In this issue:
Managing the Forest for Wildlife
Introducing Intern Caleb May
Winged Creatures of GMF
Forest Food: Beaked Hazelnut
Upcoming GMF Events
Managing the Forest for Wildlife at GMF
Great Mountain Forest is an abundant home to varied species of animal, bird, and insect life. This is no accident. GMF strives to create wildlife habitat as part of its sustainable forest management plan.

GMF uses wildlife monitors to observe and document sightings. Foresters identify areas of the forest to maintain in an early successional stage. In this stage, tree canopies don't dominate the area, giving way to a variety of shrubs, plants, and bushes. This type of growth provides food and cover for smaller wildlife, birds, and insects. Through rotational cutting and mowing these areas will continue to provide sustenance and shelter. In mature forest cover, suitable den trees (living trees with decay that produce a cavity and provide a home to birds and other small animals) and snag trees (standing dead trees) are identified and preserved to support the needs of forest wildlife. 

GMF foresters also leave behind coarse woody debris on the forest floor as a food source. They identify the location of vernal pools during timber harvests. Stream banks and beds are protected to promote healthy vertebrate and invertebrate populations, and the seven ponds located throughout GMF are maintained as waterfowl refuges. 

In cooperation with the State of Connecticut, GMF has introduced patch cuts to assist declining numbers of Ruffed grouse, New England cottontail rabbit, and snowshoe hare. These rotational cuts are spaced seven years apart and are located near known wildlife populations. They are also close to existing wetland areas.
Nature photographer Tom Blagden set up multiple wildlife cameras in the forest in cooperation with GMF. These cameras captured a curious moose and an unsuspecting black bear (above).

In addition, after receiving a hot tip on a moose sighting from forester Russell Russ, Tom staked out a bathing cow in a GMF pond (below) and waited--and waited--and waited for his subject to make a move. Three hours later, he had his shot!
Wildlife and Environmental Policy Intern Caleb May
Hello! My name is Caleb May, and I am from Lakeville, Connecticut. I just graduated from Salisbury School in June. I will be attending the University of Vermont, where I will be majoring in wildlife and fisheries biology in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources.

Due to the proximity to Great Mountain Forest, I have had experiences from an early age with both workshops and school trips that GMF sponsored. After a long time away from Great Mountain Forest, during COVID, I returned due to the rich birdlife that resides here, which caught my attention as I have been birdwatching since the age of seven.

I’m splitting my time this summer between wildlife monitoring and global environmental policy research. I am excited to absorb as much information as I possibly can. I’m eager to be exposed to issues in environmental policy through my work with Tamara. Working with Jody isn’t something that many people get to do, and I look forward to working with him and interns Rissa and Joe to learn about the different aspects of the forest that I have not had much experience with. Also, of course, I hope to see one of Great Mountain Forest’s famous moose!

I hope to continue my career in wildlife biology with a future focus on ornithology, the study of birds. Wildlife photography is something that is also incredibly appealing. The possibilities are endless, but one thing is for certain: I am super excited to be GMF’s wildlife and policy intern!
Winged Creatures Find a Home at GMF
Winged species also find refuge at GMF, even if it's a temporary layover during migration season. Below are a dragonfly, Yellow Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, and Eastern Phoebe. All photos: Tom Blagden
Nutrient-Rich Forest Food Source for Wildlife
Beaked Hazelnut (Corylus cornuta) is a native shrub species commonly found at GMF.

Inside the protective horn-shaped coating is a protein-rich nut, which is an excellent food source for forest wildlife, such as rabbits, squirrels, and birds.

Its leaves and branches also make effective protective cover for smaller forest inhabitants.
Promoting Wildlife Diversity at GMF is a Balancing Act
Your support makes it possible for GMF to create and maintain a biodiverse habitat to support animal, bird, fish, and insect life.

Thank you, on behalf of the creatures of GMF!
Upcoming Events at GMF
Get into the Flow with Yoga @ the Forest
Join GMF for an all-level yoga class on the Mountain Office lawn on July 31 at 11:00 a.m. The registration fee is $20 per person.

Event invitation to follow, but for now--mark your calendar! For more information, email
CT DEEP Hosts Forest Mapping and Photography Workshop for Land Managers at GMF
On Friday, August 20 from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m., the CT DEEP Division of Forestry will be conducting a workshop on forest mapping and photography with your phone. Hosted at GMF and conducted by CT DEEP Western District Service Forester David Beers, this workshop will introduce participants to the Avenza mapping app. The session is for professional land managers.

For more information, requirements, and to register click here. If you have questions, contact David Beers at or call him at 860-965-8975.
Forest Notices

Welcome to the forest!

GMF is a place of peaceful co-existence for everyone

  • Keep your dog on a leash and if you pack it in--pack it out.

  • Sign in at kiosks at the East and West Gates.

  • Watch for inclement weather notices on social media.

If you have any questions, email
Stand with the Trees!
Donate to Great Mountain Forest.
Your generosity makes our work possible!
GMF is critical to the environmental and economic sustainability of the region as well as an important contributor to research and education about climate change and environmental health. Help us support the forest as a vital natural resource and a place for those who love the woods.