2022 Annual Report

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Northeast Wilderness Trust 2022 Annual Report 20 years

Thinking on Tree Time

Deep in Maine’s North Woods, off an unassuming logging road not far from I-95, is a yellow birch who is over 360 years old. This birch endures the winter cold and welcomes returning warblers each spring at Howland Research Forest, a 500-acre preserve that Northeast Wilderness Trust established in 2007 to keep the land from being logged.

There is nothing particularly notable about Howland Forest. It is flat, with only about 200 feet of elevation range throughout the property. The soil is poorly drained and acidic, lacking the richness that would otherwise promote the presence of rare species. Consequently, the trees at Howland are common, mostly red spruce, hemlock, northern white cedar, red maple, and white pine.

The unusual thing about Howland Forest is time. That is, Howland Forest, unlike much of the Northeast, has been provided with the freedom of time—to grow old, complex, and beautiful. Freedom is the defining characteristic of wilderness.

When I first learned about this yellow birch, I was reminded why Northeast Wilderness Trust operates the way we do: our singular focus is to provide natural processes the freedom and time to shape life’s diversity. This is thinking on tree time, and forever-wild conservation is how we do it. Indeed, thinking on tree time is at the root of all the Wilderness Trust’s decision-making.

You see, that yellow birch predates every conservation organization ever to exist. She predates our notions of forest management and “financial maturity” for trees destined for the mill. She predates the passage of the Wilderness Act of 1964 and the creation of the U.S. Forest Service. She predates the founding of this country. She has been witness to seismic shifts in the world around her throughout her life, yet she persists all the same—producing oxygen, storing carbon, and providing shelter for wildlife. She is a tangible reminder of the humility required to protect Nature for Nature’s sake. To trust her. To love her.

Even more miraculous is just how un-miraculous this birch is. Indeed, she is found at Howland’s NASA research plot, one small forest plot that has been studied by the Department of Energy and the University of Maine for decades. Within that same research area are cedars over 250 years old, a hemlock over 230 years old, and countless white pines, red maples, and red spruces all over a century old. Indeed, the average age of a tree at Howland is 125 years.

When I think about Howland, I feel the loss of New England’s vast, structurally diverse, and wildlife-supporting forests that once existed. More hopefully, with a profound sense of optimism, I think about what the future forests of our region could look like if we act now and provide more of them with the freedom to simply be.

That yellow birch at Howland Research Forest is both a messenger from the past and harbinger of the future, suggesting that people and all our relations in the community of life can flourish if we focus on freedom for all in the present.

In 2022, Northeast Wilderness Trust celebrated our 20th Anniversary with the slogan We Are One of Many, championing the idea that we humans do not own Nature. Rather, we share this beautiful place on Earth with myriad other species who are just trying to get by, raise their families, and have some fun along the way—no different than many of us.

The network of supporters who care deeply about Northeast Wilderness Trust’s mission and work continues to grow rapidly and I am ever-grateful for that. In the following pages, you will see why 2022 was our most successful year to date and how with every completed conservation project we are sowing the seeds of the next ancient yellow birch. Thank you for helping us partner with Nature to rewild the Northeast.

For the Wild,

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Gray

Twenty Years of Gratitude

In her poem “Camas Lilies,” Lynn Ungar writes:

Make no mistake. Of course your work will always matter.

The thought is welcome encouragement but not always easy to hold in one’s heart. What individual does not wonder, when surveying a broken world, have I made a difference? What organization, formed to heal some facet of the world’s brokenness, does not wrestle with how to work harder, do more, extend its reach? At Northeast Wilderness Trust, we constantly consider these questions.

Still, like Thoreau, we have faith in a seed. Planted just 20 years ago, the Wilderness Trust has germinated and grown into a hardy sapling. It is an auspicious start, even as we understand that the work of rewilding is the work of centuries, with Nature doing the heavy lifting.

To be part of this great, joyful struggle in service of life’s buzzing, blossoming diversity makes us wildly grateful. That gratitude begins with the community of donors, supporters, and colleagues to the Wilderness Trust’s singular mission and extends to the ecological systems that make life possible. We give thanks to the sun and soil, to the rain, to the pollinators who perform wonders, and to all our wild relations in the community of life. Our deepest desire is to be worthy cousins to the bears and bobcats, salmon and spleenworts with whom we share the land.

