jr., 26th, 25:14; Sarah Hickman, 27th, 25:15; Victoria Weigold, 32nd, 26:29; Lis Jacobus, 33rd, 26:53; Owen Henley, 34th, 26:59; Michelle Henley, 36th, 27:17; Michael Bowles, 38th, 27:23; Kim Bowles, 42nd, 27:51; Alex Klementovich, 45th, 28:09; Gerard Costantino, 47th, 28:12; Bobby Graustein, 49th, 28:29; Joe Donovan, 54th, 28:44; Robert Hill, 55th, 28:46; Miguel Kirsch, 57th, 28:53; Dalton Petell, 58th, 28:53; Kyle Perry, 61st, 29:07; Trenton L'Heareaux, 63rd, 29:25; Frank Holmes, 64th, 29:26; Tom Donovan, 65th, 29:56; Bill Earle, 66th, 29:58; Riley Steward, 74th, 30:50; Taylor Petell, 75th, 30:50; Chloe VanDyne, 76th, 30:50; David Cowles, 77th, 31:22; Skip Spadaccini, 78th, 31:28; Erin Perry, 79th, 31:36; Sherri Walker-Towle, 80th, 31:38; Bob Benes, 81st, 31:38; Julie Everett Hill, 82nd, 31:40; Mckayla Dockam, 83rd, 31:43; Gabriel Freedman, 84th, 31:49; Sam Taylor, 88th, 32:24; Lea Frizzell, 89th, 32:39; Alyssa Floyd, 90th, 33:01; Tracey Holmes, 93rd, 33:15; Gary Floyd, 99th, 33:54; Mary Doherty, 100th, 34:00; Nicholas Snow, 108th, 34:44; Grace Perley, 111th, 35:03; Otto Frankowski, 113th, 35:10; Christine Thompson, 115th, 35:15; Paul Thierrien, 118th, 38:58; Abigail Desmarais, 119th, 36:11; Christie Girouard, 120th, 36:12; Richard Girouard, 121st, 36:12; Anne Skidmore, 123rd, 36:37; Ryan McDonald, 128th, 37:27; Cabot Henley, 130th, 38:19; Turner Viger, 131st, 39:22; Christine Smith, 134th, 39:34; Mike Bryan, 135th, 39:35; Robin Steward, 139th, 40:13; Amy Willenbrock, 143rd, 40:53; Elizabeth Allman, 150th, 41:12; Katherine Rhodes, 152nd, 41:13; Mary Willenbrock, 154th, 41:45; Mara Taylor, 155th, 41:46; Annabelle Light, 163rd, 42:18; Andrew Light, 164th, 42:19; Jane Beardsley, 168th, 42:47; Megan McDonald, 170th, 43:12; Peter Haine, 172nd, 45:24; Ida Helmers, 175th, 46:49; Joann Daly, 176th, 47:35; Bethanne Graustein, 177th, 48:24; Liza Graustein, 178th, 48:24; and Mike Helmers, 182nd, 50:31.

"This event has raised approximately $18,000 over the last nine years to support charities that benefit children and families in the Mount Washington Valley of New Hampshire," wrote Kirsch. "We are proud of that effort and could not do it without you!

"We hope to see you at next year's event on November 23, 2017! Mark your calendars today and check back for online registration to open around October 2017."

Saco Valley Swim Team members turn in impressive times

BARTLETT — The Saco Valley Swim Team had another successful meet at the North Country Community Recreation Center in Colebrook on Nov. 11. The hometown swimmers competed against the NCCRC Otters and the Lisbon Silver Fins. 

Executive Director Lorie Morann said the SVST competed in 19 swims and had 15 personal best times, including winning many first, second and third place ribbons. Posting best times were:

Isabel Fry, age 7, swam the 25-meter backstroke in 36.93, and the 25-meter breaststroke in 31.44.

Landon Manfredi, 7, swam the 25-meter freestyle in 28.28, the 25-meter backstroke in 32.77, and the 25-meter breaststroke in 38.81.

Abby McGrath, 8, swam the 25-meter backstroke in 35.35, and the 25-meter breaststroke in 39.62.

Anna Fry, swam the 50-meter freestyle in 39.90, the 50-meter backstroke in 49.31, the 50-meter breaststroke in 55.25, and the 100-meter individual medley in 1:42.68.

Alex Sweeney, 9, swam the 100-meter individual medley in 2:28.62.

Hayden Manfredi, 12, swam the 50-meter freestyle in 49.13, the 50-meter backstroke 59.45,and the 50-meter breaststroke in 1:12.19.

