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Give the Gift of Hope this Season!

By: Jon Leibowitz, Executive Director
November 15, 2017

The Orr-Andrawes Preserve; a wilderness refuge in northwest Connecticut.

A few weeks ago, I hiked an 11-mile stretch of unbroken forest in the Worcester Range of north-central Vermont. As I walked through this expanse of flowers, fungi, towering trees, and crystal-clear streams, I was reminded of one of the most compelling attributes of our landscape—and that is hope.

The hopeful story of our forest is rooted in its renewal and the second chance it has given us. Just a century ago, the Worcesters looked quite different. Like most of Vermont and much of the Northeast, the lady slippers, moose, and fisher had given way to an unsustainable appetite for pasture and timber. Yet today, just a century later, the wild is returning.

We are asking for your support to ensure that we do not squander this second chance. Your tax-deductible contribution will allow the Northeast Wilderness Trust to continue protecting wild places across our landscape, for wildlife and for people—today and forever.

What will your tax-deductible gift do?

In Maine, a new project will continue filling in the remaining puzzle pieces and wildlife linkages within the Alder Stream Preserve—adding to the 6,800 acres that we already protect as forever-wild land within this expanse of recovering forest, free-flowing water, and abundant wildlife.

In New York, our long-term vision to connect the great Adirondack Park to Lake Champlain is being realized. The 2,400-acre Eagle Mountain project, when complete, will protect Peregrine Falcon nesting sites, five ponds, three miles of stream habitat and rare wetlands.

These are just two of eight active wilderness projects currently underway to meet our ambitious goal of protecting an additional 10,000 acres by 2020. We simply cannot do this work without you.

My son, Sam, turned one in August. His generation will grow up on a planet facing unprecedented ecological challenges. The threats are well known: climate change, rampant global deforestation, the sixth great extinction, and more. Yet even in light of these truths, right before us in the Northeast is reason for hope.

In a recent interview, while discussing salmon recovery in the Pacific Northwest, renowned conservationist Dr. David Suzuki said, “Nature showed us that, if we can pull back and give her a chance, she will surprise us in many ways.” He continued, “I believe that that’s the challenge: to give Nature the chance.” ¹

There is no better way to give Nature a chance than to restore and permanently protect wild places. That is exactly what your year-end gift will do. Together, acre-by-acre, we will secure the places that bobcat, coyotes, and slime mold call home—for today and for the future.

It will give us all a reason for hope.

It is a great honor to reach out to you for the first time as the new Executive Director of the Northeast Wilderness Trust. I came to the Trust inspired by its unique role in the crowded conservation field. The Trust is laser-focused on doing one thing and doing it well—protecting land as forever-wild. In a time where it seems wilderness has lost its voice, the Northeast Wilderness Trust remains one of its greatest champions.

I look forward to working together to expand the pace of wilderness conservation in our region. Together, we can do it.

¹https://news.mongabay.com/2017/09/why-we-cant-lose-hope-dr-david-suzuki-speaks-out/

 

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