Official: NH highway sunflowers are no cause for concern
State wildlife officials say they're not too concerned about the sunflowers, like the ones seen on Route 101 in Epping, attracting bears and other animals. (JASON SCHREIBER PHOTO)
But then he wondered, "Who in their right mind would plant wildlife food on the median of an interstate?"
Kent Gustafson, wildlife program supervisor for the state's Fish and Game Department, agrees that planting sunflowers on highways isn't a good idea, but he's not overly concerned.
The sunflowers and other flowers were planted along Route 101 in Epping, Interstate 93 in Lincoln and Tilton, Interstate 89 in Hopkinton and Springfield, Route 12 in North Charlestown, and on the Everett Turnpike in Merrimack.
Many motorists fell in love with the sunflowers, but some posed safety hazards when they pulled over and crossed the highways to take pictures. Police are now warning drivers not to stop.
Bears would be the only large animal that may be interested in the sunflowers, Gustafson said, but he's not too worried because the flower beds are relatively small.
Bears are feeding heavily this time of year as they prepare to hibernate for the winter.
"Certainly it would be better if they weren't there. It sounds like the sunflowers wound up there by accident anyhow. The flower patches themselves attract butterflies, insects and bees and they're nice to look at. In general I think they're good," he said.
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