About

Conserving forever-wild landscapes for nature and people.

OUR APPROACH

At Northeast Wilderness Trust, we believe that wild nature deserves the freedom to flourish in its own right. Forever-wild lands are places where people take a step back from consumption and extraction and natural processes are in charge. In return, wilderness gives back in ways that human-dominated landscapes cannot.

Old, wild forests and their waters offer…

 

Biodiversity

Resiliency

Carbon Storage

Solitude

We seek to protect lands with great potential for these values. Some of our Preserves are under active scientific study, to provide baseline data so we can know how nature will unfold absent human manipulation. Some of our Preserves have critical habitat for endangered or threatened species. Some of our Preserves are crossed by footpaths, where people can find solace while hiking, watching birds, or sitting quietly. And all of these forever-wild places are allies in the fight to slow climate change, as they sequester and store carbon at a greater rate than timberlands.

While the Northeast has experienced an incredible recovery from the logging and agriculture of European settlers in the 18th and 19th centuries, we are a far cry from knowing wilderness as a common feature of this region. Pressure from development, timber harvest, mechanized recreation, and pollution are growing, making our work more urgent now than ever. Permanent wilderness makes up just 3% of the Northeast, despite holding values unparalleled by managed lands. In this moment of rapid climate change and mass extinction, the time to act is now.

WHO WE ARE

Northeast Wilderness Trust is a non-profit land trust, founded in 2002 by conservationists seeking to fill the vacant niche of wilderness protection in the Northeast. Our mission is to conserve forever-wild landscapes for nature and people. To date, we have protected more than 35,000 forever-wild acres across New England and New York. Our goal is to preserve at least another 25,000 acres of wilderness by 2025.

Staff

Jon Leibowitz

Executive Director

Cathleen Maine

Deputy Director

Sophie Veltrop

Outreach and Communications Coordinator

Sophie Ehrhardt

Wildlands Partnership Coordinator

Joseph Falconeiri

Southern New England Land Steward

Shelby Perry

Stewardship Director

Board of Directors

Mark Anderson
Vice President
Jim Dehner
Treasurer
Henry Tepper
Conservation Consultant and Instructor
Susie O’Keeffe
Artist, Author, and College of the Atlantic
Kristin DeBoer
Kestrel Land Trust
Rick Rancourt
Certified Public Accountant

CC White
Secretary
Brett Engstrom
Ecologist
Annie Faulkner
Publisher
Merloyd Ludington
Publisher
Tom Butler
Publisher

Advisors

Advisors
Meade Cadot, PhD

Land Program Director
Senior Naturalist
The Harris Center for
Conservation Education
Stephen Trombulak, PhD
Professor of Biology
Middlebury College
Bill McKibben
Journalist and activist
Author of The End of
Nature and Earth
Mike DiNunzio
Staff Ecologist
PROTECT the Adirondacks
Marc Lapin
Assistant Laboratory Professor
in Environmental Studies
Middlebury College
George Woodwell, PhD
Woods Hole Research Center Founder

LIBRARY

Browse our Annual Reports, Wild Works series, Strategic Plan, and more.

Wild Works
Research
Financials
Annual Report

CONTACT US

We’d love to hear from you!

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EMPLOYMENT

Thank you for your interest in working with Northeast Wilderness Trust; we are not hiring at this time.

Our work is backed by our Green Guarantee.

Learn more about how we keep our practices environmentally friendly in the office and beyond.

© The Northeast Wilderness Trust 2020    TERMS OF USE    PRIVACY POLICY

Learn more about our Green Guarantee.

NORTHEAST WILDERNESS TRUST
17 STATE STREET, SUITE 302
MONTPELIER, VT 05602

802.224.1000

CONTACT US   |   HUNTING PROGRAM

© The Northeast Wilderness Trust 2020    TERMS OF USE    PRIVACY POLICY

Learn more about our Green Guarantee.

NORTHEAST WILDERNESS TRUST
17 STATE STREET, SUITE 302
MONTPELIER, VT 05602

802.224.1000

CONTACT US   |   HUNTING PROGRAM

Jon Leibowitz

Jon is the Executive Director of the Northeast Wilderness Trust. Prior to joining our team, he was the Executive Director of the Montezuma Land Conservancy in the Four Corners region of Colorado. During his time at Montezuma Land Conservancy, he protected over 13,000 acres. Joining the Wilderness Trust is a return to New England for Jon and his family. He earned a Masters in Environmental Law and Policy and a Juris Doctor from Vermont Law School. In his spare time, Jon enjoys hiking and long distance backpacking and has completed the Long Trail. Jon also serves on the board of Vermont Parks Forever.

Email Jon

Cathleen Maine

Cathleen joined Northeast Wilderness Trust in 2015 with two decades of nonprofit experience. She received her BA from Hawaii Loa College, now part of the Hawaii Pacific University system, and attended the School for International Training’s Master’s Program in Intercultural Management. She worked for almost a decade in Washington, DC on women’s health issues before relocating to Vermont with her family. Prior to that she spent seven years studying and teaching in Hokkaido, Japan. Her experience with public health has connected her to the mission of the Wilderness Trust. In her free time she enjoys living in Montpelier, reading, exploring, and cooking with her family.

Sophi Veltrop

Sophi comes to Northeast Wilderness Trust with a background in land conservation, communications, and outdoor and environmental education. She received her B.S. in Environmental Science in 2013, and has since worked at the Vermont Land Trust, Yestermorrow Design/Build School, and Earthwalk Vermont, where she now serves on the Board of Directors. Sophi is committed to helping create a world where all species have the chance to survive, thrive, and evolve. Outside of the work week, she can be found roaming forests and rivers, tending an ever-expanding garden, and cultivating community and creative practice.

Sophie Ehrhardt

Sophie is interning with Northeast Wilderness Trust while pursuing a Masters Degree in Environmental Law and Policy at Vermont Law School. She has previously interned with Vermont Natural Resources Council and Vermont Conservation Voters. Her desire to be involved with environmental policy at a local level and to spend as much time as possible mucking around outdoors are leading her towards work with conservation land trusts. Her passions for wilderness and wildlife, on top of her hope to play a role addressing the challenges of climate change, make Northeast Wilderness Trust a natural fit. Sophie has a Bachelor’s degree in Classics from St. John’s College and a prior career as an educator

Joseph Falconeiri

After receiving a BS in Education from Montana State University and then spending 15 years in finance in Boston, Joe decided to trade in his suit and tie for his true passion, conservation and natural science.  Since then he has served as a Ranger and Naturalist Interpreter with Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve while also lending to the Southeastern Massachusetts Pine Barrens Alliance.  He continues to pursue his mission to help people, institutions, and organizations become more keenly aware and connected to the social, economic, and environmental values that wilderness and open space bring into their lives.

Shelby Perry

Shelby received her master’s degree from the University of Vermont’s field naturalist program, and holds a bachelors in environmental engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. A Vermont native, she has also lived and worked in the Adirondacks, California, the Caribbean, Wyoming, and West Africa, where she served a term in the US Peace Corps.  In her free time Shelby enjoys hiking far away from trails, swimming in mountain streams, and identifying mysterious plants, fungi, and slime molds.