September 4, 2020
Thank you for visiting the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge, and for participating in our Chronolog Citizen Science Project. Located within parts of four New England states: New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge is the only refuge of its kind to encompass an entire watershed. The Refuge works in partnership with a wide variety of individuals and organizations to provide outdoor recreational opportunities and support appropriate habitat conservation and management. Fannie Stebbins Memorial Wildlife Refuge is a 330 acre property established in 1951 thanks to the efforts of the Allen Bird Club. The Refuge consists of diverse floodplain habitats along the Connecticut River, including floodplain forest, shrub swamps, and herbaceous marsh that is part of a larger floodplain just outside of Massachusetts’ third largest city. Floodplain forests are considered among the rarest and most threatened natural communities in the state. Floodplains are important in that they absorb water during floods and allow it to slowly return to the river in drier times, thus reducing flooding impacts on people and their neighborhoods. Currently, The Nature Conservancy, the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge are working with other partners to complete a floodplain restoration project at the refuge. Restoration plans include planting seven old fields with floodplain forest tree species, controlling invasive plant species and removing a berm that is preventing the flow of water across the site. Once restored, the Fannie Stebbins refuge will be the largest un-fragmented area of natural floodplain vegetation in the Connecticut River Watershed. Your photos taken at this location will document the change in the landscape over time, as this restored field grows into mature floodplain forest. Long term, your photos will help document the growth of the planted trees and shrubs as they grow larger and eventually transform the landscape into mature floodplain forest. The beauty of the land, the protection it provides against flooding, and the natural habitat it creates is a win-win for both people and wildlife.
The Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge was established in 1997 to conserve, protect and enhance the abundance and diversity of native plant, fish and wildlife species and the ecosystems on which they depend throughout the 7.2 million acre Connecticut River watershed. Currently, the refuge is comprised of nearly 40,000 acres within parts of the four watershed states of New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.