ACT ‘s advisors provide expertise to the organization and its director, Rebecca Brown. Two are former board members who continue to lend their expertise and the others are long-time leaders in conservation and in their communities.
Brendan J. Whittaker of Brunswick, Vt. is a recognized leader in the Northern Forest. A professional forester and Episcopal priest, his civic career includes serving as Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources and directing the Vermont State Energy Office. He represented Vermont on the Northern Forest Lands Council, and has served as a board member or advisor to a long list of New England’s leading conservation organizations. He is a select board member and moderator in Brunswick, Vt. His essay, “A View From Local Government,” published in the book The Future of the Northern Forest, is an insightful perspective on issues of local control, property rights, and identity in a rapidly changing time. Brendan also serves on the ACT Lands Committee. He enjoys working in his woods and casting the occasional fly.
From the early 1980s through 2007, Steve Blackmer, of Canterbury, N.H., was an organizer and advocate for conservation and sustainable economic and community development in the Northern Forest region of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York. Steve founded and led the Northern Forest Center and the Northern Forest Alliance, and earlier in his career worked for the Society for Protection of N.H. Forests and Appalachian Mountain Club. He has been instrumental in creating the nationally recognized movement to conserve the Northern Forest through building local economies grounded in the enhancement of the region’s ecological, cultural, and human resources. Steve is now working at the intersection of religion and environment, with a particular interest in climate change. He graduated from Yale Divinity School last year and has returned to NH to continue his work. Steve is a dedicated cross-country skier and distance runner.
Former ACT board member Dave Govatski of Jefferson, N.H. had a 30-year career with the U.S. Forest Service as a fire and aviation management officer, forester, and silviculturist. Dave, who also serves on ACT’s Lands Committee, is very active with the Pondicherry National Fish and Wildlife Refuge and chairs the Jefferson Conservation Commission. He is a naturalist with a focus on birds and alpine plants, a hiker, canoeist, Nordic skier, and snowshoer.
Julie Renaud Evans of Milan, N.H. is the director of forestry for Sustainable Forest Futures, a program promoting a competitive and sustainable forest economy in the northern New England. Evans has taught many environmental and forestry courses at White Mountains Community College. As a consultant, she has worked with White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, many landowner clients, and the town of Errol as it established its 5,300-acre community forest. At Sustainable Forest Futures she teaches about the benefits of community forests and assists communities in acquiring and managing land.
Former ACT board member, and long-time treasurer Rufus Perkins of Sugar Hill, N.H. worked with the Metropolitan Area Planning Authority in Boston, and as an economist at Arthur D. Little, Inc. until his retirement. Rufus also serves on our lands committee. He is a graduate of Harvard University and completed his master’s work at the University of California. He has worked extensively in the Middle East and in Europe. His main area of experience is in the development of economic models for the projection of consumer demand.
In addition to be an invaluable contributor to ACT’s work, Rufus is an enthusiastic skier, both cross country and downhill, and enjoys all the many activities of maintaining his land. His connection to the region is lifelong, as his great-grandfather built a summer house on Sunset Hill in 1889, and Rufus claims to have spent at least some part of every year of his life in the area. He spends a large portion of his time in the area but maintains ties to Cambridge Mass. He and his sister and brother permanently conserved their family land on Bronson Hill in 2009.