Nonprofit Insider

Difley stepping down from SPNHF in 2019

Concord — It won’t happen for another year, but the woman who has overseen the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests for more than two decades is retiring.

Jane A. Difley started her career as an intern at the Forest Society. She leaves as president and forester.

“It’s been a privilege to lead the Forest Society,” Difley said in a statement.

“I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished during that time, and I want to thank all our members, trustees and staff for making it possible.”

But she said she is now ready to spend more time enjoying the forests she has helped to protect.

During her tenure, the society has worked to offset the loss of forests to development by increasing its work in land conservation.

In 2001, it adopted a strategic vision, New Hampshire Everlasting, that called for protecting up to 40 percent of the land area in every town. Difley has seen the Forest Society more than double the size of its conserved “Forest Reservations” and was involved in protecting more than 290,000 acres overall, including the Connecticut Lakes Headwaters in northern New Hampshire.

Difley’s tenure has not been without controversy, particularly as it pitted itself prominently against the Northern Pass hydroelectric power project involving Quebec Hydro and Eversource. The society was able to block some of the preferred routes for the project’s transmission line with easements and land purchases.

The Forest Society has played a lead role in establishing the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP).

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I want to thank Jane for her invaluable leadership and contributions to not just the Forest Society, but to the State of New Hampshire,” said Deanna Howard, chair of the board. “I don’t doubt that Jane will have us achieving great things right up to her last day nearly a year from now.”

Howard said that the trustees will be convening a committee of the board to begin a search for a suitable person to lead the organization.

Before coming to the Forest Society in 1996, Difley served as Executive Director of the Vermont Natural Resources Council. She was the first woman elected President of the Society of American Foresters, the national professional association for forestry.

Posted on: October 23, 2018
Topics: Staff Changes | Something New

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