Northeast Wilderness Trust’s land protection success over the past 20 years is due to thousands of individual contributors, philanthropists, foundations—and you. Your support comes to life on this map of completed, forever-wild projects. This is your wild legacy.

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I have great faith in a seed. Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders.
—Henry David Thoreau
Balsam fir seedling

VERMONT

MAINE

NEW HAMPSHIRE

FOREVER-WILD PLACES

Ambassador Preserves

2022 Closings

WILDLANDS PARTNERSHIP

PROJECTS

MASSACHUSETTS

2022 Closings

Other Protected Wilderness

CONNECTICUT

YORK
NEW
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SINCE FOUNDING IN 2002

Nature for Nature’s Sake

20,105 / 28% acres high elevation (above 2,000')

53,074 / 72% acres low elevation

10,218 acres of wetlands

73,179 total acres protected through 2022

234 miles of rivers and streams

6,061,736 metric tons of carbon stored*

*The Nature Conservancy Resilient Land Mapping Tool

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Twenty years of wild impact IN 2022

STEWARDSHIP WILDLANDS ECOLOGY

17 wildlife cameras placed 51 miles of boundaries marked

14,704 acres protected 19,000 acres currently working to protect 19 rewilding forest research plots established

WILD GROWTH SINCE

15 TH ANNIVERSARY

3 ➔ 14 staff

430% revenue

285% supporters

181% acres protected (47,109)

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Some Wild Words We Love

Rewilding: helping Nature heal.

Rewilding means giving space back to wildlife and returning wildlife back to the land . . . Rewilding means restoring and protecting specific places—on land and in the ocean—where Nature is free . . . Such wild lands and waters are critical to sustain ecological vitality by supporting intact food webs and natural processes.

Language shapes how we think and act. We make sense of the world through the stories we tell ourselves. The key words that anchor those stories can be powerful catalysts for good or ill, pointing toward a future when Earth exudes wholeness, integrity, and health, or, a future where Earth suffers continued ecological unraveling and climate chaos. For two decades, Northeast Wilderness Trust has been speaking about its mission—conserving and rewilding land—using a lexicon of love. Its aim is to avoid words that objectify and commodify the natural world. Rather, the Wilderness Trust strives for language that embodies reciprocity, relationship, and kinship—reflecting a worldview that recognizes our species as but one member in the great community of life.

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—Global Charter for Rewilding the Earth (2020) Bobcat Dew on moss sporophytes

Untrammeled: not deprived of freedom of action or expression.

Howard Zahniser, who drafted the federal Wilderness Act of 1964, consciously excluded words like “pristine” or “untouched” from the Act. He chose “untrammeled” as the lynchpin in the Act’s definition clause because he knew that wilderness can grow as well as shrink.

Forever-Wild Conservation: legal mechanisms assuring permanent protection for wilderness or equivalent protected areas, whether in public or private ownership.

Wilderness: an area where the land and its community of life are untrammeled by people; self-willed land where natural processes direct the ebb and flow of life.

The etymological roots of the word “wilderness” meant “will of the land,” a place apart from areas domesticated for human needs. In our time and region, every place has been affected by people, but wilderness recovery, or rewilding, occurs when we foster the conditions in time and space for natural processes to operate freely. The defining characteristic of wilderness is freedom for the land to evolve in its own way. The result is beauty, diversity, and opportunity for future evolutionary flourishing.

More than a century ago the elegant phrase “forever wild” was included in Article 14 of New York’s state constitution, which protects the Adirondack Park’s publicly owned Forest Preserve as wildlife habitat that cannot be sold, developed, or logged. Today we use “forever wild” because of its poetic quality and also to evoke Northeast Wilderness Trust’s commitment to build organizational capacity adequate to the test of perpetuity.

(Because forever is a long time!)

Nature for Nature’s Sake: land conservation approach that emphasizes the intrinsic value of wild places and beings.

Safeguarding wilderness, the “arena of evolution,” reminds us that we are but one strand in a great tapestry of life. Northeast Wilderness Trust’s foremost value when protecting wilderness is that all beings have inherent value regardless of their actual or perceived utility to humanity. We also celebrate the benefits that wilderness offers to people—as source of beauty, solitude, and spiritual renewal; producer of clean air and water; and climate change fighter via natural carbon storage, among many other attributes.

