105th Annual Meeting Recap
At the Forest Society’s 105th Annual Meeting held on September 16, at the Forest Society's Rocks Estate in Bethlehem, president/forester Jane Difley updated the membership with a five-year report on the Forest Society’s progress toward achieving the goals of its 25-year strategic vision, New Hampshire Everlasting. Launched on the occasion of the Forest Society’s centennial in 2001, New Hampshire Everlasting calls for conserving one million additional acres of land by the year 2026. Since 2001, more than 338,000 acres of land in New Hampshire were permanently protected through a combination of conservation easements and land acquisitions by numerous conservation organizations, cities, towns and individuals.
As part of the Annual Meeting, the Forest Society held full day and half day field trips including such highlights as How the Forest Society saved The Notch-Twice! (a guided hiking history of Franconia Notch); Beyond the Balsams at The Rocks, (a guided walking tour of The Rocks); Tour Pine Knob Tree Farm (a guided walking tour of an exemplary local tree farm); There’s Gold in the Hills! (a visit to a defunct gold mine on the Forest Society’s new David Dana Forest Reservation on nearby Dalton Ridge).
The evening business meeting featured recognition of longtime Forest Society investment manager (and former board chair) Harold Janeway of White Mountain Investment, along with the award of the Conservationist of the Year (see feature), and concluded with a Keynote Address by Robert McGrath, author of Gods in Granite: The Art of the White Mountains of New Hampshire and Professor Emeritus of Art History at Dartmouth College. McGrath discussed the role of the White Mountain School of Art in the conservation and preservation of the special places that define New Hampshire today. A specialist on American Art, McGrath has lectured widely on the art of Northern New England and New York and is the author of “Art and the American Conservation Movement” published by the National Park Service.
“Given the spectacular views of the Presidential Range from The Rocks, we thought it particularly appropriate to highlight the role of the artistic renditions of the White Mountains in creating the passion for conservation that we all share,” said Jack Savage, VP for Communications and Outreach at the Forest Society.
The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests is the state’s oldest and largest non-profit land conservation organization. In order to preserve the quality of life New Hampshire residents know today, the goal of the Forest Society, in partnership with other conservation organizations, private landowners, and government, is to conserve an additional one million acres of the state’s most significant natural lands for trails, parks, farms and forests by 2026.