It is with heavy hearts that we share news of the passing of Henry “Hank” Swan. He played a key role in shaping the Forest Society of Maine (FSM) into the organization it is today.
Hank’s service to FSM dates back to the organization’s beginnings. He was vice president of FSM’s founding board when we were created with the help of the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire’s Forests in 1984 to hold an easement in Attean, Maine. He continued on the board, served as a member of the original stewardship committee overseeing the Attean easement, and was part of the critical decisions and actions in 1995-97 that transformed FSM into a staffed, Maine-based land trust for Maine’s North Woods. He chaired the first nominating committee that was instrumental in establishing the precedent of maintaining a board reflecting the diversity of FSM’s unique and multi-faceted mission.
Whether on the board or off, Hank was a driving force behind the Forest Society of Maine’s efforts to “think big” with its conservation work. From the Nicatous Lake project to the West Branch project and all that followed, he was always encouraging FSM to pursue projects that conserved important forestlands for the future. His vision was that forestland conservation and business objectives for landowners could go hand-in-hand. And he was right.
Hank will always be remembered for his long-term service, dedication to and support of Forest Society of Maine, and his pioneering thinking on conservation easements and working forestlands.