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Wild Places Protected in 2022

Grafton Forest Wilderness Preserve

In the Western Maine Mountains, Northeast Wilderness Trust initially set out to conserve 1,388 acres of high-elevation land adjacent to the Appalachian Trail. Had the story ended with conserving just that rugged ridgeline, it would have been a wild success worth celebrating. However, with support from project partner Forest Society of Maine and seller, Wagner Forest Management, an additional 4,657 acres of lowlands were added to what is now Grafton Forest Wilderness Preserve.

All types of land are important to protect as wilderness; however low-elevation forests are often underrepresented as such despite being rich in biodiversity. The lowlands here include a remarkable 700-acre wetland/peatland complex that feeds into the Swift Cambridge River and ultimately into Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge. Throughout the seasons, a diverse array of avian characters flit and flutter throughout the forest, including the elusive Bicknell’s Thrush, the captivating Spruce Grouse, and a multitude of warblers who fill the woods with a symphony of birdsong. Meanwhile, a host of furry creatures make their home here such as the agile American marten and the mysterious Canada lynx. Towering over them all is the mighty moose, whose numbers here rival anywhere in the Lower 48.

For those looking to explore, the Speck Pond Trail welcomes visitors on a steep climb up to the Appalachian Trail. Grafton is the third wildland safeguarded by Northeast Wilderness Trust in the Western Maine Mountains, together totaling 10,345 acres.

6,045 acres

34 northern woodland songbirds

Buffers 2 miles of the Appalachian Trail

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Grafton Forest Wilderness Preserve American marten Grafton Township, Maine

Whalesback conservation easements

The Whalesback conservation easements get their name from the shape of the imposing esker that runs alongside the conserved lands. This large deposit of sand and gravel, marking the path once taken by glacial meltwater thousands of years ago, rises above the landscape like the back of a whale emerging above the surface of the ocean. Large boulders strewn about— called glacial erratics—are further evidence that this place sat beneath miles of ice long ago. These now forever-wild lands protect some of the Union River’s headwaters including its Middle Branch, Beaver Brook, and Seven Mile Brook. The expansive ribbons of water, forest, and wetlands unfurl beneath a pull-off on Maine’s Route 9, affording people an easily accessible panorama of the wild beauty below. With an abundance of water, a diverse array of inland waterfowl, wading birds, brook trout, and the endangered Atlantic salmon find shelter here. The properties are close to other conserved land, such as the Amherst Mountain Community Forest, providing further safe passage for wildlife on the move. Northeast Wilderness Trust collaborated with four landowners and Frenchman Bay Conservancy through the Wildlands Partnership to secure these forever-wild conservation easements. The Whalesback easements mark the Wilderness Trust’s second and third projects, respectively, in collaboration with Frenchman Bay Conservancy.

The Wildlands Partnership offers partner land trusts funding to protect land as forever-wild. Since its inception in 2020, the initiative has protected 8,954 acres.

Aurora, Maine

3,307 acres

910 acres of wetlands

6 miles of Union River’s Middle Branch

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Confluence of Union River and Beaver Brook on the Whalesback conservation easements Great Blue Heron

Tidal Bends Wilderness Preserve

Tidal Bends Wilderness Preserve is in a freshwater tidal zone where the food web may be witnessed playing out. Astonishing numbers of Bald Eagles fish for carp and alewives, while Great Blue Herons and rare Black-Crowned Night Herons feed on frogs and minnows in the shallows of the Eastern River as it comes and goes with the tide.

Pittston, Maine

260 acres

2+ miles frontage on Eastern River

33 acres of freshwater tidal marsh

Tidal Bends Wilderness Preserve owes its name to the mesmerizing Eastern River that performs a graceful dance of twists and turns, weaving its way throughout the Preserve. The Eastern River is a tributary of the Kennebec River that flows into Merrymeeting Bay—a vast freshwater tidal riverine and inland delta that is second only to the Chesapeake Bay for its concentration of waterfowl on the East Coast. Several state-listed rare plants can be found here, including the estuary bur-marigold, Eaton’s bur-marigold, and Parker’s pipewort. Inland from the shore, the Preserve includes mature forest that has not been logged for many decades. The Preserve lies directly across the river from Kennebec Land Trust’s Eastern River Preserve, ensuring permanent protection on both sides of this stretch of river. The project was made possible by Jim Goldman and Alyce Zellers, who donated the land to Northeast Wilderness Trust.

