Remembering Our Colleague

Jack Savage | February 2, 2021
Tom Howe poses in the forest outside of the Conservation Center.

The Forest Society and our extended conservation family suffered an unimaginable loss on Tuesday, January 26, 2021 when we learned that our long-time colleague Tom Howe died in an accident. With heavy hearts we offer condolences to Tom’s family. His wife, Sarah Thorne, also worked for the Forest Society in the past.

You can read Tom’s obituary, a memory of a life well lived by a good man who will be deeply missed, here. Services are being planned for later in the year.

Tom was the Forest Society’s Senior Director of Land Conservation. He had worked at the Forest Society for nearly 25 years and had his hand in protecting thousands of acres over the course of his career. Nationally he was known and respected among conservation professionals for his deep knowledge and generous spirit. Forest Society Trustee Charlie Bridges offers this reflection. Jameson French and Sylvia Bates of the Land Trust Alliance penned this appreciation.

Tom Howe looks over the Ammonoosuc River during a site visit.
Tom Howe was instrumental in the conservation of the Forest Society

“On behalf of the Forest Society Board of Trustees, I want to extend our deepest sympathies to Sarah Thorne and Tom’s entire family,” said Board Chair William “Tuck” Tucker. “We join all those among the conservation community across the country mourning the loss of someone who dedicated so much of his life, his intellect, and his passion to permanently protecting land.”

Tom was a relentless champion of land protection. Through the Forest Society alone, he facilitated the conservation of 33,000 acres involving 158 transactions across the state. Among his most prominent projects are Mount Major and the Morse Preserve in the Belknap Range, High Watch on Green Mountain in Effingham, the Washburn Family Forest in Clarksville, the Balsams, the 2,000-acre Mulligan Forest in Nottingham, and most recently, the Forest Society’s newest reservation, the Ammonoosuc River Forest in Bethlehem.

“While Tom was an avid outdoorsmen and passionate about land conservation, he was most interested in the people and their connections to the land,” said Brian Hotz, Vice President of Land Conservation at the Forest Society, who has worked side by side with Tom for many years. “His legacy will continue on through the many colleagues, volunteers, conservation commission members, partners and landowners he mentored."

We want to thank all who have reached out and offered consoling words. Cards and condolences sent in care of the Forest Society at 54 Portsmouth Street, Concord, NH 03301, will be forwarded to his family. Those choosing to make a gift in Tom’s memory may do so here

Peace be with you,


Jack Savage, President

Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests