Natural communities are recurring assemblages of plants and animals found in particular physical environments. Classifying natural communities enables us to communicate effectively about a site’s biodiversity by providing a framework for objective evaluation and comparison among sites.  Tin Mountain Conservation Center’s June EcoForum will feature Bill Nichols of NH Heritage Bureau discussing Natural Communities in New Hampshire. Join us June 10, 12-1pm at the Nature Learning Center in Albany to find out more!


The New Hampshire Heritage Bureau, an agency within the Division of Forests and Lands, focuses on monitoring and protecting rare plant species and exemplary natural communities within the state. Because natural communities are by definition assemblages of multiple species, protecting a community provides protection for many individual species. Consequently, if an adequate number of viable examples of each natural community type are conserved, the majority of New Hampshire’s species can be protected.  The New Hampshire Natural Heritage Bureau developed the classification of natural community types for our state. This classification is based on more than twenty years of ecological research and is updated as new data are gathered.


Bill Nichols is an ecologist and botanist for NH Heritage Bureau, and is responsible for all the organization’s ecological projects.  He is also responsible for the revision of the endangered and threatened plant list, and conducts many of our field inventory projects. Bill has been with NH Heritage since 1996. Prior to his current position, he has been a Plant Community Ecologist, a Plant Inventory Specialist and a master boat builder.


Bill’s presentation will focus on what natural communities are and the new methods we are using to evaluate their ecological integrity. Some of the best examples of natural communities and the rare species they support in the Mt. Washington Valley will be highlighted. Information on natural community classification resources will also be provided.


The Eco-Forum lunchtime lecture series is sponsored by The Flatbread Company of North Conway, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Rock House Mountain Baker and is presented at noon on the second Thursday of each month at the Tin Mountain Nature Learning Center in Albany. The public is urged to attend to learn more about salient issues facing our natural environment and to hear the views of thought-provoking speakers.