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Tidal wetlands along the Eastern River

McCorrison Addition to Alder Stream Wilderness Preserve

Today, Alder Stream Wilderness Preserve stretches in all directions at 7,292 acres—but it did not start out that way. The story began with a 1,550-acre project in 2006 in partnership with Sweet Water Trust. The Preserve doubled and then tripled in size with subsequent conservation successes. This vast wilderness punctuated by rural farms and dirt roads exemplifies how a continued focus on a cherished landscape can result in a largescale, protected wildland.

In 2022, Alder Stream Wilderness Preserve grew again. A group of lifelong friends chose to sell 200 acres next to their beloved hunting camp to the Wilderness Trust, setting the land on a rewilding trajectory. The property lies at the far east end of the Alder Stream Wilderness Preserve.

The Wilderness Trust has five Ambassador Preserves across the region, including Alder Stream Wilderness Preserve, to foster connection and compassion for wild Nature by welcoming human visitors to share in the philosophy and experience of forever-wild conservation.

Atkinson

204 acres

Township, Maine

10 acres of wetlands

Within 88,000 acres of high-priority forest block (as identified by The Nature Conservancy)

Cedar Woodland

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Grasse River Wilderness Preserve

Two decades ago, an intrepid moose named Alice was tracked over two years moving 350 miles northwest from her home in the Adirondack Park. After leaving the park, she swam across the St. Lawrence River and crossed a major highway in Ontario before finally reaching the Algonquin Provincial Park. Inspired by her journey, the binational Algonquin to Adirondacks (A2A) wildlife corridor was born. Grasse River Wilderness Preserve, and the New York projects on the following pages, are all located within the A2A—a new focus area for Northeast Wilderness Trust.

An abundance of water is the defining feature of Grasse River Wilderness Preserve, with a mile and a half of the namesake Grasse River meandering through the property and 250 acres of wetlands.

The Preserve borders both Downerville and Degrasse State Forests, linking the two together. The Preserve also abuts the park boundary and the 1,300-acre Lampson Falls section of the Grasse River Wild Forest inside the park.

Grasse River was logged heavily in recent years, providing an opportunity to observe rewilding in the coming decades. Through the new Wildlands Ecology program, the Wilderness Trust is setting plans in motion to partner with local universities and nonprofits to study the impact of passive forest management.

Russell, New York

1,433 acres

7 miles of streams

20 freshwater ponds

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Grasse River Wilderness Preserve Ebony jewelwing

Bear Pond Forest

New York’s Adirondack Park is the largest protected area in the Lower 48, and one of the wildest parts of the Northeast. The 130,000-acre Five Ponds/Pepperbox Wilderness complex is one of the most remote parts of the Adirondack Park, anchoring the southern end of the Algonquin to Adirondacks (A2A) wildlife corridor. At the heart of this wild country is Bear Pond Forest, a 1,056-acre private property whose owners had long used it for logging and recreation.

Through the years, various conservation groups tried to acquire Bear Pond.

In 2022, the landowners put the property up for sale, marketing it for high-end waterfront development. Such construction would have locked in private roads and motorized recreation. It would have also precluded public access and integration with the surrounding wilderness.

Seizing the chance to put Bear Pond on a rewilding path and align its future with the surrounding landscape, Northeast Wilderness Trust worked quickly to negotiate a complex deal with the land’s multiple owners, raise the necessary funds, and close the transaction by year end.

Bear Pond’s protection as forever-wild is a victory for the wild creatures at home there, and incrementally advances the prospects for large carnivores such as wolves and cougars naturally reinhabiting their native range via the A2A.

Webb, New York

1,056 acres

109 acres of wetlands

3.4 miles of streams

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Bear Pond Forest Middle Branch, Oswegatchie River in the Forest

Grand Lake Reserve conservation easement

Indian River Lakes Conservancy (IRLC) granted a forever-wild conservation easement on its Grand Lake Reserve to Northeast Wilderness Trust, ensuring that this forest in the Algonquin to Adirondacks (A2A) wildlife corridor will remain a wild anchor for both wildlife and people. The Reserve is located in the heart of the geological formation called the Frontenac Arch—a ridge of Precambrian metamorphic marble, gneiss, and granite that serves as the bridge-like lynchpin connecting the A2A between Canada and the Adirondacks.

