Annie Faulkner, Northeast Wilderness Trust cofounder and emeritus board member
Our friend Merloyd was a gem of a human being. Her involvement with Northeast Wilderness Trust from the very beginning was a tremendous gift to all of us. With other cofounders mostly 30- and 40-somethings, Merloyd brought experience, wisdom, and deep connections to the New England conservation community. She was able to bridge the worlds of forestry and wilderness, bringing her critical mind and wide-ranging interests to recognize the intersections among environmental problems: biodiversity, climate, population, animal rights, human welfare, overconsumption — all interrelated.
In her board service, Merloyd was also astute about finances, savvy about development, and a fantastic editor. She took NEWT’s commitments to land and to our donors very seriously, ensuring we built strong foundations for longevity and durability. Every new fundraising proposal or expensive project had to pass the strictest financial review from Merloyd. (This was a great relief to me, feeling the same way as she in these matters but grateful for her seniority in making the case.)
The image of old Boston, often appearing in layers of dark wool, Merloyd was fun, with a dry wit, and modest, signing emails with a lone, lower case, “m.” She was quick to compliment others in their work, and she practiced what some preach about lower impact lifestyles. Many a time I met her at the bus station in Concord, NH, to drive her the rest of the way to a board meeting, and later brought her back to the station in time for her return to Boston.
It’s apt to think of Merloyd as Northeast Wilderness Trust’s “mother tree.” With her tallest branches and leaves catching the bright sun and sensing, on the wind, threats and opportunities coming our way, and with her roots deep in the humus and mycorrhizal layers of conservation history and finance and culture, her many gifts helped to bring forth what we recognize now as a thriving, young adult organization. Just as older trees continue to give even after they return to the forest floor, Merloyd’s gifts continue to nurture Northeast Wilderness Trust, living on in her work for the wild. I will be forever grateful for my time knowing and working with Merloyd.