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The Wild Times: May


all the pretty birds dive to the heart of the sky

all the little fish climb through the mind of the sea

(all the mountains are dancing; are dancing)

–E. E. Cummings

Dear Friend of the Wild,

As the earth bursts forth with new beginnings, and cardinals brighten and spring ephemerals awaken, it is hard not to be swept away with the hope and promise of the upcoming year. The Wilderness Trust too is teeming with new energy and life. As my term as Board Chair concludes, I find myself surrounded by the faces and friends of a rapidly growing community already carrying our mission forward with renewed commitment and vigor.

I am so thankful for the leadership of President and CEO Jon Leibowitz and the partnership we forged. With our board and staff colleagues, and with your generous support, we have transformed this organization from a scrappy start-up into a respected, valued regional conservation leader and partner. NEWT has reached this promising stage by following its North Star: Nature for Nature’s sake. You can read more about our journey to this exciting point, marked by numerous conservation successes, in our 2023 Annual Report.

The Wilderness Trust now enters a new, ambitious phase. I know that incoming Board Chair, Brian Tijan, the whole board, and NEWT’s fearless staff will guide us through this next chapter as we pursue our ambitious goal to protect a total of 160,000 acres as forever-wild by 2030. As you will read below, so much great work towards this end is underway on all fronts, and I hope you will consider supporting us through our Spring Appeal. If you have already done so, thank you!

My life’s journey has been to learn, in the words of Robin Wall Kimmerer, “the grammar of animacy.” That is, to hear the song of the wild and celebrate its language with reverence and respect. My time as NEWT’s Board Chair has allowed me to draw ever closer to this goal, thanks to the lessons I have learned from you all and our nonhuman kin. Thank you truly for the opportunity to serve this organization, and to continue as a member of NEWT’s emeritus board. May the sap run deep, and the river run strong.

With gratitude,

Mark Anderson, Board Chair

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Introducing NEWT’s 2023 Annual Report

northeast wilderness trust annual report 2023 cover image

Since our founding, Northeast Wilderness Trust has protected tens of thousands of wild, precious acres and helped to make the forever-wild conservation ethic mainstream. But we’re not slowing down. Learn more about our continued successes toward these goals in 2023—and how this progress positions us for even wilder triumphs in 2024.

Highlights from 2023

Last year, the Wilderness Trust…

landscape of bears nest wilderness preserve

…protected 6,354 acres of forever-wild forest;

forest woodland in new hampshire

completed 15 land transactions;

and established 10 rewilding research plots.

Since 2002, we’ve protected 82,065 acres, including…

247 miles of rivers and streams,

43,669 acres of designated Important Bird Areas,


11,140 acres of wetlands,

forest in fall

and stored 6,764,803 metric tons of carbon.

Meet one of four NEWT Wilderness Preserves created last year

moriah wilderness preserve

In New York’s Champlain Valley, 1,775 acres began their forever-wild future in 2023. The new Moriah Wilderness Preserve will support safe wildlife movement between Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains. This region, often referred to as the West Champlain Hills, is one of the most biologically diverse in the Adirondack Park.

  Give & Receive

Thank you, Mark!

NEWT has benefitted immensely from Mark Anderson’s nine years of dedicated service, including five years as Board Chair. As Mark has reached his term limit, this spring’s board meeting will be his final convening in that role. He will remain with NEWT on our emeritus board.

In honor of Mark’s invaluable legacy at the Wilderness Trust, we invite you to make a special spring gift. Donating today will double your impact—every donation made in Mark’s honor will be matched, dollar for dollar, up to $10,000.

By supporting NEWT, you will help ensure that Mark’s ecocentric vision continues to shape forever-wild conservation in the Northeast—now, and for years to come. Thank you to those who have already given!

NEWT in the News

Forever Wild: A Land Trust’s Work to Expand the Northeast’s Wildlands
Join Susan Shea and the staff at Northern Woodlands Magazine as they explore NEWT’s Woodbury Mountain Wilderness Preserve in Vermont. The author experiences the unique sights, sounds, and sensations of wilderness and reports on how forever-wild lands fit into the intricate “quilt of land uses for the Northeast.”

Vermont ecologist advocates for rewilding forests and lawns
Shelby Perry, NEWT’s Wildlands Ecologist, shares from her trove of knowledge about trees in her lecture “Trees and Rewilding” – an event that wrapped up the MRVA exhibition “RISE: Trees, Our Botanical Giants.”

A Wilder Trail
Janelle Jones, NY Land Steward, takes readers on a hike at NEWT’s Eagle Mountain Wilderness Preserve. Join Janelle at this sparkling gem nestled among scenic ponds, streams, and farms in the Lake Champlain region.

Wilder News

Colorado could bring back wolverines in an unprecedented rewilding effort

The move would be the first reintroduction of the species in North America. The state’s initiative is one of a number of parallel federal and state efforts to restore large carnivores to their historical ranges across the continent, where ecosystems have suffered in their absence.

Rewilding the Adirondack Way

The Adirondack Park may be the original beacon of rewilding, but the modern Adirondacks can still be made more friendly to wildlife. A rewilding advocate explains how.

Agencies announce decision to restore grizzly bears to North Cascades – North Cascades National Park (U.S. National Park Service)

The National Park Service and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service have announced a decision to reintroduce grizzly bears to the North Cascades of Washington, where the animals once roamed.

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Photography: Bears Nest Wilderness Preserve stream – Jerry Monkman, Grasse River Wilderness Preserve wetland – Janelle Jones, Bicknell’s Thrush – Larry Master, Rosalind and Fred Slavic Wilderness Preserve – Shelby Perry, Sargent Hill – Stephen Matter, Woodbury Mountain Wilderness Preserve – Zach Porter, Moriah Wilderness Preserve – Stephen Matter