"This was Hayden's first swim meet, congratulations," said Morann. "Isabel and Anna Fry are new additions to the team. A big welcome to them also!"

The following SVST members placed in the meet with a total of 10 first place, four second place and three third places results:

Abby McGrath: a win and two second places.

Alex Sweeney: a pair of third places.

Hayden Manfredi: a pair of seconds and a third.

Landen Manfredi: three first places.

Anna Fry: four first places.

Isabel Fry: two first places.

The SVST is comprised of swimmers 6-18 years of age from many towns throughout the Mount Washington Valley community, including Maine. The team is coached by Bob Magg, Dick Lennon, Eileen Lennon, Steve Vosburgh, Kim Fry and Margi Wright.

The SVST is a member of the Granite State Swim Association (GSSA). The GSSA is a summer recreational league consisting of about 30 swim teams from the Granite State, Maine, Vermont and Massachusetts.

The SVST and the Swim Team School practices at the White Mountain Aquatic Center (WMAC) located at 336 NH-16A Intervale, NH 03845. This is a wonderful opportunity for children to experience swimming instruction/coaching for lifelong learning and safety in the water. Hard work by all of the swimmers and coaches make the SVST one of the finest activities for health, wellness and fun in the valley.

The WMAC offers a Master's Program, Adult Aqua Zumba, Adult Water Movement, Private Lessons, Learn to Swim Program, Swim Team, Private Parties and monthly, three-month and annual memberships. The White Mountain Aquatic & Fitness Foundation (WMAFF) continues its mission to be "dedicated to providing Mount Washington Valley residents and its visitors access to aquatic, fitness and sports programs." We are a non-profit organization and all donations are greatly appreciated and bring us closer to building the new Aquatic & Fitness Complex right here in the valley.

For more information, please visit or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Vermont's Shiffrin wins 21st World Cup event at Killington


KILLINGTON, Vt. — In front of a huge hometown crowd and her entire family, Burke Mountain Academy's Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, Colo) shone under pressure to win the Audi FIS Ski World Cup slalom at Vermont's Killington Mountain Sunday. Shiffrin's win capped off a successful weekend in the East Coast that will impact ski racing for decades to come, notes the U.S. Ski Team.

Coming in as the odds-on favorite, Shiffrin, 21, had a couple of small bobbles in her second run, but put aside all the pre-race pressure to extend her first-run lead and win by .73 seconds ahead of Veronika Velez Zuzulova of Slovakia to take her 21st World Cup win. Wendy Holdener of Switzerland was third.

"It's been incredible," said Shiffrin. "I knew it was going to be a big one, and special, and I was so excited. It's the east coast, I know this place, I know these people love to watch ski racing. I'm so proud that they all came out and really cheered that loud!"

But Shiffrin admitted that she was nervous and feeling down prior to the race. "I put a lot of pressure on myself," she said. "I went through a moment where I was thinking maybe I shouldn't do this. I was so worked up and nervous and worried about the wrong things."

However, Shiffrin's day ended on a high note on Killington's Superstar Trail, as she came through the finish and uncharacteristically celebrated when she saw the number 1 next to her name. Her whole family was there to watch, while she was particularly excited about skiing in front of her grandmother for the first time ever. "The fact that my nana was able to watch this race is amazing," said Shiffrin. "I can't put that into words. The proudest I've ever been is winning this race in front of my nana."

Sunday's crowd was equal to Saturday's 16,000 fans, bringing the total to more than 30,000 fans in total to attend the Killington World Cup — the first World Cup in the east coast in 25 years. Every kid was smiling, as they waved flags and asked for autographs from their favorite skiers.

"It was incredible," said Shiffrin. "Today you could peak over the break in the hill and see everybody. I could hear them chanting USA before my run. In these kinds of races, the crowd totally carries me down the hill."

U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association President and CEO Tiger Shaw was also present at the race. "This event at Killington will have a lasting impact on this sport for a decade or more to come," said Shaw. "The excitement and the motivation that this will generate for kids in New England in insurmountable and will help grow the profile of alpine skiing in the country."

In Satuday's giant slalom, Shiffrin was fifth, tops among Americans. The race was won by Tessa Worley of France, followed by Nina Loeseth of Norway in second and Sofia Goggla of Italy in third.

Next up, the women head to Lake Louise for a speed series Dec. 2-4. Conway's Leanne Smith is expected to compete in the weekend's downhill.