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Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests



We are a forestry association seeking “to perpetuate the forests of New Hampshire through their wise use and their complete reservation in places of special scenic beauty.”

About the Forest Society

The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests (Forest Society) was founded in 1901 by a handful of citizens who were concerned about the devastating clear-cutting of the White Mountains. Over the next 10 years, these dedicated individuals worked with the U.S. Congress to advocate for the protection of the White Mountains, culminating in 1911 with the passage of the Weeks Act, a major piece of legislation that was responsible for the creation of the eastern national forest system. For 118 years, the Forest Society’s focus on land protection, education, advocacy, recreation and stewardship has positioned it to serve as the key voice on land conservation issues in the state while becoming one of the country's most effective statewide land conservation organizations.

As a non-profit, 501(c)3 membership organization, the Forest Society is dedicated to protecting the state's most important landscapes while promoting the wise use of its renewable natural resources. With 10,000 member households, the Forest Society is a unique blend of visionary land trust, balanced environmental advocate and sustainable forestry practitioner. The Forest Society is accredited by the Land Trust Alliance.

In its early years, the Forest Society was responsible for the protection of some of New Hampshire’s most important areas including: Mount Sunapee (1911); Mount Monadnock (1915); Mount Kearsarge (1918); and Franconia Notch (1923), among hundreds of others across the state. Today, the Forest Society owns 56,000 acres in 185 reservations and holds conservation easements on another 130,000 acres all across the state. The Forest Society also assists other land trusts, municipalities, state/federal agencies and conservation organizations to protect additional land. The Forest Society has been instrumental in conserving over 1,000,000 acres of land, including those now under State and Federal protection, over the course of its 118 years of work in New Hampshire.

Today, the Forest Society delivers on its mission in four key areas: Land Protection, Education, Advocacy, and Reservation Stewardship.

Land Protection

Protecting New Hampshire's landscapes has been the driving force behind the Forest Society since its founding. Maintaining a strong balance of land conservation and renewable natural resource management has allowed the Forest Society to partner with public agencies, communities, businesses and private landowners.

At the turn of this millennium, the Forest Society set out a vision to protect an additional one million acres of the state's most significant lands. To achieve this vision, the Forest Society partnered with individuals, government agencies and nonprofit organizations with several goals in mind: conserve at least 25 percent of open space in each community; protect sustainably-managed woodlands to support diverse, healthy forests and the forest-based economy; secure key habitats to preserve the biodiversity of native plants and animals; keep waters clean to ensure clean drinking water; and save productive farmlands so that every community can benefit from healthy, locally grown food.

These goals are part of the New Hampshire Everlasting initiative, through which the Forest Society envisions a New Hampshire living landscape where managed woodlands, farms and wildlands are woven into the fabric of community life.


The Forest Society's education programs help people understand the value of the state’s forests, and their management and protection. Participants explore New Hampshire on field trips, volunteer training and work days, and lecture series. Education programs include forest and wildlife ecology, forest management and harvesting, land conservation, N.H. forest history and special seasonal opportunities including vernal pool ecology, winter mammal tracking, and winter tree identification. Guided hikes and trail work days are offered at the Forest Society's network of more than 185 Forest Reservations open to the public to enjoy. Special field trips are occasionally offered to showcase strategic, new land conservation priorities and land protection projects.


The Forest Society works to influence legislative and administrative decisions made by the federal and state governments by engaging its members, stakeholders and decision makers. While the current focus is on land conservation and forestry issues, the Forest Society works with others to influence decisions on a variety of environmental issues. This work includes activities with members, community leaders, partners and other stakeholders to positively influence decision makers on core issues of concern. The Forest Society also serves as a convener of discussions with stakeholders in specific public policy arenas to assure a broad understanding of issues, including differing perspectives.

Over its history, the Forest Society has been involved in many policy and legislative issues that have had an impact on the state’s conservation activities. Among the many key achievements include: advocacy for the state’s first forest fire prevention laws in 1909, defeat of a “skyline drive” across the Presidential Range in 1934, promoting legislation to create town conservation commissions in 1966 (over 216 exist in New Hampshire today), defeat of a proposed four-lane highway through Franconia Notch in 1970, and key leadership in the passage of the Wilderness Act by the U.S. Congress in 1984.

More recently, the Forest Society took the lead role against the installation of utility lines across 192 miles of the White Mountain National Forest, Franconia Notch, and The Rocks, commonly referred to as “Northern Pass”. Over the past 10 years, the Forest Society has been the lead conservation voice in the state opposing Northern Pass as overly disruptive to the region. Through the mobilization of its members, donors, businesses, and residents of New Hampshire communities most impacted by this proposal, the Forest Society was successful in defeating this high-profile project’s approval by the State Site Evaluation Committee in December 2018. The decision is currently under appeal to the Supreme Court of New Hampshire.

Reservation Stewardship

The Forest Society is responsible for the management of more than 185 fee-owned lands (over 56,000 acres, the Forest Society’s largest asset) across the state. These lands are managed with a vision that is focused on the future, ensuring the biological richness of the state while providing economic and social returns to the organization, its members, and the public.

Reservations include properties in over 100 New Hampshire towns and contain the complete array of forest types, natural communities, habitats, and recreational opportunities found within the state. Foresters work to develop Tree Farm® certified management plans for each reservation. These plans include management goals and objectives related to the key resource areas of timber, wildlife habitat, water quality, natural communities, unique natural and cultural features, and recreation. With few exceptions, all of the reservations are open to the public for fishing, hunting, hiking, cross country skiing and other passive pedestrian recreation.

