Molly Hale

Molly Hale, Wildlife Biologist

Many woodlot owners are interested in values of their land in addition to, or instead of timber management.  For them, the sight of a moose, bear, owl, porcupine, turtle or other wild animal makes their land that much more special.  Your woodlot is home to many species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and insects.  If you would like to learn about or improve the wildlife habitat on your property, I can offer a range of services to meet this need.

Services I Can Provide

1)  Conduct a habitat analysis based on a forest inventory of your land, to tell you which wildlife species could be potential users of your property as it is now.  This can be done independently or as part of a Stewardship Incentive Program (SIP) plan.

2)  Prepare a management plan to improve wildlife habitats for a wide variety, or a few selected species of animals.  This could be done separately or in conjunction with a forest management plan.

 3)  Conduct a wildlife inventory of your property.  Whereas a habitat analysis uses forest inventory data to determine potential animals using the site, a wildlife inventory is based on actual sightings of wildlife or its sign, such as tracks, droppings, antler rubs, and turkey scrapes.

4)  Find out whether that "really big puddle" on your property is a vernal pool, which is a critical habitat component  for several species of rare and fascinating salamanders and frogs.  I can also certify your vernal pool for the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program.  Certification of a pool gives it limited, but permanent protection from being polluted or filled in.

5)  Accompany you on a walk of your property to point out signs of wildlife, and features that may attract certain types of animals.

If you might be interested in any of these services, please contact me by email at the address below, or call me at my home phone, also below.

My Background

I received a B.A. from Hampshire College in 1982, and a M.S. in Wildlife Management and Conservation from the University of Massachusetts in 1995.  At UMass, I did a lot of work with porcupines, and also with spotted turtles.

I have a broad knowledge of New England natural history, including mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds, trees, wetland and upland plants, wild edibles, and animal tracking.  I have recently led nature walks or programs for Massachusetts Audubon Society, Hitchcock Center, Broad Brook Coalition, and the Mill River Project.

My current areas of special interest are vernal pools and herps (reptiles and amphibians).  I was an active participant in the Massachusetts Herp Atlas Project, a statewide 5-year project to document the occurrence and distribution of reptiles and amphibians.  I'm now working on a herp inventory of the Lake Rohunta area, north of the Quabbin Reservoir.

I have certified a dozen vernal pools for the Vernal Pool Certification Program, run by the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Program.  This involves collecting photographic documentation of vernal pool species, and mapping of vernal pools to certify them as protectable habitats under the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act.  

I have served on the board of the Broad Brook Coalition, a non-profit group that promotes conservation and affordable housing in Northampton, MA.  In this capacity, I wrote a management plan for the 500+ acre Fitzgerald Lake Conservation Area.  I am currently on the board of the Valley Land Fund, a land trust serving Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden counties.

I look forward to helping you appreciate the wildlife value of your land.

Molly Hale
(413) 585-0791