The NH Natural Heritage Bureau finds, tracks, and facilitates the protection of New Hampshire's rare plants and exemplary natural communities (types of forests, wetlands, grasslands, etc.). As a bureau within the Division of Forests & Lands, we are fundamentally a service to New Hampshire landowners and land managers. We are not a regulatory agency; instead, we work with landowners and land managers to help them protect the State's natural heritage while meeting their land-use needs.
Our mission, as mandated by the Native Plant Protection Act of 1987 (RSA 217-A), is to determine protective measures and requirements necessary for the survival of native plant species in the state, to investigate the condition and degree of rarity of plant species, and to distribute information regarding the condition and protection of these species and their habitats. We also maintain information on rare wildlife in cooperation with the NH Fish & Game Department's Nongame & Endangered Wildlife Program, which has legal jurisdiction over New Hampshire wildlife. Visit our About Us page for more information about our organizational structure.
What's Rare in New Hampshire?
The Ossipee Lake Natural Area (OLNA) stakeholder work group met on Saturday, May 21, 2016. An update on the natural resources monitoring and assessment of OLNA was given and a discussion of concerns was held. Click here for the powerpoint presentation, here for the meeting agenda, and here for a draft list of concerns. For more background on Ossipee Lake Natural Area, including the management plan, visit the OLNA page under State Owned Reservations. A second meeting of the OLNA stakeholder work group was held on June 10. The minutes from that meeting can be found here, and a list of Action Items generated at the meeting can be found here.
Wetland System Assessment Tools and Reports - Several new products to assist natural resource professionals in understanding and evaluating wetlands in New Hampshire are available on the NHB Reports page.
New Hampshire County Plant Checklist - Spreadsheet of all known vascular plant species in New Hampshire by county.
DataCheck Tool - This web site, developed jointly with the NH Department of Environmental Services and the NH Fish & Game Department, can be used to check for rare species to satisfy a permit or regulatory requirement.
Visit New Hampshire's Biodiversity - Guides and profiles of sites with exemplary natural communities & systems, including new interactive map!
The Natural Communities of New Hampshire (Second Edition) - An updated version of Natural Communities of New Hampshire. This new edition contains significant changes from the original version, including many community name changes and newly-described natural community types. These changes are summarized in this document in Appendix 2. This document also includes a key to the natural communities of New Hampshire in Appendix 3. Currently, this edition is only available electronically.
Natural Community Systems of New Hampshire (Second Edition) - An updated version of Natural Community Systems of New Hampshire. This new edition includes several newly-described natural community systems, as well as a key to the natural community systems of New Hampshire in Appendix 3. Currently, this edition is only available electronically.
Key to the Natural Communities of New Hampshire - A standalone version of the natural community key also found as an appendix in the Natural Communities document.
Now Available: The Nature of New Hampshire: Natural Communities of the Granite State. NH Natural Heritage has created this beautiful and informative 341-page book describing the state's natural communities and environment. You can order it on the publisher's website. Click here to download a compressed PowerPoint preview of the book.
"Seasonal" Archive (topics of seasonal interest)
Interpretive Site Guides