The Forest Society has been committed to responsible and sustainable forest management since its inception. Most of the reservations are managed for timber, clean water and wildlife habitat. Annually, the Forest Society harvests trees on a selection of its properties to improve the vigor and quality of the timber and to develop much needed forest openings that will provide "young forest" wildlife habitat.

In addition to a commitment to high standards of sustainable forest management, the Forest Society has also demonstrated a long-standing commitment to the identification, designation and stewardship of ecological reserves on  reservations.  These  eco-  reserves are areas that contain unique or fragile features and will be managed with specific objectives to maintain those qualities.

The Forest Society has a staff of 40, an annual budget of $7M and is governed by a 17- member Board of Trustees. The Conservation Center, headquarters of the Forest Society, is located in Concord, N.H., on 103 acres of conserved land along the Merrimack River. The original building’s energy-efficient, passive solar design was cutting edge for its time and received many accolades for its use of energy conservation, renewable energy sources, and imaginative use of native forest products. The Weeks Wing addition in 1990 and French Wing addition in 2000 further demonstrated the Forest Society’s commitment to walking the walk by pursuing the same goals and achieving the first LEED-Gold certification in New England in 2003.

The Opportunity

The Forest Society is positioned as a leading conservation organization in New Hampshire and in broader New England. Its rich and deep history of land protection and advocacy for New Hampshire’s natural resources combined with its recent high-profile success in advocacy on the Northern Pass issue, has afforded the organization a unique opportunity to move forward in bold ways to expand the reach of its mission.

Leveraging its standing and reputation in the state and region, the Forest Society seeks to continue its leadership role advocating for the most important conservation and forestry issues in the state. There is agreement within the organization and among its external stakeholders that the Forest Society’s thoughtful, visible leadership advocating on behalf of the larger issues confronting the region will be paramount to the success of the state’s conservation and environmental priorities over the next 20 years. Harnessing the mobilizing energy of Northern Pass to engage in dialogue and initiatives on other critical issues will be a focus of the Forest Society moving forward.

In addition, the success of New Hampshire Everlasting has resulted in a robust period of land protection in the nearly 20 years since the vision was adopted. As the core of its mission, land protection will always be at the forefront of the Forest Society’s work. Yet, there is wide recognition within the organization that with 185 reservations encompassing 56,000 acres of forestland and conservation easements on another 130,000 acres, the stewardship of these resources, and the engagement of the public in their use, has become an even more important part of the strategy moving forward. The further development of education programming and public engagement strategies to increase public awareness and utilization of these resources, while also strengthening fundraising on behalf of these lands, will be significant priorities in the future.

Importantly, the Forest Society is at a critical moment. The next President will be only the 5th leader of the organization in its 118-year history. As such, this transition will represent a new era for the Forest Society, in which the issues confronting conservation in New Hampshire will be addressed through the vision and strategy of its new leader. The Board of Trustees, staff and members stand ready to envision a future for the Forest Society that addresses its mission in new ways that are both respectful of its history and representative of future needs. Leading the development of this vision and strategy will be a key endeavor for the new leader in shaping the future of the organization.

Position Summary

Reporting to the Board of Trustees, the President leads the strategy and management of the Forest Society and is the most high-profile public representative of the organization. The President has the ultimate responsibility for ensuring that the strategic objectives of the organization are effectively achieved. The President is charged with guiding the overall success of the organization at all levels. Key responsibilities include:

  • Ensuring the mission and core values of the Forest Society are put into practice
  • Overseeing implementation of overall organizational strategy and direction
  • Fostering a high-energy, goal driven, team-oriented, accountable organization
  • Managing, inspiring, mentoring, evaluating, and hiring staff
  • Providing strategic leadership and vision related to organizational goals
  • Cultivating relationships with community leaders, major donors, and foundations
  • Ensuring sound fiscal and budget practices
  • Acting as the chief spokesperson and external face of the Forest Society

Candidate Profile

The Forest Society seeks an accomplished leader who demonstrates a keen understanding of, and passion for, the organization’s unique mission. The person must be ready to join with the Board to lead the Forest Society in pursuing new strategic goals in land protection, advocacy/policy, education and stewardship through a proven ability in strategic leadership, fundraising, program management and oversight, collaborative ventures, and constituency building. A creative thinker with an entrepreneurial spirit is highly desired.

The ideal candidate will have a background that includes a high-level of strategic conservation/environmental leadership and management combined with an extraordinary understanding of relationship-driven philanthropy, partnership and constituent management. Proven success in raising significant resources from individuals, foundations, corporations, and public entities on behalf of mission and organization is desirable.

The successful candidate will exhibit exceptional interpersonal skills to effectively interact with Board, staff, environmental advocates and policy leaders, governmental officials, donors and other key stakeholders. The President must be able to articulate the mission of the Forest Society to a variety of constituents and maintain effective and efficient external communication. This individual must be confident, thoughtful, and have the appropriate skills and presence to work in an effective, collegial and collaborative manner across the state and region.

The ideal candidate will be a strong and effective leader; a strong listener with an inclusive, team-oriented management style that inspires, empowers, motivates, and develops staff. The candidate will also have a keen ability to establish and maintain a productive and positive organizational culture with all stakeholders (i.e. staff, board, donors, members and partners). A genuine and authentic connection to nature and the outdoors is required.

Candidates with executive level achievement in the fields of conservation, environmental education, advocacy, policy, law and/or related fields are encouraged to apply. Non-profit management experience is desired but not required.

A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university is required; a Master’s degree is desired.

To Apply

Applications and nominations are being received by Kittleman & Associates, LLC. To apply, please submit a current resume and letter of interest to