In his memory...
John was a pioneer in consulting forestry in New England. He grew up spending summers on a farm in Cornwall, Connecticut where his family owned the Cathedral Pines one of the most dramatic stands of white pine in New England. In the shadow of these giant pines he learned to love the woods and the hard work that went with them.
He went to Yale and studied forestry there. While his studies were important, so was playing hockey really hard. When he started working in the woods, he went to Stewartstown, NH for St Regis Paper Company. As his family grew, he and his wife Rosemarie decided to move to the Keene, NH. He was following the opportunity of healthy forests, good soil, and receptive forest owners. This audience was willing to listen to a forester who was promoting more controlled, marked selective harvests than had been taking place. It was in this climate of the early 1960s that he, and some other notable foresters promoted consulting forestry as a profession.
Above all, he pointed out that strong markets were the key to doing good forestry. If people could periodically profit from owning their land, he reasoned correctly, that they would value forestland ownership above alternate uses, thus conserving the land base. In this regard, he was a strong supporter of wood energy, which he reasoned would provide a market for the many tons of low quality wood growing in New England. His vision was early and on the mark. Wood energy in New Hampshire is an important part of the power grid today. He was there at its beginnings. The low grade forest product market is very strong today because of the use of wood energy.
John had a great rapport with both loggers and landowners alike as he had a unique sense of humor, and a strong appreciation of peoples differing points of view. He was often courageous sharing his views. People will remember him taking a stand. He didn’t equivocate but always managed to make his point with good humor. He had at his fingertips a staggering repertoire of verse, song, quotes, anecdotes and ephemera that helped smooth the path to imparting his way of thinking.
He was also a community leader in Keene. He was on the board of the Cheshire Hospital serving as the chair for a term, the Connecticut River Watershed Council also as chair, the Monadnock School Board serving tirelessly and a was an early supporter of the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. In 2003, he was honored with the Society of American Foresters Granite State Division with the coveted forester of the year for his career accomplishments.
He with his family protected Bingham Hill Forest over 400 acres of land in Gilsum and Sullivan with the Society, which continues to be actively managed as a working forest.
I remember him as a great mentor, and a friend.
He died November 3, 2010