CONCORD, N.H. -- The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests presented its Conservationist of the Year award to the Tillotson Corporation at the society's annual meeting Sept. 15. This annual award honors those exemplary people who have worked to promote land conservation through many different avenues, often with significant sacrifice. It is the Forest Society's highest recognition.
This year's choice is unusual, because the Conservationist of the Year is a company, not an individual. The Tillotson Corporation, a long-time champion of the North Country, its residents, and the landscape, demonstrated extraordinary commitment to a conservation outcome for the land surrounding the Balsams Grand Resort Hotel in Dixville Notch. Despite an above-market offer to purchase a right of way from Northern Pass, pleas to the Attorney General, and other frivolous objections, the company persevered to make sure that the working forest, scenic views and 30 miles of recreational trails that the public and Balsams guests have enjoyed for decades would be protected forever.
"We have long sought to protect this special place in New Hampshire," said Forest Society President/Forester Jane Difley, who presented the award. "The importance of this parcel of land cannot be understated, not only because of its extraordinary natural attributes, but also for its value in protecting the North Country from the proposed Northern Pass."
The conserved land includes the popular outlook known as Table Rock, which offers a spectacular view across Coos County to Maine, Vermont and Canada. It also includes a section of the Cohos Trail that runs from Crawford Notch in the White Mountains to the Canadian border in Pittsburg, wildlife habitat, extensive water resources such as Mud Pond, healthy stands of sugar maple and areas of old growth forest. "The Forest Society is proud to hold the easement on these 5,800 spectacular acres," Difley added.
"A special thank you to Tom Deans and Ben Gayman, long-time Forest Society stalwarts, who helped their fellow company directors understand the conservation resources on the property and their importance to hotel guests, North Country residents, and the state," she said. "They and their colleagues deserve our gratitude for their resolve to conserve this special landscape when under extraordinary pressure to do otherwise."
Receiving the award on behalf of the Tillotson Corporation was Tom Deans of North Conway. The award was presented at the Forest Society's 111th Annual Meeting, held Sept. 15 at the Stonewall Farm in Keene, N.H.
Founded in 1901, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests is the state's oldest and largest non-profit land conservation organization. Supported by 10,000 families and businesses, the Forest Society's mission is to perpetuate the state's forests by promoting land conservation and sustainable forestry. For more information, visit www.forestsociety.org.