Natural Heritage Bureau
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.
What's Rare in New Hampshire?
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.
New Hampshire County Plant Checklist - Spreadsheet of all known vascular plant species in New Hampshire by county.
Visit New Hampshire's Biodiversity - Guides and profiles of sites with exemplary natural communities & systems.
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.
"Seasonal" Archive (topics of seasonal interest)