Alan Hutchinson, leading land conservationist, dies at age 70
A man who helped engineer some of the largest public land conservation deals in state history has died.
Alan Hutchinson, 70, died at his Orono home on Sunday, according to an official at Brookings-Smith Funeral Home of Bangor.
As the first executive director of the Forest Society of Maine, Hutchinson for about 20 years helped conserve close to 1 million acres of the North Maine Woods, said the society’s acting executive director, Karin Tilberg.
In doing so, he helped facilitate the transition of land ownership in the north woods from paper-company domination to the more individualistic, conservationist crop of landowners today, she said.
“Alan’s devotion to doing it in a way that was practical and in harmony with Maine values was really admirable,” Tilberg said. “His death is an enormous loss to Maine.”
Hutchinson helped conserve 22,260 acres around Nicatous and West lakes in Hancock County in 1998. Four years later, he was instrumental in conserving 4,200 acres of Big Spencer Mountain and an additional 6 miles of shorefront at the northern end of Moosehead Lake in 2002 — as well as the land around the North Branch of the Penobscot River, Penobscot Lake and 47,000 acres north of Moosehead Lake along the headwaters of the St. John River.
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