Boasting rugged and varied topography and over five miles of lakeshore frontage on Butterfield and Grass lakes, the Reserve is a haven for biodiversity emblematic of the St. Lawrence Valley. The stirring calls of the Common Loon can be heard echoing across both lakes on the Reserve. Other wild denizens such as the uncommon stinkpot turtle and elfin skimmer—the smallest dragonfly in North America—find refuge here, too.

Grand Lake Reserve was established in 2003 with a generous land gift and has expanded over time thanks to the hard work of IRLC. Northeast Wilderness Trust is pleased to support the next phase of this storied landscape by enshrining its forever-wild status. Grand Lake Reserve marks the first conservation easement held by the Wilderness Trust within the A2A.

The Wildlands Partnership offers partner land trusts funding to protect land as forever-wild. Since its inception in 2020, the initiative has protected 8,954 acres.

Theresa, New York

1,072 acres

85 species of Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies)

2.5 mile island hike accessible only by boat

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Hiker on an outcrop on the Grand Lake Reserve Common Loon and chick

Blue Mountain Wilderness Sanctuary

The Blue Mountain Wilderness Sanctuary hosts a range of habitats, stretching from its namesake summit to a low-lying Northern White Cedar Swamp. Logging has not occurred here since the 1990s and the Sanctuary is well on its way to becoming an old forest.

The Sanctuary’s lower elevations are predominantly a second growth mix of white pine, balsam fir, and red maple. Closer towards the summit of Blue Mountain, the forest shifts to a northern hardwood assemblage, with mature American beech, yellow birch, and sugar maple. Many large red oaks tower over the steepest and rockiest slopes above, and together with the beech trees, they offer a substantial source of sustenance for wildlife by producing acorns and beech nuts.

With an abundance of forage, signs of wildlife abound, including antler scrapes left by deer or moose on trees, squirrel midden piles, and small dens. Tracks of coyote, porcupine, and red fox are readily seen after a snowfall, and claw marks on beech and cedar trees tell the stories of bears searching for a hearty autumn snack or marking a corner of their territory.

Blue Mountain is located in a part of Vermont’s Connecticut River Valley that has few other wildlands, making its protection all the more important to provide core habitat to the surrounding landscape. Plans are underway to expand the Sanctuary.

Ryegate, Vermont

825 acres

2,364 feet summit height of Blue Mountain

4 headwater streams to the Connecticut River

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Sunrise over the flanks of Blue Mountain Porcupine

Spring Addition to Woodbury Mountain Wilderness Preserve

Woodbury Mountain Wilderness Preserve was established in 2021 when Northeast Wilderness Trust purchased 5,472 acres from a local multi-generation timber company. With rich hardwood forests, an abundance of wetlands outstretched between steep cliffs, and nary a paved road in sight, the Preserve offers solitude for wildlife and people alike.

The Wilderness Trust is actively focused on expanding the Preserve and moved quickly to purchase the 503-acre Eagle Ledge Addition just a few weeks after establishing the Preserve. In 2022, the Spring Addition was added—a sloping, middle-aged forest with perched wetlands and small streams. Bedrock ledges provide denning habitat for bobcats and porcupines, and rich wet soils bring the forest floor to life each spring with trillium, squirrel corn, maidenhair fern, and blue cohosh. With the Spring Addition, the Preserve now stands at over 6,100 acres and remains the largest non-governmental wilderness area in Vermont.

The Wilderness Trust has five Ambassador Preserves across the region, including Woodbury Mountain Wilderness Preserve, to foster connection and compassion for wild Nature by welcoming human visitors to share in the philosophy and experience of forever-wild conservation.

Woodbury, Vermont

123 acres

3 headwater streams to the Winooski River

2 alder swamp wetlands

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Spring Addition
Mountain Wilderness Preserve

Cornwall conservation easement

Cornwall Conservation Trust led the way as the first land trust in Connecticut to participate in the Wildlands Partnership. Three adjacent properties totaling 375 acres are now protected with a forever-wild conservation easement granted to Northeast Wilderness Trust. Situated one town south of the Orr-Andrawes Wilderness Sanctuary, which was protected in 2012, the Cornwall easement marks the Wilderness Trust’s first conservation easement in Connecticut.

