NHB DataCheck Tool: Introduction
The NH Natural Heritage Bureau (NHB) maintains data on known locations of rare species
and exemplary natural communities. The NHB DataCheck Tool allows anyone planning
a project in New Hampshire that requires a permit to find out if there are NHB records
in the vicinity of the project.
For questions about rare species in NH that are not related to a permit
application, call NHB at (603) 271-2214 or send an e-mail to
The NHB DataCheck Tool was developed as a collaborative effort between the NHB,
the Department of Environmental
Services (DES), and the
NH Fish and Game Department.
This web site is hosted by DES. However, the Tool can be used to comply with requirements
by other agencies or organizations, when applicants must check for possible impacts
on rare species or natural communities.
Who can benefit by using the Tool?
ATTENTION: Fixes for problems you may have using this online tool
What internet browser are you using?
Many users have reported problems when using Google Chrome. Try using another
browser (e.g., Mozilla Firefox or Microsoft Internet Explorer).
If your operating system is Windows 7 or Windows 8, you may get a
blank screen when you try to map your project. A solution is outlined below:
- Right-click on your computer's desktop. ("desktop" = your screen when all
programs are closed or minimized. If using Windows 8, be sure to use Desktop setting.)
- From the drop-down menu that pops up, click on Screen Resolution.
Note the current values so that you can reset it when done with the
- Click on "Make text and other items larger or smaller";
- Select "medium" (your computer may tell you to restart to apply changes).
This usually works. But if you still have map problems, repeat Step 1. After clicking
on Screen Resolution, click on the Resolution drop-down and use the slider to reduce
the resolution a step or two.
Be sure to click on Apply and Keep Changes (if you have these options).
Anyone planning a project, when a regulatory authority (e.g., the DES Wetlands Bureau)
requires consideration of the impacts the project may have on state or federally
listed Endangered or Threatened species, other rare or special concern species,
or exemplary natural communities.
What can you get by using the Tool?
- If no NHB records are in the vicinity of the project area,
users of the Tool can immediately get an official letter to that effect, at no charge.
- If there are NHB records in the vicinity of the
project area, NHB staff need to assess potential impacts of the project; and users
can request this assessment using the Tool. The results will be sent to the
user in the form of an official letter, which can then be submitted to regulatory
agencies as part of a permit application.
What do you NOT get from the Tool?
- Although you can find out if there are NHB records in the
vicinity, you cannot find out while using the Tool whether NHB has records within
a specific property boundary. The Tool looks for potential impacts to NHB
records. These could include impacts to records outside of the property (e.g., downstream
of a project). So the Tool may report "Potential Impacts" for a project even if
there are no NHB records on the property. Users who then request a more detailed
report from NHB will get more specific location information for NHB records.
- If there are NHB records in the vicinity, you cannot get
a definitive statement of whether your project will actually impact rare species
or natural communities.
- The Tool collects some information about each project, but more project details
(e.g., site plans) or a site visit may be needed to assess impacts.
- NHB focuses on rare plants and natural communities in New Hampshire, while the NH
Fish & Game Department has jurisdiction over wildlife. Wildlife records
are included in the NHB data, but an assessment of their significance can only be
provided by Fish & Game.
- The Tool cannot be used to find areas in the state that
have no rare species. Most areas have never been surveyed for rare species,
and the absence of a record in the NHB database does not mean that no rare species
are present. However, most permitting agencies simply require a check for known
rarities (those in the NHB database).
What information do users of the Tool need to provide?
- A map
showing the area that will be disturbed by the project.
- The Tool can be used to draw an area on a map, or
- Users with access to GIS software can send a shapefile to NHB.
- The name of the landowner and a statement that the landowner
agrees to the request for information.
information. Prior to mapping a project location, some basic project information
will be required. In order to obtain an official letter from NHB that can
be used in permit applications, users must provide further descriptive information
about the project and contact information.