New Hampshire Wildlife Management Areas

Leonard Wildlife Management Area

Town: Webster
County: Merrimack
Acres: 855

Acquisition History: In 1975 the NH Fish and Game Department acquired this property from Irwin and Elizabeth Leonard of Dedham, Massachusetts, for use as a public hunting area and for wildlife management.

Description: The area contains a diversity of habitats, including old fields, stands of hemlock, white pine and hardwoods, and a 2-acre Black Gum Swamp. A portion of Mud Pond is within the property along with several beaver ponds. The topography is generally rolling and rocky. Remnants of woodcock and ruffed grouse habitat demonstration plots from the late 1970s can still be found at the northwest section of the WMA, along with recent habitat management to maintain field and early successional habitats.

Common Wildlife: The upland area supports moose, black bear, white-tailed deer, ruffed grouse, woodcock and snowshoe hare. There are beaver and many different types of songbirds. To the east, Knight's Meadow Marsh supports a variety of wetland species, including wood ducks, mallards, black ducks, Canada geese, beaver, muskrats, and great blue herons.

Special Notes: A project funded through the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP) continues field restoration efforts begun in 1990. Fish and Game has used prescribed fire and controlled burns to stimulate aspen root suckering and maintain the fields. Field habitat has also been managed by brush cutting, mowing, selective timber harvesting, grafting, and the use of herbicides. Aspen and alder stands are maintained and apple trees have been released, pruned, and re-released. Past plantings to provide additional winter food included bittersweet, wild beans, wild pea pods, and multiflora rose. A timber harvest completed in 1993 released mast trees, established red oak and early successional regeneration.

Directions: Leonard WMA is accessed off Couchtown Road via South Road through the Blackwater Flood Control Area. There is room to park 1-2 vehicles at the gate.

DeLorme N.H. Atlas and Gazetteer coordinates: Page 27, A 9/10

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NH Fish and Game Dept.
11 Hazen Drive
Concord, NH 03301

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