Nestled in the verdant and densely forested northwest corner of the state, this cluster of preserves contributes to connectivity at a regional scale. Their significance extends beyond their boundaries, forming a new forever-wild link in the ‘Green Mountains to Hudson Highlands’ wildlife corridor as identified by the Staying Connected Initiative. The preserves are adjacent to the 4,000-acre Mohawk State Forest, which itself is adjacent to part of the rugged and remote 4,000-acre Wyantenock State Forest.

A side-trail of the Mohawk Trail provides people with an opportunity to experience the landscape on its rewilding journey. Northeast Wilderness Trust is hard at work to expand partnerships in this ecologically important corner of Connecticut.

The Wildlands Partnership offers partner land trusts funding to protect land as forever-wild. Since its inception in 2020, the initiative has protected 8,954 acres.

Cornwall, Connecticut

375 acres

1 mile of the Mohawk Trail

Part of an 8-mile protected wildlands corridor

Whip-poor-will

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A New Ecology Program Blooms

The origin of the word ecology comes from the Greek word “oikos” meaning home. It is the study of home, or more appropriately, homes. To learn ecology is to seek a deeper understanding of the interactions between living beings and their homes. What better laboratory than wilderness? Wild places offer autonomy, a rare and valuable gift in a world too often bent to human will. There is much we can learn from self-willed Nature, so much, in fact, that we may not even know all the questions to ask.

The Wildlands Ecology program began in 2020 with the mission of learning to be better listeners, a skill the land has always known. What else is lost, aside from the trees, when a forest is logged? How long after logging ceases does it take the land community to recover? Could the northern forests of today once again sustain apex carnivores who were driven out by humans a century or more ago? Do older forests in the Northeast present a higher risk of fire because of the accumulation of dead

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wood? Or a lower one, because of their ability to retain more moisture? How does carbon storage in woody debris in the forest compare to that stored in wood products, such as lumber or furniture? Now safeguarding over 73,000 acres of rewilding landscapes across the region as a living, learning laboratory, the Wilderness Trust is committed to looking for answers and sharing that knowledge with you and the scientific community.

In 2022, the Wildlands Ecology program’s accomplishments included:

Established long-term research plots on Woodbury Mountain Wilderness Preserve;

Piloted remote camera study on wildlife use of coarse woody debris;

Began collecting baseline soundscape data at multiple Preserves; Co-authored the research paper, Determining puma habitat suitability in the Eastern USA;

Organized a session on the science of old forests at the Northeast Natural History Conference.

Six-spotted tiger beetle Wood frog

Measuring an emergent white pine

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A Simple Gift

A Lasting Legacy

Legacy. Defined as “the long-lasting impact of a person’s life.” It is a word worthy of deep consideration. What do each of us choose to leave behind for future generations?

By joining the Ancient Forest Society, individuals make a meaningful commitment to a wilder future with more abundance, beauty, and diversity. It is a radical act of love and hope. And, it is a legacy of which to be proud.

There are many reasons why people are moved to join the Ancient Forest Society. Some feel a deep connection to place and want to ensure wilderness will always exist in the landscapes they love. Others want to know that trillium will bloom and thrive, and that coyotes, minks, and bobcats can raise and feed their young in forests free to grow old. Others want to ensure there will be more places where future generations of people can witness the beauty and abundance of wild Nature—forever. You too can leave a lasting legacy by giving the gift of time to Nature by including Northeast Wilderness Trust in your will or estate plans. Explore your wild legacy by contacting Cathleen Maine, Development Director at 802.224.1000 x105 or cathleen@newildernesstrust.org.

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“I am from an old Vermont hill farm where big pines guarded my sleep and gnarled apple trees sheltered the deer at night. The high meadow yielded wild strawberries and wintergreen, the surrounding forest held hemlock-shaded brooks, glacial boulders covered in moss and lichens, patches of delicate wildflowers. An only child, I swirled through the seasons, chasing wonder, reveling in each day’s discoveries. In spring, the first and sweetest-smelling arbutus or starry hepaticas peeking from their hairy nests. Tadpoles and dragonflies at the pond, a bobcat perched in the top of a pine, the cougar who visited for two weeks one summer and screamed every night from our woods.

