By Joe Short

New Mexico RVCC Long

I had breakfast this week with a woman who described to me the rural community where she works. It’s a town that once had the highest per capita income in its state, based on a strong natural resource economy. Now, however, those historic, natural-resource based industries have waned, and the community’s good fortune has gone downhill with it. Despite a rich landscape and working lands heritage, the town faces severe economic challenges.

This story is identical to the one that the Center tells about Millinocket, Maine, where we are deeply invested in rural community revitalization. But I was not in Maine, or even in the Northern Forest. I was at the annual meeting of the Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition (RVCC) in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the town I learned about was Libby, Montana.

Monkman VTNES D40102This special time of year — wrapping up one year and looking forward to the next — brings reflection, celebration and appreciation. Together we’ve brought energy, ideas and resources to begin to carve out the New Forest Future across the Northern Forest – creating and expanding quality jobs, investing in new housing and community needs, and fostering new relationships with the forest.
If you haven’t already, please take a moment to review our 2018 Annual Report showcasing the past year.  And, please consider making a year-end gift to help us create an economy that delivers purpose, innovation and widespread opportunity. Thank you for your investment, partnership, and friendship – here’s to more in 2019!
Best wishes to you and yours for the holidays!

Rob Riley, President

P.S. Again, I hope you share my enthusiasm for Living the New Forest Future and that you’ll consider making a donation to support this important work. To everyone who has already contributed, thank you so very much!

By Lianna Lee

Gift Guide TopThe Northern Forest is full of amazing, finely crafted gifts and experiences that can delight everyone on your list this holiday season. We’ve compiled a list of gifts that we would be just as excited to receive as we are to give this year.

Center staff frequently travel throughout Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York to create bold possibilities that give rise to vibrant communities and enduring opportunities through regional programs. Between meetings and visits, we get to know the products, trails, and wonderful people who bring passion and vitality to our Northern Forest economy.

If you’ve already wrapped all your gifts or celebrate other times of year, tuck this list away for some fun inspiration. We’ve got a lot of suggestions, so I’ve divided the gift guide into four categories: kitchenware, food and drink, beautiful lodging, and outdoor adventures—and added a few bonus suggestions at the end.

By Maura Adams and Leslie Karasin 

birch boys chaga shop 2Cappuccino, chaga tea and craft beer. Hotel development plans in the works and a new non-profit arts center. People of all ages sharing enthusiasm about their town, which lies on the shore of a sparkling lake. This isn’t Burlington – it’s Tupper Lake, New York, where entrepreneurship, pride, and vision abounds – qualities that many outside observers don’t understand exists in this community.

Tupper Lake’s history resembles that of many Northern Forest towns: from logging boomtown in the 1800s to prosperous wood products manufacturing hub, then gradual loss of industry later in the 20th century with no substantial economic replacement. Tupper is often perceived as struggling, and some of its demographic statistics reflect this.