Mark Zankel Honored with Sarah Thorne Conservation Award

May 15, 2012

Mark Zankel Honored with Sarah Thorne Conservation Award

The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests recently honored Contoocook resident Mark Zankel with the Sarah Thorne Conservation Award.

The award was created in 2005 to recognize Sarah Thorne for the nearly 20 years she dedicated to land conservation in New Hampshire. Presented annually to a conservation professional or volunteer who has made a major contribution to the protection of the New Hampshire landscape at a local, regional, or statewide level, the award is given to recognize those who have also enhanced the capacity of others.

This is the 8th time the award has been given.

Zankel has served in both a professional and volunteer capacity in New Hampshire’s conservation community for nearly 18 years.

He guided and inspired a staff of 15 people within the NH Field Office of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and lent his expertise to numerous collaborative projects and conservation planning efforts. He contributed to the scientific underpinnings of the largest land protection project in modern New Hampshire history, the Connecticut Lakes Headwaters, and he was a leader in the creation of the State’s Coastal Conservation Plan and the Ashuelot River Conservation Plan. He also served on and led the Board of Five Rivers Conservation Trust to become one of the leading regional land trusts in the state.

“It would be difficult to catalogue all the contributions Mark has made to the work of TNC, Five Rivers Conservation Trust, and the larger land conservation community in New Hampshire,” said Forest Society Vice President of Land Conservation Paul Doscher. “Conservation science in our state has benefited enormously from his wisdom, thoughtful analysis, and collaborative spirit.”

Previous recipients of the award include Dea Brickner-Wood, coordinator of the Great Bay Resource Protection Partnership; Jeanie McIntyre, executive director of the Upper Valley Land Trust; Betsey Harris, one of the founders of the Monadnock Conservancy; Phil Auger, UNH Cooperative Extension land and water conservation educator; Meade Cadot, executive director of the Harris Center for Conservation Education; Margaret Watkins, Executive Director of the Piscataquog Watershed Association (now Piscataquog Land Conservancy); Marjory Swope, executive director of the NH Association of Conservation Commissions; and Debbie Stanley, executive director of the Ausbon Sargent Land Preservation Trust.

Founded in 1901, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests is the state’s oldest and largest non-profit land conservation organization. Supported by 10,000 families and businesses, the Forest Society’s mission is to perpetuate the state’s forests by promoting land conservation and sustainable forestry. For more information, visit