Like me, my parents and grandparents had a deep abiding need for wildness, beginning in their childhoods. Having had to master hard times as adults, they bequeathed me an invaluable legacy of drawing strength and courage from the natural world. If you grow up on wild land, you know you are part of it. When you are in an undisturbed forest or wetland or on a mountain, you look, listen, taste the wind, merging with a rich and welcoming universe. No less than a bird or a tree, you belong. It’s where you can walk alone and leave yourself behind. We must not let the wild places be lost.”

27 Balsam fir Red trillium

Board of Directors

Northeast Wilderness Trust is grateful to its volunteer board for their dedication of time, capacity, and expertise. In 2022, the Wilderness Trust welcomed two new board members, and with great sorrow, also acknowledged the passing of founding board member, Merloyd Ludington.

Welcoming

Randy Kritkausky Randy is the president and co-founder of ECOLOGIA, an international environmental non-profit whose projects have included NGO development, water monitoring, and environmental remediation. Randy is an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, author of Without Reservation, and advocate for indigenous affairs. He and his family live in Vermont.

Eric Sorenson

Eric worked as an ecologist for over 30 years, including 25 years with the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. He was a principal author of Vermont Conservation Design, a vision for maintaining an ecologically functional landscape, and is coauthor of a guide to natural communities in the state. Eric and his wife live in Vermont, where they enjoy spending time in the woods or visiting wild places.

Honoring Merloyd

Ludington

Merloyd passed into the eternal wilderness on June 27, 2022. She was a cofounder of Northeast Wilderness Trust, where her many talents and keen intellect were critical assets to the organization. She served on the board for 17 years before being elevated to a role as trustee emeritus in 2019. A highly respected editor and publisher, Merloyd’s philanthropic and volunteer service were similarly outstanding. Her commitment to making the world a more ecologically vibrant and socially just place was reflected in her generous support to protect wild Nature, women’s rights and reproductive health, and to address the climate emergency. She is deeply missed among our wilderness family.

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Financial Statements for Fiscal Year 2021–22

Summary

Photo Credits

Nadine Canter 5 (bottom center)

Joe Falconeiri 13

Bob Linck 12

Larry Master 19, 23

David Middleton Front cover, 4 (bottom, center 2), 6, 9, 21

Jerry Monkman 2, 4 (top), 8, 20, 22, back cover

©Susan C. Morse 1

Mike Perlman 10

Shelby Perry 4 (bottom right), 5 (top, bottom right), 7, 24, 25 (inset), 26, 27, 29

Bryan Pfeiffer 15

Zack Porter Inside cover

Jacob Sell-Hicks 18

Harry White 4 (bottom left)

Northeast Wilderness Trust Corporation was incorporated in 2002 in Vermont as a 501(c)3 organization. All contributions to the Wilderness Trust are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Audited financial statements available upon request.

Paul Willis 11

Brendan Wiltse 14

of Financial Position as of June 30, 2022 Assets Cash 7,794,091 Pledges receivable 1,012,327 Conservation land 18,332,853 Investments 4,818,531 Other assets 974,082 Total Assets $32,931,884 Liabilities and Net Assets Accounts payable and accrued expenses 220,421 Net assets Without donor restrictions Undesignated 20,626,408 Board designated, stewardship fund 4,090,797 With donor restrictions 7,994,258 Subtotal 32,711,463 Total Liabilities & Net Assets $32,931,884
Statement
99% Contributions and Grants 1% Program—General 94% Program Activities 4% Fundraising 2% General Management
Income Expenses

Board of Directors

Mark Anderson, MA, President

Susie O’Keeffe, ME, Vice President

Rick Rancourt, VT, Treasurer

Brian Tijan, VT, Secretary

Emily Bateson, VT

Kristin DeBoer, MA

Brett Engstrom, VT

Carol Fox, NY

Daniel Hildreth, ME

Randy Kritkausky, VT

Eric Sorenson, VT

Henry Tepper, MA

Paul Torrence, NY

Annie Faulkner, NH, emeritus

Jonathan Leibowitz, Executive Director

Northeast Wilderness Trust conserves forever-wild landscapes for nature and people.
Woodbury Mountain Wilderness Preserve, Vermont Jerry Monkman
802.224.1000 17 State Street, Suite 302 Montpelier, VT 05602 Printed on 100% post-consumer, processed chlorine-free paper and backed by our Green Guarantee—learn more at www.newildernesstrust.org/green.
Front: Saw-whet Owl David Middleton www.newildernesstrust.org info@newildernesstrust.org
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