Land Conservation Loses a Friend

We at Maine Coast Heritage Trust were shocked and saddened to hear of the sudden passing of Alan Hutchinson, who served as executive director of the Forest Society of Maine (FMS) for the past twenty years. FSM is in many ways unique among land trusts in its focus on the vital working forest lands of the state. The organization covers the entire state of Maine, including the North Woods, where conservation needs are great and few land trusts are active. One suspects that this willingness to go where others fear to tread is a reflection of the man who stood at FSM’s helm for all those years. Our hearts go out to his family, friends, and co-workers.

During Alan’s tenure with FSM, he tackled some of the largest conservation projects in the country. Noteworthy projects include the 20,000-acre Nicatous Lake easement, the campaign to acquire Big Spencer Mountain, six miles of Moosehead Lake shore, the 329,000-acre West Branch Project, the Amherst Mountains Community Forest, the 360,000-acre Moosehead Region conservation easement, and the Gulf Hagas–Pleasant River Project. In total, FSM under Alan’s leadership accomplished more than a million acres for forest conservation.

Alan’s accomplishments at FSM followed a successful and varied career in the military, as a private business owner, and with Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, where he implemented successful recovery programs for Maine’s rare and endangered species through private-public partnerships, and conceived and oversaw a multi-agency, comprehensive inventory of Maine’s marine wildlife and habitats and the development of management guidelines that balanced development and conservation in Maine’s coastal zone.

“Alan’s voice in Maine land conservation community will be sorely missed” said Tim Glidden, President of Maine Coast Heritage Trust. “He was a friend, a trusted partner, and a committed conservationist. Future generations of Mainers will have a better life because of his work.”

A memorial service was held on September 5th in Bangor. Alan’s obituary is available here.

Read the Portland Press Herald article about Alan’s life here.