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News | Oct. 24, 2022

NHARNG aviation supports Nash Stream preservation efforts

By Tech. Sgt. Charles Johnston

New Hampshire Army National Guard aviation helped mitigate an ecological hazard in the North Country on October 19, 2022.

Two rusted culverts were sling-loaded from Nash Stream by a Black Hawk helicopter, hoisted up and away through the forest canopy with a 130-foot line and cargo nets.

John Magee, New Hampshire Department of Fish and Game fish habitat biologist, said the culvert removals follow $1.5 million in various brook trout restoration efforts.

“We’re getting rid of stuff that shouldn’t be in the streams, making the habitat better for brook trout,” Magee said.

Both culverts were dropped off a few miles away, where they could be more easily hauled for safe disposal.

The entire operation was made possible through the Innovative Readiness Response program, which provides guardsmen with real-world training opportunities in their community. And though the NHARNG works regularly with Fish and Game during search and rescue operations, the three-way partnership with the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources was a first.

“I think it was a great program,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 John Blair, who helped organize the mission. “It got us the opportunity to do some training that we normally don’t get the opportunity to do.”