Cutter Property, Grafton County, New Hampshire

About the Cutter Property

This 100-acre tract of private land is in the Connecticut River watershed, near Lyme in west-central New Hampshire. The parcel was heavily logged in the past, and today it is growing back as a young forest of gray birch, aspen, red maple, pin cherry, and other northern hardwood trees, as well as a mix of conifers. The property includes a stream and associated wetland areas. Beavers abound in the area, as do moose, deer, bear, other mammals, and a variety of bird species.

Improving the Land for Woodcock

In 2008, a tracked machine with a brontosaurus cutting head made a series of six parallel strips off of a logging road on the northern part of the property. The cuts were 66 feet wide and of differing lengths, with the brontosaurus chewing down saplings and removing stumps. Another five strips will be cut to the south of this area in the near future.

Image of woodcock roosting habitat

An old log landing serves as roosting and displaying habitat for woodcock on the Cutter Property.

In coming years (2012, 2017, 2022, and 2027), more cuts will be made in the zones between the parallel strips. Ultimately, these areas will support up to five different age and size classes of trees, providing nesting, brood-rearing, and feeding habitats for timberdoodles. Apple trees will be daylighted, and woodcock roosting fields (on old log landings) and singing grounds (on log landings and logging access roads) will be maintained.

Altogether, the parcel has the potential for providing around 20 acres of woodcock feeding habitat, 20 acres of nesting and brood-rearing cover, and 10 acres of roosting and singing habitat.

The Cutter tract, in addition to creating habitat for woodcock and other young-forest wildlife, provides a good example of how a small private tract can help to boost the biodiversity of a local area.

Funding and Partners

Donald Cutter, Natural Resources Conservation Service, New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Northeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Wildlife Management Institute.

How to Visit

The property is gated. To arrange a visit, contact John Lanier, New Hampshire Project Coordinator for the Wildlife Management Institute, P.O. Box 253, Colebrook, NH 03576, phone 603-237-8715.