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A Simple Gift, A Lasting Legacy

Legacy. Defined as “the long-lasting impact of a person’s life.” It is a word worthy of deep consideration. What do each of us choose to leave behind for future generations?

By joining the Ancient Forest Society, individuals make a meaningful commitment to a wilder future with more abundance, beauty, and diversity. It is a radical act of love and hope. And, it is a legacy of which to be proud.

There are many reasons why people are moved to join the Ancient Forest Society. Some feel a deep connection to place and want to ensure wilderness will always exist in the landscapes they love. Others want to know that trillium will bloom and thrive, and that coyotes, minks, and bobcats can raise and feed their young in forests free to grow old. Others want to ensure there will be more places where future generations of people can witness the beauty and abundance of wild Nature—forever.

You too can leave a lasting legacy by giving the gift of time to Nature by including Northeast Wilderness Trust in your will or estate plans. Explore your wild legacy by contacting Jon Leibowitz, Executive Director at 802.224.1000 x101 or

“I am from an old Vermont hill farm where big pines guarded my sleep and gnarled apple trees sheltered the deer at night. The high meadow yielded wild strawberries and wintergreen, the surrounding forest held hemlock-shaded brooks, glacial boulders covered in moss and lichens, patches of delicate wildflowers.

An only child, I swirled through the seasons, chasing wonder, reveling in each day’s discoveries. In spring, the first and sweetest-smelling arbutus or starry hepaticas peeking from their hairy nests. Tadpoles and dragonflies at the pond, a bobcat perched in the top of a pine, the cougar who visited for two weeks one summer and screamed every night from our woods.

Like me, my parents and grandparents had a deep abiding need for wildness, beginning in their childhoods. Having had to master hard times as adults, they bequeathed me an invaluable legacy of drawing strength and courage from the natural world. If you grow up on wild land, you know you are part of it. When you are in an undisturbed forest or wetland or on a mountain, you look, listen, taste the wind, merging with a rich and welcoming universe. No less than a bird or a tree, you belong. It’s where you can walk alone and leave yourself behind. We must not let the wild places be lost.”

Betsy Newcomer, Ancient Forest Society member

Photography: Goldthread flowers and speckled alder leaves by Shelby Perry